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Maria Luisa Varela is Miss Planet Philippines 2023

Maria Luisa Varela is Miss Planet Philippines 2023

Maria Luisa Varela is Miss Planet Philippines 2023

Despite the tumultuous turn of events that happened in Uganda last year, Miss Planet International is now in full swing. With the candidates arriving to Cambodia for the competition, surprisingly, we have a representative. Even more surprising, it’s not Herlene Budol.

Meet Maria Luisa Varela, the newly appointed Miss Planet Philippines 2023. She officially replaced Herlene as the country’s candidate for the pageant.

A 26-year-old beauty from Palawan, she was scheduled to compete at Miss Star International 2022 in Bali, Indonesia. Unfortunately, the pageant was postponed. Although receiving another opportunity to represent your beloved country indeed exciting, her preparations, however, weren’t without difficulty.

Miss Planet Philippines appointment came under fire

Following her appointment, Herlene’s manager, Wilbert Tolentino expressed his dismay on social media. In a Facebook post, he states the following:

As National Director of Ms. Planet in the Philippines, I wish to express my concern that unauthorized persons have appointed representatives to the pageant without my prior consent. I hold the exclusive franchise in the Philippines and have the sole authority to appoint a representative for the Country.

Given the unfortunate circumstances that occurred during the pageant held in Uganda in November 19, 2022, I have decided not to send a representative to the new Ms. Planet to be held in Cambodia this January 29, 2023. I will be constrained to take legal action against any person representing to have authority to send a representative for the Philippines to Ms. Planet without my authority.

This statement is to protect the interest of the public, especially the women who may be misinformed of who has the legal authority to appoint a representative for the Philippines.

It can remember that in April 2022, Herlene Budol was appointed as Miss Planet Philippines 2022. Furthermore, Wilbert, himself, bought the local franchise for the pageant and served as National Director.

As a result of a string of incidents that happened during the competition in November of the same year, Herlene eventually withdrew from the pageant.

Speaking out on her behalf, Maria Luisa would release a statement, addressing the situation. It reads:

When submitting my own legal team’s drafted agreement, I was presented assurances by the organization that all papers and communication between the National and International Franchisee were kosher and satisfactory. Any concern regarding the rights of the Philippine franchise of Miss Planet International or interpretations of the Gregorian calendar will be addressed by National Director Michael “Miki” Antonio (a position she also held previously in 2019, wherein the Philippines brought home a crown) with the support of International Pageant Director/Owner Halimas Min. My greatest focus right now should be to resume my preparation so that I may bring honor to our country. I hope that my silence and tact regarding recent happenings will be respected – society can often be forgetful to humanize. I look forward to what the future may bring to our planet and its forthcoming solutions. Thank you and God bless us all.

In a social media post, Miss Planet International would formally declare her participation. Moreover, the organization would also introduce the name of the country’s newest National director.

The coronation night of Miss Planet International will be on January 29. Maria Luisa is aiming to win our first Miss Planet crown.

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