Shiela Teodoro DeForest Mrs. ECO International 2019-20
Updated: Nov 21, 2019
World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to welcome amazing Queen Shiela Teodoro DeForest Mrs. ECO International 2019-20.
Full name: Shiela Teodoro DeForest
Title/Year: Mrs. ECO International 2019-20
Pageant System: Teen | Mrs | Ms ECO International / Earth Pageants Inc.
Zodiac sign: Virgo
Hobbies: Volunteering, Traveling, Singing, Sports, Cooking, Baking, Reading Books and Magazines
Platform: Environmental awareness especially the reduction of single use plastic, sustainable and heritage fashion, organic farming, mental health, women and teen empowerment
Years competed: 2018 and 2019
Countries visited: 55 so far. USA (visit & now residence), Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Denmark, Netherlands, Ireland, Malta, Greece, Spain, Russia, Austria, Switzerland, Morocco, Tunisia, UAE, Qatar, Libya, Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Uganda, South Africa, Oman, Seychelles, Mauritius, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, China, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Macao, Monaco, Portugal
Likes: Learning about other cultures, trying new cuisines, meeting people, traveling, being able to make a difference no matter how small
Dislikes: Disingenuous and selfish people Status: Married
World Class Beauty Queens: Please tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Pagsanjan, Laguna, Philippines. My mother is a retired educator and my father is a retired Lieutenant in the Philippine Marines. I have one sister, who lives with her family near Munich, Germany. I graduated with a Bachelors Degree majoring in Tourism from the University of the Philippines' Asian Institute of Tourism. I was able to apply my education in various sectors of the tourism industry, in hotels, sales and marketing, public relations and even the airline sector working for Emirates Airline in Dubai. I also gained experience in Press and Public Affairs when I joined the UK Embassy in Manila as a Press Officer. I'm also a model doing runway, print and tv commercials but also contribute my talent to various causes like Bella Boutique, Dress For Success, UnitedWay and Bantay Bata 163. I’ve been married for 7 years now and call Colorado, USA home.
World Class Beauty Queens: What does women Empowerment mean to you? I believe women empowerment is knowing and celebrating yourself, that you are a valued member of society and can contribute to the betterment of the community as a whole.
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your pageant history. I joined my first pageant only in 2018.
World Class Beauty Queens: What inspired you to do your first pageant? At first, I wanted to challenge myself to do things outside of my comfort zone. But, once I’m in it, I realized that pageants are very powerful platforms that can help shed light on different causes.
World Class Beauty Queens: Why did you choose to compete for your current title? I hope to help inspire environmental awareness even in small ways. The days of just saying sustainability or eco-friendly because it is fashionable is over, the time to act was yesterday! If people did what these words meant years ago, we won’t have the environmental issues we have now. We don’t need a few perfect eco warriors but we need everyone do small things each day to help our environment.
World Class Beauty Queens: To those unfamiliar with your pageant system please tell us what is it about? Mrs. ECO International is the married women (only) division of Earth Pageants Inc. along with Teen and Ms divisions. It was founded in 2016 and provides a sisterhood for eco warrior queens of various ages to get together and champion for the environment. World Class Beauty Queens: What are you being judged on during the competition? We were judged on several categories covering ECO video, ECO National Costume, Charitable Giving, Swimwear, Panel Interview, Evening Gown and On stage question. I believe that this system takes into account all the candidate’s preparations for the pageant during judging. This shows that they are looking for true advocate queens who will work during their reign and be brand ambassadors of the pageant and the causes it supports. I am honored to win special awards in my division during our finals, Best ECO Video, Best ECO National Costume and Charitable Giver Award.
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your platform or what causes do you volunteer for. As Mrs. ECO International, I support World Missions Outreach in Nicaragua and The Climate Reality Project of Vice President Al Gore. I also personally support The Haribon Foundation, Global Seeds Savers, EcoWaste Coalition, KILUS women’s environmental group, World Vision Philippines and Threads of Hope Inc. I am a volunteer stylist with Bella Boutique Denver and Dress for Success Denver. I also helped raise funds for mental health awareness in Vancouver, Canada. I am also an advocate for sustainability in our everyday lives through recycling, proper waste management, organic farming, vermiculture and composting. I also support sustainable fashion by wearing upcycled, recycled or artisan/handmade items with heritage fabrics.
