Carrying the hopes of American Samoa

By Sarafina Sanerivi ,

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MISS AMERICAN SAMOA: Anotonina Lilomaiva is ready for the Pageant on Friday night.

MISS AMERICAN SAMOA: Anotonina Lilomaiva is ready for the Pageant on Friday night.

Miss Anotonina Lilomaiva believes this is American Samoa’s time. The 19-year-old is representing the territory in the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant, with the finale on Friday at Tuana’imato.  

“The last time American Samoa won the title was back in 2002,” she said. “So it’s about time to make history and take the crown back home with us.” Ms. Lilomaiava says she is inspired by her family.

“My family was the main reason I decided to be part of the pageant. I was brought up in a family with strong cultural values."

“I’ve always had a heart for giving back and when I first entered the Pageant, I thought it was a great way for me to give back to my family and community. But most importantly, it is all about representing and exposing what God has instilled in me." 

“I also saw it as an opportunity for me to reach out to the young women of my community and also the pacific." 

“You know we are different in our own ways. But God has a plan and purpose for each and every one of us. And this is something that I want to encourage." 

“If you believe that you can do something, stand up and do it. It’s all about believing in yourself and trusting God.”

Moreover, she said that she is very looking forward to the pageant.  “I am excited about the Pageant; I love the experience I have so far and I am learning as much as I can from all the other contestants." 

“Spending time with them and getting to know is one of the amazing things about this pageant. It is indeed an honour and privilege to be here with my other sisters from all around the Pacific.” 

Nevertheless, Anotonina said she also sees this pageant as a learning platform for her. 

“I want to enjoy my time as well learning from the other girls so that when I go back to American Samoa and I will use the experience and knowledge I gain from this pageant to carry out my role as Miss American Samoa and inspire other young girls as well. 

“It’s about making a difference and giving back something to our communities. That has been my focus and to me, if I could inspire one or two girls out there and encourage them to stand up for what they believe in then that would be enough for me. 

“But the ultimate goal is winning the crown. We are all here to compete for the title.”

Why should we pick her as the next Miss Pacific Islands? 

“It is indeed a beauty pageant,” she said. 

“But I guess what’s more important is how you carry yourself. People look up to you, so to me, I think service is one important aspect of being a Miss Pacific Islands. 

“And to me, that is something I am passionate about and if I were to win the title I will dedicate my time and energy with the help of God to help and serve our Pacific people to the best of my ability. 

“I am very passionate about giving back to my people and about our culture. I am proud of who I will always be a proud islander. And if I win, like I said, I will use my talents and strength to give back to our people and also inspire other young girls out there to stand up and make a difference.”

Miss Anotonina Lilomaiava is your contestant number 7 and she has chosen the topic ‘Education’ for her Pre-Pageant interview. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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