Tinian lass is People’s Choice winner in pageant


Tinian daughter Isa Ha’ani Long poses with the People’s Choice award that she won at the 2023 Miss Massachusetts Teen USA last weekend in Burlington Massachusetts. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Tinian lass Isa Ha’ani Long continues to represent the Marianas well, placing in the Top 16 as one of the semifinalists in the 2023 Miss Massachusetts Teen USA competition and winning the People’s Choice Award last weekend, in Burlington Massachusetts.

Long, who is a pre-medical student at Harvard University, later told Saipan Tribune, soon after receiving the award, that she was proud to have put Tinian and the Northern Marianas on the map.

“I feel very honored and grateful, especially for having a support system from back home. It was a great experience and I was very privileged to be able to represent my roots and my island,” she said.

Among the many people she had met through the pageant, Long said that not many people knew of Tinian or the Marianas, so she enjoyed sharing her culture and shedding more light on her heritage. “It was nice to be able to explain my culture, traditions from back home, and just let more people know about the islands.”

This wasn’t the first competition Long was involved in. She also bagged several trophies during her previous participation in the 2022 California OCB Bay Area Amateur Bikini Bodybuilding Championships.

When asked how different the process was when competing in a bodybuilding competition versus a pageant, Long said, “This was my first pageant ever, which I didn’t expect it to be as intense as it was. But I have competed in body building before. My first competition was prior to college. …They’re two completely different ways of preparation, but I guess I had a feel of what it was like to be on a stage.

“Body building is definitely a lot more rigorous on the body…in terms of exercises and discipline and holding yourself accountable and it’s a lot of work. And pageants are a lot of work too, but I feel like they’re just completely different things. Body building [is] like building your muscles and growth in that sense; in pageants, it’s more of like who you are as a person, what you advocate for—so it’s just different ways of what they highlight in an individual.”

She said the whole process “was a genuinely good experience…Initially, we’d meet on Friday, and then Saturday was prelims and then from there, the Top 15 would advance and I was grateful enough to have received a spot the Top 15 as well as the People’s Choice. So that was amazing.”

Long thanks all those who supported her throughout her journey. “Si yu’us ma’ase Marianas and all my friends and family who voted! …None of this would’ve been close to possible without my amazing community. It’s because of you that I was able to confidently represent my roots and everything I stand for. So incredibly honored to have had this opportunity to compete,” she posted on her Facebook page.

Long’s father also posted, “We wanted to thank everyone who supported Isa and her drive to become the Miss Teen Massachusetts People’s Choice winner. Without the support of family, friends and islanders worldwide, we couldn’t have done this.”

A co-valedictorian alumni of Tinian High School, Long is currently a pre-med student at Harvard, and a certified personal trainer. She has a twin sister, Cielo.

Chrystal Marino | Correspondents | Correspondents
A correspondent for Saipan Tribune, Chrystal Marino enjoys travelling, writing and meeting new people. When she is not writing, she finds ways to be involved in the community. She currently covers community beats. For any community news stories reach out to her at chrystal_marino@saipantribune.com.
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