Six new beginnings

WAIPOULI — Topaz Fernandez said it will be “A New Beginning” when the 2015 Miss Kauai Filipina Scholarship Pageant unfolds Saturday starting at 7 p.m. at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihue.

“These are six beautiful and smart girls who have come a long way,” Fernandez, the 2012 Miss Hawaii Filipina and a contestant coordinator, said Sunday during the pageant judges interview and luncheon at the Courtyard by Marriott at Coconut Beach. “This is definitely modern and there will be a lot of fast and fierce walks. This is a new era in keeping with the Filipino culture while showcasing the individuals.”

Charlmaine Bulosan, president of the Kauai Filipino Community Council, which sponsors the annual scholarship pageant, said tickets are still available online at www.misskauaifilipina.com or by calling pageant chair Thelma Pascual (651-7439), or Pia Gregorio (639-6244). Tickets also will be available at the door Saturday.

“The pageant is already a success,” said Pascual. “We have six fine young ladies from Kauai who are already developing more poise and confidence with each day. To watch them blossom as young ladies is a really gratifying experience.”

This year’s field is made up of Harley Broyles, one of two Chancellor Scholarship recipients during Friday night’s Waimea High School graduation; Maisie Sagucio; Diandra Melchor; Marielle Yano, the sole Kauai High School graduate; McKenna Pascua; and Joydan Sagucio.

“My mother, Julie, was a runner-up in a previous Miss Kauai Filipina pageant,” Broyles said. “That is part of the reason I’m participating in the pageant. I’m also participating because of the scholarships and to learn more about the Filipino culture which will enhance my studies in business and political science at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.”

All the contestants expressed the desire to learn more about their culture through the experience.

“I want to have a greater appreciation for what my grandfather did when he came here as one of the first Filipinos,” said Melchor. “I’m one of two non-graduates and want to gain more confidence and to be able to give back to the community. I’m dedicating this pageant to my family.”

Maisie Sagucio, graduating from Waimea High School, said the pageant allows her to prepare for the future.

“Since practice started, I already have gained enough self confidence to be able to speak before people,” she said. “Thursday, I was able to perform during the Waimea Senior Assembly, something I was never able to do before.”

Pascua, another Waimea graduate, said the hardest part of the judges interview was waiting her turn.

“I was nervous,” she said. “But once I started speaking, it got better. I’m in the pageant because I wanted to do this since I was a young girl. I want to be able to give back by being a good role model for other young people.”

Joydan Sagucio also wanted to be in the pageant since she was a youngster.

“This is the first time I’m doing something like this,” she said. “The hardest part for me is not comparing myself to these fine women.”

Yano said while she is hoping to grow and make new friends through the pageant, she is still nervous about the experience.

Kiana Pigao, who will crown the 2015 Miss Kauai Filipina Saturday, said being the Kauai representative to the Miss Hawaii Pageant “is really good fun.”

“It’s fun to be able to hold this title in college and tell people about why this title is significant to the people of Hawaii,” said Pigao, a Grove Farm Scholar. “It’s really exciting to be able to pass this along. When I was crowned, I didn’t really want to stop school to be the Miss Kauai Filipina representative. This is really a job — balancing being a queen, going to school, having to do community service projects — but it is really exciting, and fun.”

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