|Beauty pageant titleholder|
|Born||Karla Paula Ginteroy Henry
May 23, 1986
Limay, Bataan, Philippines
|Hometown||Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines|
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Title(s)||Miss Philippines Earth 2008
Miss Earth 2008
|Miss Cebu 2007
Binibining Pilipinas 2008
Miss Philippines Earth 2008
Miss Earth 2008
Karla Paula Ginteroy Henry (born May 23, 1986 in Limay, Bataan, Philippines) is a Filipino-Canadian beauty pageant titleholder. She was crowned Miss Earth 2008, becoming the first Philippine representative and the first in the Asian region and Filipina to win that title.
Henry was raised by her grandparents until the age of four. Her family moved then to Tsawwassen, Canada, where they lived for ten years. She visited the Philippines frequently, for Christmas and summer vacations. Upon her family’s return to the Philippines, they first lived in Albay, Bicol for a year before residing permanently in Cebu.
Henry's father traveled often, and she transferred schools often. She graduated high school from Camp Lapulapu National High School, and attended college at the University of Cebu. She holds a bachelor's degree in Tourism and was working with Marco Polo Plaza Hotel when she was invited to join the Miss Earth pageant. She speaks Spanish with a degree of fluency.
Henry's beauty pageant career began as a student representative her school for Miss Intramurals and Miss Milo Olympics. She joined her first professional beauty contest at age 17 in October 2003. In 2006, she was the second runner-up in the Miss Cebu pageant.
At 22 years of age, statuesque beauty Karla Henry learned that in life, you have to follow what you want; and never should you let other people tell you otherwise. “Because if I did, then I wouldn’t have joined Miss Philippines after Binibining Pilipinas,” she smiles sheepishly. Yet even after failing to bring home the crown at the latter pageant, Karla did her best to clinch the top title in the Miss Philippines. Henry again competed at the Miss Philippines Earth pageant representing Cebu City. She made it to the initial cut of ten semi-finalists and competed in the traditional swimsuit, interview, and evening gown competitions. She advanced to the top six in the final question and answer round. At the conclusion of the pageant, she was crowned Miss Philippines Earth 2008 by the outgoing titleholder Jeanne Angeles Harn. She went on to compete in the Miss Earth pageant and was eventually crowned Miss Earth 2008 after besting 84 other candidates from around the world. “I told myself that if I like joining pageants, I want to reach the ultimate goal which is to represent my country. So I worked very hard for it. I joined many pageants for more experience and I also trained on the side. But of course, I did not forget to have fun,” says Karla, the first Filipina to win the title.
Growing up with her dad and considering him as the biggest influence in her life, Karla reveals that never in her wildest dreams did she think she would become a beauty queen. She looks back and shares, “When my parents separated when I was 13, I stayed with my father. So I grew up with basketball and baseball. I am not so much of a girly girl.” It was in fourth year high school that her P.E. teacher asked her to represent the school in a pageant. “I asked my teacher what’s in it for me if I would join the contest. He said that I would be exempted from CAT and during that time, CAT wasn’t very fun for me.” And so she agreed to join and never looked back.
Nine years ago, she moved to the Philippines from Canada. It wasn’t easy for this lovely lady but she acknowledges that life has been very kind to her. Before joining pageants, she had a 9-to-5 job as an hotelier in Cebu. She then moved to Manila to participate in beauty contests.
Miss Earth 2008
In the final competition of the eighth edition of the international beauty pageant Miss Earth, which was held at Clark Expo in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines on November 9, 2008, Henry was announced as one of sixteen semi-finalists who would move forward to compete for the title. She achieved one of the eight highest scores in the swimsuit competition for her stage chops, which advanced her as one of the top eight finalists to participate in the evening gown competition. She strutted a yellow-green evening gown with a high middle slit laden with rainbow-colored beads and sequins along the bodice. She then pulled away for the lead as she articulated in her video interview about going around public schools teaching about the environment as she cited that lack of knowledge about environmental concerns is a key issue in her country, in which she advanced to the top four.
In the last round, the court of four were asked one question, “What would you tell US president-elect Barack Obama about the state of the global environment if ever you were to meet him?” She used the shopworn cliché “I believe the children are our future” but gave a fresh new context to that line that added to her advantage when she answered, “Environmental knowledge is something that all of us must share, but most importantly we must teach the youth that this is something that we should instill in them so that in the near future they will be the ones to take care of our mother Earth.” She placed the highest score in the interview round and at the conclusion of the competition, she was crowned Miss Earth.
It was the first time in Miss Earth history that the representative of the host nation won the title. Likewise, it's the second time in a row that a Filipino and half-Canadian held the title of Miss Earth following 2007 winner Jessica Trisko of Canada. Coincidentally, one of the hosts during the Miss Earth 2008 coronation night Riza Santos, who represented Canada in the Miss Earth 2006, has a Filipino-Canadian heritage, but unlike Trisko and Henry, she failed to enter the semifinal round during her time.
