Philippine bet Roberta Ann "Ro-An" Tamondong has brought her A-game to the Miss Eco Teen International 2020 pageant currently happening in Hurghada, Egypt.
The Miss World Philippines Organization (MWPO) appointed the 18-year-old senior high-school student from Laguna as the country's representative for the said pageant last November 18, 2020.
On Wednesday, November 25, 2020, Ro-An flew to Egypt after only a week of preparation.
So far, she has bagged three awards. She was hailed second runner-up at the pageant's talent competition and won first runner-up at the Beach Wear Prime competition.
On Thursday, December 3, 2020, Ro-An won the Best Eco Dress award with her Filipiniana-inspired costume made of reusable plastic bags.
A total of 35 contestants from all over the world are participating in the competition.
MISS ECO TEEN PHILIPPINES 2020
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) was able to talk with Ro-An the night before her flight to Egypt.
The beauty queen said she was surprised when MWPO called to ask if she wanted to join the Miss Eco Teen International 2020 pageant.
She recalled, "I was really surprised kasi they called me right in the middle of me eating my dinner.
"Miss World Philippines Organization called me, asking if I want to be appointed Miss Eco Teen Philippines and represent the country internationally."
Ro-An continued, "I was really excited and thrilled at the same time. After that, I asked my mom if I can go to Egypt because I'm going to compete in Egypt.
"Sabi niya, 'Okay, basta stay safe always.' From then on, we really prepared for the pageant."
Asked if she felt worried about joining a pageant in the middle of a pandemic, Ro-An said she felt safe since Egypt had lower cases of COVID-19.
Ro-An related, "Ang sabi nila sa akin, in Egypt there are fewer cases of COVID-19. But we really have to stay alert at all times, kung puwede i-limit na lang daw ang pagwe-wear ng mask.
"Just put on alcohol because baka ma-shock din iyong ibang tao if I wear a mask. Pero I still have to be careful because I'm in a different country. And dito sa Philippines, very strict ang pagwe-wear ng mask so I have to adjust."
Ro-An admitted that it was quite a challenge to prepare for the pageant in less than a week.
She said, "It's really hard for us to pull out some gowns but we made it work."
The young beauty queen is grateful for all the support of MWPO in helping her prepare for the pageant.
"They're really helpful po since I'm competing internationally... They were a really big help. Pinadala ko po iyong mga damit ko for them to approve or kung iiwan dito sa Philippines. Siyempre we need to prepare all these."
When asked about her evening gown for the pageant, Ro-An hinted that it will be in her favorite color: pink.
"Mama Louie Pangilinan made a custom long gown for me. They really prepared a back-up long gown for me to wear. My color would be pink.
"Ako talaga iyong pumili ng color kasi I really want it to be kind of teen-y and at the same time, my vibe because I really like the color pink.
"I'm really thankful that they made me a gown, parang in three days they made me gown."
As for the question and answer segment of the competition, Ro-An promised to do her best.
In preparation, she attended Q&A practice sessions in her free time and asked for some tips from Miss Eco Teen Philippines 2019 Mary Daena Zaide Resurreccion.
She said, "I'm open to all of their advice and even Daena gave me an advice kung ano iyong nangyayari dun, so I'm 100 percent aware sa mangyayari. And hopefully naman, iba iyong time difference, I could still go in a Q&A session with my team before the finals even when I'm away.
"A lot of the other queens prepared for other pageants for months. It's a really big challenge for me to prepare for a pageant in less than a week.
"So sana, I'm very confident naman to answer, but I also have to be very sure na what I'm going to answer is right and also justified."
The grand coronation night of the Miss Eco Teen International 2020 is happening on December 6, 2020, at Albatros White Beach Resort in Hurghada.