Miss Pacific Islands is not just a beauty pageant.
It’s about eight intelligent contestants showcasing their culture, promoting their countries and tackling real issues faced by real people in the region.
There was no better forum to showcase this than on Thursday night when the contestants addressed the challenges facing the region in the pre-pageant interviews.
The annual event has come a long way in recognizing and promoting the attributes, intelligence and talents of young Pacific island women, as reflected in this year’s Pageant Theme – ‘Celebrating our History and Embracing our Future’
Each contestant had to prepare a speech. After five minutes they were required to answer several questions about their topic.
Miss Solomon Island’s topic was ‘Environment and recycling’.
Miss Samoa spoke about culture, especially the saving of the Samoan culture and its values while keeping up with modern times.
“We need to encourage our Pacific people!“ she said. “Our culture is our identity,” she reminded the audience.
Heath was the main issue in the speech by Miss Papua New Guinea.
“You are what you eat,” she said.
In particular, the healing power of the coconut should not sink into oblivion, she said.
Miss Cook Islands used the Miss Pacific Islands pageant as an example for her speech.
“It's about having a goal and achieving it. The best preparation for tomorrow is made today and we take all challenges as a change.” she said.
Miss Cook Island said that the new Miss Pacific islands should encourage all Pacific islands and not just her own one.
Climate Change was a main issue for Miss Tonga.
“The land and the ocean are our story,” she said.
“We are today's Mauis and Moanas!”
Miss Fiji said she wants technology to be seen as a blessing, not a curse while Miss American Samoa promoted the idea of “celebrating the history to learn meaningful lessons.”
Miss Nauru said she wants to “share cultural stories” with tourists and locals.
The finale of the pageant was held last night where Miss Fiji was crowned the new Miss South Pacific.