In less than two months after being crowned as Miss Samoa, Priscilla Finally Olano has come to grip that the silverware comes with a lot more than just being a beauty pageant princess.
But she has no regrets and appreciates what she calls “my journey of a lifetime.”
In exclusive interview, Miss Samoa sharesher walk to the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant to be hosted by our country, starting today:
What will you bring to the Miss Pacific Island Pageant that will be different from the other contestants?
MISS SAMOA; The difference is me, Priscilla Finally Olano – my gifts, talents, strengths, and goals that I want to achieve. Each Miss Samoa before me is different and unique.
I truly believe that each one of them have contributed to our Samoan community immensely and have served our country well. I aim to do the same, and will serve our country to the best of my abilities in this one year.
MISS SAMOA; I liken these preparations to that of an athlete preparing for a marathon.
The journey to the prize at the finish line requires discipline, – both mentally and physically -; it requires focus and dedication, and remaining spiritually strong. The challenge for me is being mentally strong and focused.
And it has been a daunting challenge but I am fortunate to have the support of a special group of people.
To that end, I take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge the Samoa Events Incorporated whose been with me 110% since day one after crowned as Miss Samoa.
From my chaperone Lemalu Lina Slade Palamo, a former Miss Samoa her self, thank you for sharing her wealth of experience.
And of course, there is SEI’s fearless and vocal leader Laeimau Oketevi Tanuvasa Savea. Although a bit zealous at times, she is a very intriguing person to know and I admire her innocence and honest intentions to provide the best preparations for me.
For the greater good and for country, is Laeiamau’s popular line when it comes to quiz time. Thank you Laeimau.
SEI members Andrea Williams and Matatumua Mara Faletoese have also gone beyond the call of duty to assist.
Faafetai tele lava.
And of course behind the scenes, there is Aiolupotea Tony Aiolupo my cultural consultant and the Nanai Laveitiga Tuiletufuga with his media and promotional wealth. And the support fromthe entire SEI family has given me the self-confidence to stand up and make a difference.
Preparing for the Miss Pacific Pageant is like going back to school with the research that includes lectures and one on one interviewswith stakeholders from the private and public sector. It has transformed meto be a better person.
From Information Technology, to the evolution of education in Samoa and the region not to mention, gender equality and women against violence are a few of topics which are under my radar in preparation for the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant.
But perhaps most important to me is the empowerment of women and our youth to be better citizens and become assets to our society and not liabilities.
I am definitely learning a lot of valuable lessons from the experience and it’s also rebuilding my character as a person and also as a young woman more determined now to make a difference.
And lastly but not in the least, by God’s grace, I am constantly being stretched but am learning as the days go by.
I pray that I will meet the expectations of our country.
What things would you like to learn or gain from this pageant?
MISS SAMOA; I look forward to meeting the other beautiful contestants and building friendships. I am excited to learn about them personally, and what their goals and dreams are for the future, and to learn about their homelands.
I know you have already been crowned Miss Samoa, but if you win Miss Pacific Islands, how will you contribute to the Pacific community?
MISS SAMOA; If I were crowned Miss Pacific Islands, I would use the platform to build better networks to work with our youth at the regional level, to challenge and empower them to become leaders to make a change.
What perception do you have going into this pageant?
MISS SAMOA; I know that this will be an adventure and a very rewarding experience for all of us. All of these beautiful Pacific Island women are coming to represent their respective countries the best way they can, and it will be a tough competition no doubt.
A part from the Miss Pacific Islands, what have you been doing within the Samoan community since you have been crowned?
MISS SAMOA; Recently I visited the Fia Malamalama School, as well as Loto Taumafai. I am also looking at continuing on from where our former Miss Samoa Ariana Taufao left off, and that is to offer my services to Mapuifagalele. The Miss Samoa’s role is to serve, and in the long run I will be looking at other ways in which I can utilize this platform to better serve our community and our country to the best of my abilities.
MISS SAMOA; I will be showcasing creations from our local fashion houses during the week. The five selected fashion houses from Rimani Samoa, Samoa Loko Style. Emmareze Designs, Dolly and Wendy’s Designs have been fabulous. This is their time and their moment to show region and the world, the Samoa’s fashion designers have come of age.
How can your role influence youth and women?
MISS SAMOA; I hope that through my role as Miss Samoa, I will encourage and influence youth to stay strong and firm in God’s Word, to uphold their morals and values in an immoral world, and to use their God-given talents and gifts to make this world a better place. We need to build up a new generation of strong believers who have big dreams to build a better future for our country. That is my goal and that is how I want to use this platform that I have been given.