A Reporter’s Journey to Miss Philippines Earth 2011 (2)

Vivienne Gulla in Amazon Wear at Miss Philippines Earth 2011

Read the First Part of my story on Vivienne Gulla here.

It really is true. It’s not fun to see friends fail. So when I got the news that my co-worker at RPN News Watch did not make it in the third reaping (or elimination round) at Miss Philippines Earth 2011, I was at a loss for words. Vivienne Gulla, a beauty AND a brain was axed. And I had a hard time computing those facts.

I first asked Joyce Ilas, one of our other reporters who had been covering Miss Philippines Earth 2011, how Vivienne Gulla took the bads news.  According to her, Viv did not cry and even gamely answered questions from other media folk covering the event. I watched the raw video footage of that interview and I could see that although Viv was smiling, it did not quite reach her eyes. She was doing a Nat King Cole – smiling though her heart was aching.

Such strength, I thought.

Vivienne Gulla (foreground) in Swimwear

I finally gathered enough guts to call Vivienne some 24 hours after her elimination. I wasn’t sure if she was still willing to talk and share her feelings but I was pleasantly surprised to hear her greet me with calm confidence. Although the perkiness was gone, Vivienne Gulla souded okay to me and she had plenty to share.

She explained how the reapings went – first the girls go through an interview with a panel of judges. The results of the interview combined with a little input from the chaperone will determine who stays in Miss Philippines Earth 2011 and who goes out the door. For every reaping, the girls face a different set of judges. So far, the MPE has had three reapings and only 20 girls remain. There will be one more reaping where 10 will be removed and the final 10 beauty contestants will fly to Palawan to vie for the Miss Philippines Earth 2011 crown.

Vivienne Gulla planting seedlings

When I asked Vivienne Gulla how it felt like to be eliminated, she said, “I don’t feel bad but I did want to win. I did my best and felt that my interview prior to the third elimination round was my best interview out of all the three. So hindi ko na-expect na hindi ako tawagin. (So I did not expect that my name would not be called.) But I have no regrets. I know I did very well and was able to say everything I wanted to say in the interview. But what can I do? It’s the judges’ opinion.”

By this point, my admiration for this girl went up a notch. Not a sourgrape this one.

So, I asked, did you cry?

“No, I didn’t!” She laughs at herself at this point and adds, “I haven’t cried and I don’t think I will.”

Her Mom and sister Via, who both gave her 100% support – Mom through finances and Via by being her tapat na PA (loyal Personal Assistant) have also managed to maintain dry eyes, at least from what Vivienne knows. In fact they are all relieved it is over and now they can get the rest they need and have a normal family schedule once again. No more waking up at 3am to help Vivienne get ready for yet another pageant activity.

But there were a few tears shed for Vivienne Gulla – her best friend Margo Midwinter (Manila) who was not eliminated, cried a bucket without a care in the world for her make-up. Between pretty girls, that says much for their friendship. Their other best friend Christianne Ramos (Cainta) also did not make the cut. As I said, it isn’t fun watching friends fail.

So, at the end of the day, what were the best and worst things Vivienne Gulla experienced in her journey to Miss Philippines Earth 2011? Faster than you could say ‘global warming’ Viv said, “I gained friends! And I became a better time manager. I used to be a sleepy-head but now I can survive on 1 or 2 hours of sleep. I also got LOTS of exposure; even my network, Channel 9 featured me.”

One of Vivienne Gulla's best memories - telling stories about the environment! Next to her is Christianne Ramos of Cainta, one of her best friends at Miss Philippines Earth 2011

Then suddenlty, the beauty queen in Vivienne came out and she graciously added, “I am also now more environmentally-aware. I had the chance to promote the environment. One of my best memories is being asked to read environmental books to children. I always got picked by the Miss Philippines Earth organizers to do things like that. I certainly became a better person. No regrets!”

So what about the worst things? Vivienne Gulla fumbled over this question as she tried to think of an answer. She finally said, “Almost nothing really except getting very little rest. But that’s not really bad because you don’t always get the chance to do something like this!”

Well… as I said.. it’s not nice watching friends get axed but let me tell you, it’s amazing to see them get up, dust themselves and move on. To better things!

Congratulations Vivienne Gulla, I think you’ve found out just how strong a woman you are. And so did we. Can’t wait to see you back on field sending us your reports on what’s happening on this EARTH!