She also won five special major and minor awards: Miss Earth Designers Award, Miss Photogenic, Eagle Express Award, Miss Fontana, Pasigandahan Awards (for Manila).
Henry's closest friend among the Miss Earth 2008 top four runner-up winners—named after the four elements—is her pageant roommate Miriam Odemba, Miss Earth-Air from Tanzania. She plans to visit Odemba’s homeland and to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
The first two weeks after winning Miss Earth was “pretty intense,” Karla describes. Together with the runners-up, Karla went around public schools to teach elementary pupils in public schools about environmental awareness. She promoted the “Green Thumbs Up” project, which enumerates 10 simple acts that these kids can practice at home. She also amazingly let her hair down during a coastal cleanup in Manila Bay. “That was one of the most memorable projects I did. People were quite surprised that we actually went to the beach and helped with the cleanup,” says Karla, who admits that spreading environmental awareness is not an easy task “because people are skeptical that when they go green, it’s expensive and more of a hassle for them.”
“Being crowned Miss Earth changed my life in a way that I became aware that preserving and conserving the environment is something to be really serious about. A lot of people think that we joined this just for the glitz and glamour of it all and that we don’t really come up with anything to help the environment,” explains Karla. “But because Miss Earth is focused on its cause, we really do get involved in a lot of activities with DENR and private corporations. Miss Earth has helped me become more aware of how my little actions can affect our environment.”
Having realized that caring for the environment is a daunting duty, this down-to-earth beauty is bent on doing her best to save Plant Earth. “I can say that I felt more complete as a woman now,” she concludes
A year in the life as Miss Earth
On November 12, 2008, Henry led her court, Miss Earth Air Miriam Odemba of Tanzania, Miss Earth Water Abigail Elizalde of Mexico, and Miss Earth Fire Tatiane Alves of Brazil in the tree planting along with Philippine postal officials and employees for the “Nationwide Simultaneous Tree Planting” ceremony held at the Luneta Park, in connection with the 110th anniversary of the Philippine Postal Service to support the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Non-governmental organizations that are in the forefront of the Clean and Green Movements. The project was institutionalized, in the presence of Henry and her court, as an annual event in conjunction to the Zero Waste Management program.
On November 20, 2008, Henry, along with Miss Earth 2007 Jessica Trisko, graced one of the projects of the Philippine Department of Tourism called "Rediscovering the Best of Metropolitan Manila, People, Places, Products and Practices", a product and photo exhibit first presented in the Music Hall of the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City on a three-day exhibit, which aimed to promote awareness, especially among the youth on the Philippine National Capital Region's heritage. Aside from Henry and Trisko, the event was also participated by the 17 cities and municipalities that make up Metropolitan Manila. Apart from the clean-up drives that the Miss Earth beauties regularly hold, they also visit elementary schools to educate the children on recycling, waste segregation and other environmentally sustainable practices.
On December 4, 2008, Henry attended an environmental press conference and activities to heed its call for a “Toxics-Free Christmas: Our Gift to the World” as part of the ongoing effort of Miss Earth Foundation, in partnership with the Eco Waste Coalition, to inform consumers about the risks and dangers of exposure to hazardous chemicals to public health and the environment, and empower the public to make sound decisions on what practices, products, and services to choose. Accompanying Henry at the press conference were Andrea Leon, Miss Ecuador 2008; Marie Razel Eguia, Miss Philippines-Air 2008; Marian Michelle Oblea, Miss Philippines-Water 2008; Kristelle Lazaro, Miss Philippines-Fire 2008; and Catherine Untalan, Executive Director, Miss Earth Foundation. Henry and Untalan sat in the panel of green advocates, who took turns in discussing ecological alternatives to some toxic practices that people often take for granted during the holidays. Henry also shared tips on “decorating green” with eco-friendly Christmas ornaments such as the traditional belen and parol from used or locally-sourced biodegradable materials to bring home the true message of Christmas — a baby born in a lowly manger in swaddling clothes.
On January 18, 2009, Henry was the lead dancer in the grand finale of the Sinulog Festival, an annual festival held on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City. She was tapped to take the place of Cebu City First Lady Margot Osmeña in the grand finale of the festival.
On February 22, 2009, Henry and her court joined employees of Bacman Geothermal Production Field in tree planting activities in Sorsogon and participated in the launching of wildlife conservation program and inspected some environmental projects such as the butterfly garden, nursery of endemic trees, and mangrove plantation.
On March 17, 2009, Henry traveled to Miami, Florida to attend the 1st annual Green Fashion Show hosted by former Vice President of the United States Al Gore. Designers from Latin America, Europe, the United States, and Caribbean presented garments made exclusively from eco-friendly and recycled materials. The event was also attended by Gloria Estefan, Miss Earth United States 2008 Jana Murrell, and Miss Earth 2007 Jessica Trisko and was covered by CBS, NBC, Telemundo and Mega TV.
