LIHUE — Salisa Pegeder, recent Island School graduate, was named the 2017 Miss Kauai Filipina Saturday before nearly 500 enthusiastic fans at the 59th annual Miss Kauai Filipina Scholarship Pageant.
En route to the crown, Pegeder earned special awards, including the Most Spirited in both ticket and ad sales, the swimsuit phase, the judges’ interview phase, and the Best in Terno Speech phase at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.
“Proceeds from this pageant is used in the Kauai Filipino Community Council scholarship fund,” said Charlmaine Suero Bulosan, KFCC president. “The scholarships are awarded to students of Filipino ancestry who will be furthering their education beyond high school.”
Scholarship recipients of the 2017 KFCC scholarships were afforded VIP treatment with special seating with guest beauty queens and dignitaries at the pageant. They were presented their individual awards onstage before the appreciative audience.
Kauai High School recipients included Sharae Cua, Danica Ola and Sheena Marie Torres. Elyssa Abigail Pascua and Shaina Claudine Pascua were the recipients from Kapaa High School, and BreeAnn Cayaban and Ashley Marie Pascual from Waimea High School also earned awards.
Pegeder, as the 2017 Miss Kauai Filipina, pocketed a $2,000 cash scholarship in addition to her cache of prizes and awards. She also will continue on to compete for the Miss Hawaii Filipina title on July 29 on Oahu as the representative of the Kauai Filipino Community Council.
“I guess we’re going to have to step up the workouts,” said Smiley Punzal of Aurai Fitness, waiting to greet the new queen. “She was training with us for the past several weeks in preparation for tonight. Now, she’s going to have to continue with more intense workouts for the next couple of weeks.”
Destiny Navalta, a student from Kapaa High School, was named the first runner- up, receiving a $700 cash scholarship. Navalta also earned special awards as Miss Congeniality, Most Beautiful Terno, and the talent phase for her vocal rendering of “Rise Up.”
“She was a former student in the choir,” said Mary Lardizabal, the Kapaa Middle School music director, who waited to greet the royalty. “I have two former students in the pageant so I have to come and support. To see Destiny win the talent phase with a song is huge. I’m so proud of that.”
Rozalyn Mabini, a 2016 Kauai High School graduate, was named second runner- up, and earned special awards as Most Photogenic and a $500 cash scholarship.
Kiara Kylee Rapozo, a 2016 Kapaa High School graduate currently attending Kauai Community College, finished as third runner-up. She also earned the Social Media award, which is new to the pageant and is based on the contestant getting the most likes. She finished with a $300 cash scholarship among her collection of prizes and awards.
Adams Bulosan, the pageant chair, said the Miss Kauai Filipina pageant, in addition to providing scholarship opportunities, also preserves and raises awareness of the Filipino culture.
“These young women will become the future leaders of Kauai,” Bulosan said. “They will be the next generation to continue our Filipino legacy.”