Miss Earth sponsor accused of sexual harassment breaks silence

IMAGE Courtesy: @missjaimeyvonne / @erma101 / @miss.earth.england on Instagram

Miss Earth Canada Jaime VandenBerg, Miss Earth England Abbey-Anne Gyles-Brown, and Miss Earth Guam Emma Mae Sheedy (L-R) have accused Amado Cruz, a Miss Earth sponsor, of sexual harassment. Mr. Cruz strongly denies the accusations and mulls legal action against his accusers. 


Itinanggi ng Miss Earth sponsor na si Amado Cruz ang mga akusasyong sexual harassment laban sa kanya ng ilang kandidata ng Philippine-organized international pageant.

Sa ulat ng TV Patrol kagabi, November 9, na lumabas din sa ABS-CBN News Online, pinabulaanan niya ang mga akusasyon nina Miss Earth Canada Jaime VandenBerg, Miss Earth England Abbey-Anne Gyles-Brown, at Miss Earth Guam Emma Mae Sheedy.

Ayon pa sa ulat, gusto niyang tumulong sa pageant upang ma-promote ang tourism sa bansa, kung saan isa sa mga sponsorship niya ay ang dinner para sa mga kandidata na idinaos sa Manila Yacht Club.

Dagdag pa niya, hindi raw niya maintindihan kung bakit ang pagso-sponsor ng nasabing event ay binibigyan ng malisya.

Itinanggi rin niyang hinihingi niya ang mga cellphone number ng mga kandidata, na siyang akusasyon sa kanya ni Miss Earth Canada.

Matatandaang sinabi ni VandenBerg sa kanyang Instagram post noong Miyerkules, November 7, na ikinainis niya ang pagtawag ng sponsor sa kanyang cellphone at ang pagtanong nito ng kanyang room number.

Bahagi ng kanyang post, "The second day of the pageant I felt uncomfortable because a sponsor from the first night was given my phone number, without my consent, and was calling me asking for my hotel and room number.

"I gave my phone to a team manager so that she could resolve the issue, but it did not work"

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I left to compete at an international pageant in the Philippines about a month ago. I was so excited because I had been to the Philippines before and loved the country and the people; however, the experience with the pageant was not what I had expected. I left Miss Earth because I did not feel safe under their care. The second day of the pageant I felt uncomfortable because a sponsor from the first night was given my phone number, without my consent, and was calling me asking for my hotel and room number. I gave my phone to a team manager so that she could resolve the issue, but it did not work. He showed up to almost all of my events telling me he could take care of my needs and asked for sexual favours in exchange to get me further in the pageant. I was disgusted. He showed up to a hotel some girls were staying at and when I ran into him he continued to ask for my room number. I was lucky I wasn’t staying at that hotel. After so many strange calls, I recognized his phone number and was able to block it. At an event at the Manila Yacht Club he took all of the delegates in my group to his yacht and had some girls take sultry photos. Again, I was disgusted. Later in the pageant we had another sponsor event at the Manila Yacht Club and he was telling girls he could take them to Boracay, as long as we didn’t tell any one. A group of us left to sit out side as we did not feel comfortable. He followed us outside and was upset we were not dancing with him. The team mangers laughed and told us to be nice. Eventually we were allowed to go and sit on the bus because we refused to go back to his yacht. Six girls and myself left because we felt unsafe at that event. I asked many times why more girls weren’t given the option to leave but, was never given an answer. That night a few of us were given the opportunity to bring our concerns to Miss Lorraine, the woman in charge of the pageant. I went through almost two weeks of sexual harassment before I anything was done about it. I was told he would not be around any more, but I had advised Lorraine of several other issues that were not resolved. Miss Peachy, another employee of the pageant, spoke with me at an event about...

A post shared by Jaime VandenBerg (@missjaimeyvonne) on

Ayon pa kay Amado Cruz, wala ring katotohanan ang akusasyong humingi ito ng “sexual favors,” bagay na paratang nina Miss Earth England at Miss Earth Guam.

Sabi ni Miss Earth Guam Emma Mae Sheedy sa Instagram post nito noong November 8, "The hospitality of the Filipinos is not found anywhere else. The Philippines is like a second home to me.

“I enjoyed a majority of the pageant, but what I did not know, is that a specific sponsor from the Manila Yacht Club would change the way I see pageantry and sponsors.

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“The sponsor who’s name is Amado S. Cruz became a problem for many of the delegates, including myself."

