Sydney-based Filipino-Australian Melanie Balagtas makes the top 10 of 2014 Miss Philippines Earth pageant.
Balagtas won't have the opportunity to represent the Philippines at the Miss Earth pageant this year but she is a stand-out champion in the eyes of the Filipino-Australian community.
Since winning the 2013 Miss Philippines-Australia crown in October last year, Balagtas has been active in supporting various fundraising events, including the Help After Haiyan project to raise $1 million in Australia.
Temporarily basing herself in Manila, Balagtas hopes to audition for the Miss Philippines-Universe competition.
In a Rappler news article prior to the coronation, Melanie was described as someone who "wasn't on anybody's list before arrivals, but surprised everyone by doing well in the preliminary activities."
Balagtas did place third overall after winning medals in the Evening Gown and Talent competitions.
Rappler reported, "In terms of facial beauty, she is the best among the international delegates. Her styling and wardrobe are good. Melanie also seems well-versed in environmental causes, too."
This year's Miss Philippines Earth crown went to Cebu City candidate Jamie Herrell, a 19-year-old animal rights advocate. She will represent the Philippines in this year's Miss Earth international beauty pageant.