Pageant candidates enjoy journey, experience


Reigning Miss Marianas Jian Joyner, right, poses with the candidates of the Miss Marianas and Miss Teen Marianas in front of the pageant’s official car from Triple J Motors. The new queen will be using the car for one year. (Jon Perez)

Three of the four Miss Teen Marianas candidates and six of their counterparts in the Miss Marianas competition said they all enjoyed the journey and experience they had by just being part of the annual beauty pageant organized by Stellar Marianas.

Jyawnna Joyner, Nicole Myers, Palanga Taimanao, and Lexee Leesang will be vying for the Miss Teen Marianas crown, while Marie Aldan, Angelyn Labadan, Joanna Navarro, Peachy Quitugua, Francine Sablan, and Maricris Zapanta are the six Miss Marianas candidates.

Nine candidates were present in Thursday’s press conference held at the Marianas Visitors Authority office as Leesang was off-island. Stellar Marianas president Laila Y. Boyer and some of the sponsors were also present.

Joyner said although she was a shy girl joining the Miss Teen Marianas was her dream. “I’m normally a shy girl but I just want to give it a try. Joining was a fun experience. It helped me come out of my shell and become more confident.”

She said that, if ever she’s crowned Miss Teen Marianas, she wants to focus helping kids who come from broken families and victims of abuse. “I want to say to them that they are not alone and I’m one of the persons they can talk to.”

Myers said that she was glad to be part of an excellent group of lovely ladies who are passionate in helping the community in every way they can. “We all want to help the community in anyway that we can. We put out ourselves so we could reach our full potential.”

“I would love to show to the rest of the world that Saipan is more than just a tiny island and the entire CNMI has a lot more things to offer,” added Myers if ever she wins the crown.

Taimanao, who comes from Rota, said that there were not really a lot of opportunities in the CNMI’s southernmost island. “I don’t usually do pageants and I’m not into make up but this is something new so why not try it out.”

She said that at first she thought that you need to tryout and undergo a rigid screening process. “I was surprised when they told me that I’m in. So, I grabbed the opportunity.”

She wants to campaign in breaking down divisions in school. “Teenagers at my age, we have our own group of friends at school, our own cliques, while some are left alone. I want to end that since we’re in one school and it’s better to have lots of friends.”

Navarro, a repeat candidate in the Miss Marianas, said she loves joining events like this and that’s what she does when she’s in the Philippines. “I’m happy joining pageants. It has been my passion.”

“Though, I have joined pageants before, I still have nervous feelings but it’s less than the first time I competed,” added Navarro, who graduated magna cum laude with a degree in hospitality management at the Northern Marianas College.

Boyer said this year’s pageant theme is “Nautical Chic” as the candidates promote protecting natural resources and taking care of the environment.

The winning candidate, both in the Miss Teen Marianas and Miss Marianas, will be using a brand new car from Triple J Motors for the whole year of their respective reigns.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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