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My side of the Miss Earth International Experience: - After a year and a half of preparation for my first beauty pageant; the Miss Earth pageant, I was excited to travel back to the Philippines for the 6th time. The hospitality of the Filipinos is not found anywhere else. The Philippines is like a second home to me. I joined the pageant to make a difference and be a role model to those around me. I enjoyed a majority of the pageant, but what I did not know, is that a specific sponsor from the Manila Yacht Club would change the way I see pageantry and sponsors. The sponsor who’s name is Amado S. Cruz became a problem for many of the delegates, including myself. To focus on ONLY myself, I was pulled aside multiple times to be invited to Boracay, private islands and into his house and insisted that I and “the latino women dance for him.” Amado S. Cruz grabbed my bare backside at the National Costume Competition where I was able to push him away, but he consistently told me not to tell anyone about any of the instances. At the Manila Yacht Club, Amado S. Cruz ensured that the team managers and security personnel were separated in another room, this is where he made many girls uncomfortable. A groups of us left the room because we felt uncomfortable, but Amado S. Cruz followed us and insisted that we stayed inside to dance with him. We asked our team managers to bring us to the busses, which took over 20 minutes for them finally to do. Later on that night @missjaimeyvonne and @Miss.Earth.England spoke on the phone with Lorraine Schuck, the Vice President of Miss Earth, who assured them that Amado S. Cruz would not be at any other event. From the moment the pageant started until coronation night, Amado S. Cruz was at every event and dinner he could physically get to. Since other delegates have posted, multiple other queens from past years have come out about the same behavior. I want to help put a stop to this sponsor being apart of the Miss Earth International Pageant because he has become a problem for years. #missearth2018 #missearth #MeToo @missearth

A post shared by Emma Mae (@erma101) on


Sa hiwalay na post, ikinuwento naman ni Miss Earth England Abbey-Anne Gyles-Brown na sinusuportahan niya ang mga pahayag ni Miss Earth Canada.

Bahagi ng kanyang Instagram post noong Miyerkules, November 7, "There was no respect or compassion shown to myself or Jaimie.

"I felt traumatised by this experience and had many sleepless nights. I was not sure who had my personal details including my mob number and hotel room.”

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My personal encounter @missearth. • It’s time to speak up about my personal experience. I have been in close contact with my national director and all incidents have been noted. I have worked very hard for my title of Miss Earth England and as I have previously mentioned I took 4 years to get to the top and win my place at the Internationals. I was elated to finally represent England over in the beautiful Philippines. My trip was a rollercoaster of emotions, stress and endurance and I did not leave the pageant as I was not going to miss out on the experience. I have many beautiful memories of my time here in the Philippines and many wonderful days. I met happy Filipinos who showed me such kindness and respect. I enjoyed 50% of my trip but the other 50% was over shadowed by feeling exploited, vulnerable, unnerved & sexually harassed as I was approached by a sponsor on many occasions who asked for sexual favours in exchange for the Crown. This happened at Manila Yacht Club on a sponsored evening meal away from the team managers behind closed doors. The sponsor also tried to find out what hotel and room I was staying in. Myself and Canada approached Team Manager to express our disgust only to be laughed at. Another official attendee of the night told me not to cry as I would ruin my makeup! There was no respect or compassion shown to myself or Jaimie. I felt traumatised by this experience and had many sleepless nights. I was not sure who had my personal details including my mob number and hotel room. It was not only myself and Canada who were approached on this night but other delegates who I believe are going to come forward and tell their side of the story. I approached Lorraine Schuck who is the Vice President Of Miss Earth she informed me that the sponsor would be removed from all contact with contestants but this did not happen. As other groups experienced the same issue. Myself and @missjaimeyvonne removed ourselves from this uncomfortable environment and sat on the bus away from further exploitation. This is one of many incidents we faced during our Miss Earth Journey! The said sponsor in fact show up at a prelim event and also attended the Coronation night

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Pinasalamatan naman ni Amado Cruz si Miss Earth Cuba Monica Aguilar dahil pinabulaanan nito ang akusasyon ng kapwa niya mga kandidata laban sa kanya.

Ayon pa sa post ni Aguilar noong Huwebes, November 8, "I have been seeing posts being made of candidates bashing the Miss Earth Organization, and it's time to put a stop to it!!

“I have read the ‘testimonies’ of several candidates complaining about supposed sexual harassment.

“I can confirm there was no sexual harassment happening in any shape or form.”

Kinakausap na raw ni Cruz ngayon ang kanyang abugado upang gumawa ng legal na hakbang laban sa mga paratang sa kanya.

Samantala, “forever banned” na si Cruz sa Miss Earth pageant.

Sa panayam naman ng State of the Nation ng GMA News TV kagabi November 9, ipinagtanggol si Cruz ng nagpakilalang staff niya.

Ayon sa nagpakilalang si Jhana Bueno, sa tagal na raw na pag-sponsor ni Cruz sa Miss Earth, wala pa raw insidenteng may nagreklamo sa kanyang amo.

Sabi niya, “Hindi magagawa ng amo ko yan, e.

"Alam mo kung bakit?

"Si sir ay napakatanda na at mahina na rin, una sa lahat.

“Kung nagawa man niya yun sana noon pa nung nagsimulang magkaroon ng Miss Earth dito.”

Viral naman ngayon sa Twitter ang post ng isang netizen kung saan laman nito ang mga larawan diumano ni Amado Cruz.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lead Correspondent, Top Story Man '12, Stringer of the Year '13, Top Contributor '14, Staff Reporter of the Year '15-'16 @arnielcserato (Twitter/Instagram)


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