Miss Samoa crowned Miss Pacific Islands
Miss Samoa, Fonoifafo McFarland-Seumanu, has been crowned the 2019 Miss Pacific Islands.
The crowning took place at the Stanley Hotel in Papua New Guinea on Saturday night/Sunday morning Samoan time.
Guided by the theme “Pacific We Are, One Step, One Aspiration,” Miss Samoa won the Best Traditional Wear and Best Interview categories.
The Miss Samoa was well supported in Papua New Guinea with the Minister of Tourism, Sala Fata Pinati, Chief Executive Officer of Samoa Tourism Authority (S.T.A.), Faamatuainu Lenatai Suifua among the Samoan delegation.
Samoa has also secured the rights to host the next Miss Pacific Islands Pageant in 2020.
Before she left for the pageant, Ms. McFarland-Seumanu, who is a public health nurse by profession, said she was excited to be part of this year's contest, representing her country.
The tragedy of the measles epidemic, which has already killed 44 people in Samoa, was not lost on her in the lead up to the pageant.
Days before the finale, she posted a heartwarming message, encouraging all Samoans to be strong.
“Our hearts are saddened to hear that more lives have been lost due to measles,” she said. “Please families, get yourselves and your children vaccinated. Measles is a highly contagious virus. It is no joke!
“Look out for the symptoms of: sore red eyes, cough, runny nose, rash or high fever. Contact your GP if you have more questions.”
Lastly, she encouraged everyone to be strong.
“We keep our country close in prayer, especially during this time.”
The new Pacific Islands was born in New Zealand to Samoan parents Nancy and Rev. Seumanu Seumanu from the villages of Saleleloga, Sapapalii, Avao, Aleisa and Letogo.
The other Pageant contestants were:
Miss American Samoa - Epi Fania Petelo, Miss Cook Islands NZ - Terito O Ngakura Story, Miss Fiji - Jessica Fong, Miss Marshall Islands - Billma Peter, Miss Nauru - Millenia Finch, Miss Papua New Guinea - Lucy Maino, Miss Solomon Islands - Gladys Habu, Miss Tahiti - Hereva Hoata, Miss Tonga - Yehenara Soukop, and Miss Tuvalu - Tapua Pasuna, and Miss Wallis & Futuna - Violene Blondel.
Miss Internet - Ms Marshall Island
Miss Personality - Ms Tonga
Miss Photogenic - Ms Marshall Island
Miss Tourism Award - Miss American Samoa
Best Traditional Wear - Miss Samoa
Best Sarong - Miss Papua Niu Guinea
Best Talent - Miss Solomon Islands
Best Interview - Miss Samoa
4th Runner up - Miss Tonga
3rd Runner up - Miss Tahiti
2nd Runner up - Miss Papua Niu Guinea
1st Runner up - Miss Solomon Islands