Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 20 Jun 2019 12am

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    Wednesday, June 19, 2019-7:38:24P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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5 vie for 2019 Miss Marianas crown

STELLAR Marianas has introduced the five candidates for the 2019 Miss Marianas crown.

Vying for the title are Junalyn Billedo, Riane Capalad, Merlyn Fernandez, Sharon Palacios and Shannon Sasamoto.

“It is always a joy to see young women from our community rise up and embark on a new journey encompassing beauty, intelligence, volunteerism, fitness, leadership and overall personal growth,” Stellar Marianas public relations director Monique Boyer Sablan said a media conference held Saturday at Gold’s Gym.

“The upcoming months leading to the pageant will be filled with numerous opportunities for our contestants to shine as community volunteers and role models for our youth.”

Sablan said the candidates will also work with 2018 Miss Marianas Celine Cabrera in completing the re-launch of Girl Scouts NMI chapter.

2018 Miss Marianas Celine Cabrera, 3rd right, with the 2019 candidates: Junalyn Billedo, Riane Capalad, Merly Fernandez, Sharon Palacios and Shannon Sasamoto.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio 2018 Miss Marianas Celine Cabrera, 3rd right, with the 2019 candidates: Junalyn Billedo, Riane Capalad, Merly Fernandez, Sharon Palacios and Shannon Sasamoto. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

Junalyn Billedo, who works at IT&E and is a criminal justice student at Northern Marianas College, said she wanted the pageant to be her platform to encourage others to uplift one another. “I am also passionate about encouraging people to follow their dreams and to dream big — everything is possible.”

As a volunteer for Youth Suicide Prevention, Billedo said she loves working with the youth and those who are experiencing depression and anxiety or with mental health issues.

A communication arts graduate of Malayan Colleges Laguna in the Philippines, Riane Capalad believes that joining the pageant will open a lot of opportunities for her to serve the community.

Born on Saipan, Capalad said the issues close to her heart are youth empowerment, prevention of non-communicable diseases and preservation of natural resources.

She said the most influential woman in her life is her mother, who taught her to be humble and kind. “She taught me to ‘appreciate yourself.’ You wake up in the morning and look at the mirror and just appreciate yourself.”

An NMC nursing and computer application student, Merly Fernandez said she sees the pageant as an opportunity to improve herself. “This is also opportunity for me to work with the community and be part of the community.”

Sharon Palacios, another NMC student, hopes to inspire others to step out of their comfort zone. “To get what you never have, do what you’ve never done before.”

She also believes that mental health is “really important.” She added, “It’s really hard for people to get help here because it’s such a small island and they know each other.”

Shannon Sasamoto, who is also attending NMC, wants elementary school students to know more about local culture and heritage.

“I want to reach out to them and other members of the community. I also realize that helping others can give you a better understanding of the world.”

As for “the most inspirational woman in my life — definitely my mom. She is the strongest and most hard-working woman I know. And she’s one of the main people who influenced me to join the pageant.”

This year’s pageant theme is “Celestial Navigation” in honor of one of the islands’ most ancient cultural traditions.

The 2019 Miss Marianas pageant will take place on June 15, 2019, Saturday, at Fiesta Resort & Spa.