Miss Kauai Filipina Scholarship Pageant a wonderful event

Have you met the participants in the 60th annual Miss Kauai Filipina Scholarship Pageant presented by the Kauai Filipino Community Council?

If so, you can’t help but be impressed with each of them.

If not, you have a chance to get to know more about them this Saturday, starting at 7 p.m., at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.

This event has a long, treasured history on Kauai and is beloved just as much today as it was when it started.

The pride of the organizers, the parents, the contestants, is evident. This is a family affair, too, with daughters following in the footsteps of mothers who competed in this pageant when they were teenagers.

The four young ladies who will be on stage Saturday are Callie Racelo, Anna Broyles, Kimberly Matutina and Marli Genegabuas. They’re rehearsing daily this week in final preparations and have been working for several months for the title. At stake are scholarships and the eligibility to advance to the state pageant later in the summer. This is, to put it bluntly, a big deal.

Each of these young women has an impressive resume of their achievements in and out of high school. They have high hopes and great plans for the future, and all indications are they will achieve what they set out to do.

Consider what it takes to be in this pageant. Each contestant is on stage, in front of hundreds of people. In such a situation, one could not help but be nervous. There is no guarantee they will win. Yet, they come out and give it their best. And they wish the best for each other.

Here is some basic information about the pageant:

Since 1959 the Kauai Filipino Community Council hosted the annual scholarship pageant to promote cultural growth and educational advancement.

The first immigrants who poured into the plantations of Kauai found themselves at home. Guided by their cultural values of family, strong work ethics, and community, the immigrants and their families in the first, second, and third generations wished to perpetuate their culture through arts and culture. Bourne out of this movement was the Miss Kauai Filipina Scholarship Pageant.

Through the yearning for higher education, advancement in status, and the natural beauty of young Filipino women, the Miss Kauai Filipina Scholarship Pageant helped to raise over $100,000 in award monies in over 56 successful years of competition. Many contestants have gone on to become instrumental leaders internationally. Through their experience with the pageant, many contestants expressed a deep sense of appreciation and knowledge of their Filipino heritage, as well as empowerment through education earned from the scholarship pageant awards.

Here’s a little about each contestant reported in TGI Monday.

Genegabuas is a graduate of Kapaa High School. “Now, it’s time for me to learn about my Filipino side of the family. I want to motivate other young Filipina to be proud of their culture and heritage.”

Broyles is a veteran of previous pageants, ending her reign as Miss Kauai Veteran and recently participating in a local pageant. “By participating in the Miss Kauai Filipina pageant, I’m growing and have a way to add to my platforms,” said the Waimea High School graduate love the Filipino culture — especially the food — and this is a great way to learn about my heritage.”

Matutina is a graduate of Kauai High School. “When I was young, I saw some of the pageants because my mother was involved in it. I thought it would be cute if one day I was in it. Now, I know — it’s not about being cute, it’s about representing.”

Racelo is a Kauai High School graduate.

“This has been such a humbling experience, and a great honor to represent the Filipino. It’s cool to have a voice in the community and make my family proud.”

We encourage you to support this scholarship program and make a donation or buy tickets for the pageant.

Tickets for the pageant chaired by Lemuel Soria are available from any of the contestants, or through the Kauai Filipino Community Council by calling 722-3453.

Proceeds go toward the KFCC’s scholarship fund which awards monies to graduating seniors of Filipino ancestry who are continuing their education.

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