LIHUE — Sheena Juliano was crowned the 2016 Miss Kauai Filipina Saturday before more than 500 enthusiastic fans at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.
En route to her crown, Juliano captured special awards, including the Spirit Award for most ads sold, the Best in (Judges’) Interview phase, the Best in Swimsuit phase, and the Most Beautiful Terno Gown, the Filipino formal wear for women.
“This pageant is a shining example of cultural pride,” said Charlmaine Suero Bulosan, the Kauai Filipino Community Council president, host of the 58th annual Miss Kauai Filipina Scholarship Pageant. “During the pageant, we showcase and share with our community the beauty, grace and elegance of our Filipina.”
Juliano, the daughter of Ferdinand and Madelyn Juliano, is a graduate of Kauai High School and aspires to be an elementary school teacher.
“I hope to encourage my own students to think on their own without feeling restricted to conform to society,” Juliano said, tying in with the pageant’s theme of “Be the Difference.” “I hope to push my students towards thinking outside the box and being comfortable to voice out their own opinions and perspectives on issues within our community.”
Taralyn Manzano was first runner-up, a significant position because if Juliano is named Miss Hawaii Filipina during a pageant later this month, Manzano assumes the role of Miss Kauai Filipina.
The Kauai High School graduate earned the Best in Terno Speech phase, by wowing the judges with her prompt and to-the-point replies to questions.
Second runner-up honors went to Alyssa Pigao, a graduate of Waimea High School. Pigao, the daughter of Neil and Consolacion Pigao of Eleele, also copped special awards of Most Congenial, Most Photogenic, and Best in Talent phase for her rendering of “The Climb.”
Kimberly Yago, a Kauai High School graduate, earned the pageant’s third runner-up honor, securing the Spirit Award for most tickets sold en route to her announcement. She also received a scholarship of $300 from the host KFCC organization.
The scholarship pageant is the only major fundraiser for Kauai Filipino Community Council scholarships. It was created to promote the value of education for young men and women in the community.
“I would like to congratulate the scholarship recipients because they are a major part of the reason for this pageant,” Bulosan said.
The KFCC distributed $3,500 in scholarships to the four pageant participants, and also brought up the 10 recipients of 2016 scholarships, including Juliano.
Scholarship recipients include Ian Pagatpatan, the only male in this year’s field. Others receiving scholarships included Kunani Tuttle, Jeanine Aquias, Stephanie Abella Aladin, Kaelee Esposo, Emma Leary, Brittney Yoshida, Tiffany Minia and Rochelle Dela Cruz.