In celebration of International Women's Rights Month, a group of the CNMI's own “women of power” held a tête-à-tête with this year's Miss Marianas Teen beauty pageant candidates at the World Resort Saipan yesterday during lunch.
The CNMI's first female senator, Maria Frica Pangelinan, Lt. Gov. Tim Villagomez's wife Margaret Villagomez, NMC Board of Regents chair Kimberly King-Hinds, AGO local attorney Rosemond B. Santos and Gold's Gym Saipan owner and entrepreneur Josephine S. Plinske graced the event.
Villagomez, on behalf of Gov. Benigno R. Fitial and the lieutenant governor, read the governor's congratulatory message to the candidates. She said she was impressed with the audacity and vivacity of the candidates.
“They are all lovely and confident,” she said.
She counseled the candidates to be themselves and be the best that they can be, and not to forget their roots.
Hinds reminded the candidates that inner beauty is what matters and, as women, they should always make their voices heard in society.
Miss Marianas Universe Shequita Bennett was also present during the luncheon yesterday.
Some 19 teenagers will vie for the first ever Miss Marianas Teen Beauty Pageant on March 24. The talent night would be held on March 18 at the Pedro L. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe. Tickets for the talent night is only $5.
Stellar Marianas president Laila Y. Boyer and national director Jenny W. Aguon said the organization is very excited because this is the first time that a huge number of candidates answered the call to join the teen pageant
The candidates for this pageant are Michelle Borja Avila, Lenore Quitugua Cabrera, Heather S. Calderwood, Vanerrie Y. Deleon Guerrero, Darcie B. Duenas, Hee Ae Lee, Rosree Ann C. Leon Guerrero, Nicollette Lopez, Jomanda Lynn C. Manglona, Dina Marie M. Palacios, Ashley Reiko N. Pangelinan, Vivian D. Reyes, Leangie Lynn DLG. Sablan, Naomi C. Sablan, Kathrene Rose T. Taylor, Myana T. Welch, Angelee Cruz, Mary Ruth Lazaro, and Ritalynn Manglona.
One of these teens will represent the islands in the upcoming Miss Teen International to be held in Chicago, Illinois, in July. Boyer said more than 50 teenagers from all over the world will convene for the pageant dedicated to young and confident teens worldwide.
All of the CNMI candidates are first timers.
Aguon, herself a former beauty queen, will be accompanying this year’s winner to Chicago.
Prizes at stake for the Miss Marianas Teen are uniquely tailored to fit the character of a teenager. Boyer said aside from cash, trophy, crown, and bouquets, the winner would get a whole range of prizes from cellular phones, to cosmetic products, and one-year free movie pass at Hollywood Theater, among many others.
The pageant will be held on March 24 at the Saipan World Resort Amphitheater. This year’s pageant will be directed and choreographed by Melia Johnson, the newest addition to the Stellar Marianas family.