On March 21, 2009, Henry attended the press conference for the Grand March versus Illegal Drugs, which was held along Roxas Boulevard, Philippines. Philippine President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led the march which started from the Cultural Center of the Philippines proceeding to Rajah Sulayman Park and furthering to the Quirino Grandstand to complete the 2.5 km. trek. The event was recorded in the Guinness World Records as the largest march against illegal drugs participated by approximately 500, 000 people.
Miss Philippines Earth
Henry was chosen Miss Philippines-Earth 2008 on May 11, 2008, besting 40 contestants from all over the Philippines and Filipino communities abroad. On the pageant night, contestants were asked how they would explain the degradation of nature to simple folk. Henry gave the winning answer: “I will educate them by giving them an example; through my example I will give nature the best of me.” The pageant was held at the Crowne Plaza Galleria in Ortigas, Mandaluyong City.
In a press conference, she recalled how the pageant awakened her passion: “When I joined Miss Philippines, there was a very funny story about the first day I saw the other girls, the contract-signing day with Carousel Productions, the pageant organizer. Miss Untalan (Miss Earth Foundation executive director) warned me, ‘If you’re here for the fame and glamour of being a beauty queen, then you’re in the wrong pageant. Here, we’re really serious about our advocacy. We really do get down and dirty with the activities that we do.’ I said, these guys are really serious. I should really join this. I pursued it and I have no regrets.”
As Miss Philippines, Henry has utilized her reign in promoting environmental awareness, working with Miss Earth Foundation through its project I Love My Planet Earth School Tour. Henry, along with her court has visited more than 20 schools and communities, teaching kids about the environment, through games, singing songs, storytelling, and even demonstrating how easy it is to plant trees.
Apart from the outreach projects, she travelled in June 2008 to Europe and participated in the opening of Expo Zaragoza 2008, an international exposition held from June 14 – September 14, 2008 coordinated by the Bureau of International Expositions held in Zaragoza, Spain, with the topic of Water and Sustainable Development. The event took place in the meander of the river Ebro. She also promoted the vast and natural beauty of the Philippines.
On July 18, 2008, she served as one of the quizmasters of a history quizbee for high school students with disabilities as part of the activities of the 30th Philippine National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week, a project under the office of the President of the Philippines, which aimed on promoting greater access of disabled individuals to mainstream social activities.
In early September 2008, Henry, Miss Singapore 2008 Ivy Leow Kian Peng, and Miss Earth 2007 Jessica Trisko travelled to Singapore and to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. They visited the Miss Áo Dài Center and met with media correspondents at a press conference at the New World Hotel. She also visited the Can Gio Mangrove Forest, listed as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO and an important wildlife sanctuary in Vietnam as it is characterized by a wetland biosystem dominated by mangrove and many rare species; she took part in the environmental activities as green ambassador and keynote speaker. Along with the other Miss Earth beauties, they also presented mid-autumn gifts to orphans, and participated in the activities of the International Tourism Exhibition 2008, where they met and interacted with the Ministers of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
On September 20, 2008, Henry and Miss Earth 2007 Jessica Trisko headed thousands of volunteers in a full day of filth-picking, sorting, and depositing in the coastal cleanup in San Dionisio bay, Parañaque City. It was an annual event in tandem with the International Coastal Cleanup Day, the world’s largest volunteer event started by Ocean Conservancy, which aims to bring together people from all nations to gather and clean their shores once a year.
On August 2011 she was stabbed by a suspected drunk man with a broken beer bottle.
Media and community involvement
Henry along with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, and representatives from the World Wide Fund (WWF) led the Earth Hour 2012 on March 31 in Cebu City as one of the official switch-off sites in the Philippines together with the cities of Makati and Davao. She led the Pledge for Mother Earth where 13 megawatts were saved by residents and establishments in Metro Cebu that switched off their lights and non-essential appliances.
In January 2012, Henry danced with the Cebu City government contingent in celebration of the Sinulog Festival to commemorate the Cebuano people's pagan origin, and their acceptance of Roman Catholicism. She was a Sinulog Queen in 2009. However, her role in the 2012 Sinulog Festival was one of personal thanksgiving after her recovery from a stabbing incident in Manila in 2010 where she was attacked in the garage of her condo unit by a drunk man with a smashed beer bottle, a case of random violence.
|2010||Showtime||Judge (4 weeks)||ABS-CBN|
|2012||It's Showtime||Judge (1 week)||ABS-CBN|
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- Miss Earth Official Website
- Miss Philippines Earth 2008 Official Website
- Miss Philippines Earth 2008 winners
|Awards and achievements|
|Miss Philippines Earth