A proud Igorot from Sagada and Bontoc, Mountain Province, Kurt Justin Santiago has been crowned Mister Earth Philippines 2023. Santiago, who represented Baguio City in the pageant, was also named Best in Leadership and Environmental Advocacy, Online Choice, Best in Swimwear, Mister Congeniality, and Best in Arrival Attire.
In a statement, Santiago said that he is honored to represent Baguio City at the Mister Earth International pageant. He also said that he is committed to using his platform to raise awareness about environmental issues and to promote sustainable development.
"Iyaman kakailyan! Tuloy ang trabaho. Air or Earth, our responsibility to help protect the environment continues," Santiago said after the grand titleholder Anson Kyle Santos Tanumtanum of Pampanga voluntarily gave up the crown.
This is not the first time that Santiago has won a beauty pageant. In June 2023, he was crowned as Mr. Tourism Ambassador Universe - Continental International 2023, with Mr. Congeniality and Best in Talent awards in Malaysia. He is also set to serve as one of the selection committee for the upcoming Mister Earth Malaysia 2024.
Santiago's titles add weight to his advocacy for environmental protection, which is a key part of the United Nations' 17 sustainable development goals, such as fighting pollution, hunger, and poverty.
Santiago's win is a testament to the beauty and strength of the Cordilleran people. Santiago's story is a reminder that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. He is an inspiration to all of us and we are proud to have him represent the Philippines at the Mister Earth International pageant.
Here are some of Santiago's advocacies:
- Environmental protection: Santiago is committed to using his platform to raise awareness about environmental issues and to promote sustainable development. He believes that everyone has a role to play in protecting the environment and that we must all work together to create a more sustainable future.
- Education: Santiago is also passionate about education and believes that everyone should have access to quality education. He is a strong advocate for scholarships and other programs that help young people achieve their educational goals.
- Indigenous rights: Santiago is a proud Igorot and is committed to fighting for the rights of indigenous peoples. He believes that indigenous peoples have a right to their land, culture, and way of life.
Santiago is a true inspiration and we are proud to have him as our new Mister Earth Philippines. We are confident that he will use his platform to make a positive impact on the world.