World Class Beauty Queens: What appearances have you done with your title? I was crowned last June 29 and in the over 50 appearances I’ve made since then, here are some of the highlights:
Emcee, Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, Sloan’s Lake, Denver, CO
Courtesy Call with Ambassador Romualdez, Philippine Embassy, Washington DC
Potomac Riverkeeper Network Riverside Cleanup Series, National Harbor, MD
110th Baguio City Charter Day Celebration, Baguio City, Philippines
Siapno Creek Community Cleanup, Baguio City, Philippines
#climatestrike Denver, CO
World Green Economy Summit, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
TAYO & Multisectoral Agencies Mangrove seedlings planting and Coastal Cleanup, Barangay Lamba, Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines
ManilaFAME, Pasay City, Philippines
Keynote Speaker, Laguna State Polytechnic University, Santa Cruz, Laguna, Philippines
Certificate of Commendation, Office of the Governor, Laguna Province, Philippines
Philippine Fashion Week, Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Pasig City, Philippines
Kandama Social Enterprise, NYFW SS2020, NY
World Class Beauty Queens: What are some of your achievements? I have numerous experiences over the years and here are a few of those:
Denver Style Magazine Editorial Model
WOW Philippines North America Tour
Chili’s Ladies Night Commercial
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Induction Ceremony Keynote Speaker
Face of Emirates Airline
Modeled for Filipino and global fashion designers and brands in the Philippines, Singapore, Canada, United States, United Arab Emirates and Qatar
Illlustrado Magazine Cover Girl, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Mrs. South East Asia Globe 2018
Finalist, Mrs. Globe 2019
Mrs. ECO International 2019 Media interviews/articles:
“Side Gig Week” Interview Denver7-KMGH/ABC Denver, Golden, CO
DZRH TV Beauty and the Best Interview, Manila, Philippines
SunStar Baguio “That’s All You Need To Know” interview, Baguio City, Philippines
Interview, 99.5 Love Radio Legazpi, Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines
Interview, TV Patrol Bicol, ABS-CBN, Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines
“Former Supermodel Wins Mrs. ECO International in Las Vegas”, Malaya
“Laguna Native wins Mrs. ECO International 2019”, Manila Standard
“Philippines’ Shiela DeForest crowned Mrs. ECO International 2019 in Las Vegas”, Good News Pilipinas
“Meet Shiela DeForest, The Filipina beauty Who Won Mrs. ECO International 2019”, When In Manila “We can all be eco warriors” article, Golden Transcript Newspaper, September 25 issue, Golden, CO
“Pageant Queen Champions Sustainability ,Environmental Causes” article, September 12 issue, colorsinfluence.blogspot.com
“Ifugao Fabrics Showcased at New York Fashion Week” Philippine Star
“Mrs. Eco International 2019 to model PH woven outfits in New York Fashion Week”, Manila Bulletin “Mrs. ECO International 2019 Brightens Baguio Day Celebration”, Manila Standard
World Class Beauty Queens: What is your on stage strategy to win the judges over? I project grace, confidence and sincerity.
World Class Beauty Queens: What makes you stand out from all those other beautiful girls? I’ve learned to love and be confident of myself. Through years of volunteering prior to joining pageants, I am happy to be of service whether I have a crown or not and I have showed initiative to do whatever is possible to help the causes I support. It may be a plus having a crown but having a sincere heart makes you a true queen.
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about the moment your name was called out as the winner. I was thankful to be called as one of the top four finalists in my division but was not expecting anything even at that point. One by one, other ladies were called out as runners up until it was just Mrs. Norway and I left waiting to be called. My heart was beating so fast because I can either be First runner up or the grand winner. I’ve never made it this far in my previous pageants and whatever the outcome was, I will accept the judges’ decision. It was the longest wait of my life, until they called out Philippines as the winner! I cried tears of joy and was truly grateful that they believed that I am up to the task of being crowned the inaugural Mrs. ECO International.
World Class Beauty Queens: What does it mean to you to be a Beauty Queen? Being a beauty queen made me realize that I am a role model especially for youth and women, that we can make it, through hard work and determination. I believe a true beauty queen goes above and beyond what is expected and strives to represent her advocacy in as many avenues as possible. It also helps opens doors for me and it gives me a powerful platform to lend my voice to causes or programs that otherwise go unnoticed. I am humbled to be received with such warmth and hospitality wherever I go as an advocate queen.
World Class Beauty Queens: How did competing in pageants help your life? In the beginning, it helped me integrate into my new country, the USA, as an immigrant. As Mrs. ECO Philippines, I was able to reconnect with my compatriots here in the US and continue on my advocacy work in my home country as well. As Mrs. ECO International, this platform gives me a voice and opens doors for me to be able to advocate for the environment and other related causes worldwide.
World Class Beauty Queens: How did pageants help your selfesteem and body image? Being in pageants helped me return to a healthier lifestyle and love my own skin. It has also helped me conquer my fear of public speaking through a pageant boot camp training and being invited by Toastmasters International where I learned valuable tips on giving speeches. Now, I get invited to speak on sustainability and speaking to media and impromptu speeches don’t faze me anymore.
