It’s not all fame and glamour for 2016 Miss Marianas Peachy Quitugua and 2016 Miss Marianas Teen Palanga Taimanao as they will have a full year of working to be the ambassadors of the CNMI in various events here and internationally.
Quitugua and Taimanao, who were both crowned last Saturday night each replacing Jian Joyner and Gianna Camacho, said in unison that they would represent the CNMI to the best of their abilities.
“I can now breathe but it is not yet over. It is just only the beginning,” said Quitugua amidst the frenzied atmosphere that surrounded the Hibiscus Hall of the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan. “It was an amazing experience for us all.”
She thanked all the candidates for the journey they made together and the chance to get to know them personally the past three months. “To my pageant sisters, I’ll cherish the moments we had spent together and getting to know each and everyone of them is a memorable experience.”
“Spend time with them the whole pageant is another thing that I will always cherish. We’re so unique in every way, we all become sisters. It was not a competition, because we helped each other out, it was more of a bonding moment between sisters,” she added.
Quitugua said she wants to inspire the youth, especially girls, to bring out the best in them. “I want the younger generation to be the best they can be and the younger girls, if ever they want to join a pageant, I want them to go for it since it’s such a great experience learning about yourself.”
“I also wanted to increase awareness on non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Health is the best investment that we can take for the rest of our lives,” added the 21-year-old who wants to become a licensed neonatal nurse.
The Northern Marianas College graduate, who finished magna cum laude with an Associate of Science degree in nursing, also thanked the tremendous support from her family and friends. “They have always been there and it showed. I’m so amazed and thankful for everyone.”
Quitugua also wished Teen Queen Taimanao saying that she’ll be with her every step of the way. Taimanao, who was the second from Rota to become a titleholder, said that she too would be at Quitugua’s side throughout their respective reigns.
Taimanao said she was really reluctant at first to join the pageant but winning now means a lot to her. “I’m finally going to bring something home, something really big and something that the people of Rota will be truly proud of after waiting for how many years.”
“I came from the beautiful island of Rota and I have really have no idea what to expect when I joined. I don’t know how pageants work but we all worked our way through the whole experience.”
She is the first Miss Marianas Teen from the CNMI’s southernmost island and second overall winner of the Stellar Marianas-organized event after 2001 Miss CNMI International Rowena Ogo.
Taimanao said she wanted to focus on helping the CNMI youth to voice out their concerns and at the same time promote the beautiful and scenic spots in the Commonwealth to the world.
She said that she’s thankful for all the support given by her family and friends. “Everybody got together and motivated me every step of the way. Even when I’m about to give up they keep on telling me, ‘Pana you got this.’ So I believed in myself and made it.”
Stellar Marianas president Laila Younis-Boyer said that Quitugua would either compete in the Miss Universe or Miss World. “We are still working for either one. We will know for sure next month.”
Taimanao, on the other hand, will have an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the Miss Teen International. She will also get the chance to create and implement a community project under her name with the help of Stellar Marianas.
Divana Manglona Dela Cruz, Robert C. Harrell, Kimberly Reyes Manglona, Iliana Pacheco, Milan Rabold, and Shirley T. Sablan are the pageant’s judges with Burger Comer Magliari as the official tabulator.