Shannon Sasamoto, the 2019 Miss Marianas, boarded her flight for Tokyo, Japan, early yesterday morning to compete with 82 other delegates from all over the world at the 2019 Miss International Pageant.
Sasamoto has been preparing for the past several months with the nonprofit pageant organization Stellar Marianas and feels ready to showcase the Marianas at one of the world’s largest pageants.
“I feel so excited and ready. I would take this opportunity to advocate for our individual strengths and to embrace our differences—I am already very different from most of the contestants because of my height—but beauty, confidence and empowerment have no height requirement,” said Sasamoto.
A student at Northern Marianas College aiming for a degree in Business Management, Sasamoto took a break to focus on training for the competition as well as become more active in the community, a bonus that helped with her training as well.
“Each time I attended a community event, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and learned how to be more social, network with others and develop my public speaking skills. It has really helped me grow and progress with my confidence and I advise others to do the same,” said Sasamoto.
“I think it is important to challenge yourself, especially in uncertain situations and to not let fear hold you back. You won’t know unless you try,” she added.
Sasamoto has also been training with personal fitness instructor Jerry Diaz at Gold’s Gym Saipan and has found news ways to keep her energy up throughout the day. She says her official vehicle, a 2019 Hyundai Kona from Triple J Motors, has also been helpful and reliable in taking her places to prepare and attend, as well as the iPhone and service from IT&E.
“I am so grateful to all our sponsors in making this a reality for me. I wanted to show our gratitude by working really hard and giving it my best in representing our islands to the world,” said Sasamoto.
For the first time in recent local pageant history, Sasamoto will be wearing for the evening gown competition, a gown designed and custom- made in the Marianas by Pena House Boutique.
“One of my most favorite parts of being queen is the fashion. I love fashion and dream of being a fashion designer and for me to be the first one to bring a gown designed and made in the Marianas is a childhood dream come true,” said Sasamoto. “I am so grateful for Michelle Sablan and Pena House Boutique for the dress and wardrobe, it’s so amazing!”
The First Lady Diann T. Torres Foundation and Tribes Marianas also donated giveaways for Sasamoto to share with the delegates, Salina Beautiworks sponsored her hair makeover, GigiHill gave her work- and-play purses and bags, and TRESemme’ gave her $1,000 cash and hair products for a year.
Sasamoto also continued her work with the NMI Girl Scouts, helping with the islands’ first troop and upcoming cookie season.
“It has been such a blast working with the young Girl Scouts and I am so happy to have this and the promotion of our local languages and traditions as my community platform,” she said.
The young queen has been busy attending events on Saipan and Tinian and was the first queen to visit Rota during her reign for the Coconut Festival.
“Being Miss Marianas has made my love for our islands even grow deeper than ever before and I am so excited to share our spirit of hospitality, friendships, cultural diversity and the natural beauty of the Marianas on a global stage,” said Sasamoto.
“I would like to personally thank Stellar [Marianas] as a whole for being the backbone in my progress and growth, to Stellar [Marianas] queens Jian, Peachy and Celine who have helped me, all my sponsors and, most especially, my mom, Elaine. I owe this accomplishment to her for her inspiration,” she said. “And to all people of the Marianas, you are in my heart and all that I do, thank you.”
Follow Sasamoto on Instagram @missnorthernmarianas or Stellar Marianas on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stellarmarianas for updates. (PR)