World Class Beauty Queens: You are an inspiration to all the girls out there. How does it feel? Being new to pageants, I am actually humbled and it warms my heart that as a queen, I am someone who can inspire not only girls and young women but youth in general to be the best versions of themselves. I can also be a source of inspiration for other women that being a woman of color is something to be embraced and celebrated. Despite an injury, I persevered and carried on my duties as a queen and showed others that despite trials you can remain strong and learn more about yourself in the process. And it’s never too late to start anything you’re passionate about. I only joined pageantry at 44, won Mrs. ECO International at 45 and turned 46 walking at New York Fashion Week!
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for learning better pageant walk? Be open to trying new things, seek training if you need to because even if you’ve had modeling experience, pageant walk is slightly different than fashion modeling runway walk.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for choosing right pageant dress? When shopping for a dress, look for a flattering style for your body type, decide on a length that you can walk in unless there are specific pageant dress guidelines. The right fit and cut of the dress is key and wearing a dress you feel beautiful in will surely boost your confidence. In some countries, pageant contestants are blessed to be able to collaborate with designers or the organizers themselves work with designer associations so candidates will be dressed by their members and at least that big item on the list is taken cared of.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for winning interview? Study current events and anything related to your advocacy. Being informed will give you confidence to handle yourself in this very important part of a pageant. Listen to the question carefully and answer calmly. Whether there’s a time limit or not, think of it as an elevator pitch where you give a concise answer in the shortest time possible instead of rambling on and losing your train of thought in the process. And don’t forget to breathe!
World Class Beauty Queens: How did you prepare for your competition? I had a Lis Franc foot surgery last December 2018 and I only began walking again mid-February this year. I did physical therapy and strengthening so my foot was ready for the pageant last June. I spent quite a bit of time in the Philippines doing environment advocacy and outreach missions and local government courtesy calls. I also had a great team for my ECO video shoot with AMD Films, Narciso Santos , Eros Goze and countless people who helped us in Baguio City. I was fortunate to collaborate with Mrs. Asuncion Sanchez, a retired Elementary school teacher from my hometown of Pagsanjan, Laguna and KILUS Foundation, from Pasig City, Philippines for my ECO National Costume.
World Class Beauty Queens: What is one mistake that you've done during competing you wish you could redo and fix it? I doubted my choice of swimwear at my first pageant which I realized later on that I should have worn my original choice.
World Class Beauty Queens: What other mistakes are made by girls during the contest? I won’t say they’re mistakes but maybe just a lapse in judgement. There are those solely chasing a crown, they get dazzled by the glamour that the pageant system or pageant director projects and they fail to see if there is a real advocacy, if they even fund raise for a real charity, the qualifications or judging criteria are arbitrary and their reigning queens mainly post modeling photos and hardly do advocacy work. Some just want the crown and the prestige that come with it but not the responsibilities they have to fulfill if they do win. Some are so used to winning that they expect to be given the crown just by showing up. There are those who don’t grasp the pageants’ advocacy or they don’t take it seriously and only do the bare minimum in preparations yet still expect to win. Sadly, some think that winning is the most important part of the journey and miss the real joy of sisterhood and camaraderie that pageants foster.
World Class Beauty Queens: Any modeling or acting experience? Yes, I’ve been a runway model since I was 18 years old. I recently walked at NYFW for Filipino social enterprise brand, Kandama Fashion Collective. I have also appeared in commercials in the last few years.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your plans for 2019 as a Queen? I am doing my best to be able to make as many appearances and environmental activities as possible throughout my year. I will strive to leave a legacy as the inaugural Mrs. ECO International and make an impact in the world. World Class Beauty Queens: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? As a queen, I want to be remembered as someone who truly advocated for the causes I believed in and lived a life of true service.
International Director: Ms. Kristin Chucci
Pageant website: https://www.msecointernational.com/mrs-eco
Photography: Ace Reyes, Dubai, United Arab Emirate Troi Santos, New York, NY
Fashion: Ezra Couture, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Woven Gown with puffy sleeves, Lace gown with butterfly sleeves, Woven Gown with Appliqued Bomber Jacket) Kandama Fashion Collective, Manila, Philippines (Red Ifugao Heritage Fabric Gown) Edwin Uy, Manila, Philippines (Green Jersey with Yakan Weave Accent Gown)
MUA : Brian Ong Acallar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Victor Palmos, New York, NY
World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to say thank you for this amazing interview.
Shiela Teodoro DeForest Mrs. ECO International 2019-20, World Class Beauty Queens Magazine, Photography: Ace Reyes, Dubai, United Arab Emirates / Troi Santos, New York, NY
Interview by Derek Tokarzewski Owner/Editor in Chief Mr United Nations 2018 Platform: Women Empowerment Ambassador to International Foundation for Orphans iffocares.org
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