Sky heads off to attand Miss South Pacific pageant
Miss American Samoa Skyline Ese'ese Ah Soon Nua is "excited, anxious" and looks forward to representing the territory in this year's Miss South Pacific Pageant, which officially opened Sunday afternoon with a church service in Samoa.
The 23-year old Nua along with a five member delegation from the Miss American Samoa Inc., departed Pago Pago yesterday for the weeklong festivities of the regional pageants, while her family leaves later this week just in time for Saturday night's final competition and crowning of the new Miss South Pacific.
Nua will be competing against young ladies from Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Hawaiian Islands, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tokelau and Tonga.
"I will be representing American Samoa in the pageant to the best of my ability and I humbly ask everyone's support," said Nua during a Samoa News interview at her home in Tafuna. "Although our territory is small in population, if we stick together, I think we can do."
As part of the local support, she asked residents to vote online for the Miss Internet Award on: www.misssouthpacificpageant.ws
During the Saturday interview, Nua looked relaxed and composed, while pointing out that she is going to a regional competition representing her country, her home and she takes her duty as American Samoa's goodwill ambassador very seriously.
"I feel like the whole world is on top of me. And I don't want to upset anyone," she said. "I don't want to disappoint anyone - especially that I am carrying my home country as I travel to another country of the same culture and of the same traditions."
"However, I am excited, anxious and I can't wait to get to Apia and I'm looking forward to the experience of being in a regional pageant," she said. "This is my first time to Apia to participate in a competition, which is just not a competition. It's beginning relationships with other island beauties and get to know their culture and get to know them well."
Asked what learning experience she wants to gain from this regional competition, Nua replied, "an experience in a regional beauty pageant" and "learn about other island cultures."
"I'm an athlete and I'm trying to gain experience from a more feminine side - such as walking the catwalk in front of hundreds of people from around the Pacific region," she noted. "At the same time, gain more confidence being in the public eye and be a better ambassador, a representative for American Samoa."
"Another experience is to learn the culture of other contestants including food, their delicacies, how they dress and most importantly their culture," she said. "I never pay attention to other island and their cultures. This will be the great time to learn about our Pacific island countries and territories."
"Besides these issues, I also want to learn other new things I have never done in my life. So this is once in a life time experience," she points out. "Usually I'm traveling for sports competition but now I'm traveling for something way... outside of my comfort zone - a beauty pageant."
FULL TIME JOB
A week after being crowned Miss American Samoa, Nua made the ultimate decision, the ultimate sacrifice, and resigned from her full time job with Bank of Hawaii to dedicate herself to the title of Miss American Samoa and other community services and obligations that come along with being the territory's goodwill ambassador.
"Being Miss American Samoa is not just a job, its an opportunity to promote American Samoa, its an opportunity to promote what you can within your community," said Nua.
"It took me a week after the pageant to think about whether to give up my job or stay on. If I leave my job, where would I get money? I thought about the fact that I was giving up a paying job," said Nua. "But in the end, I reached a very important decision in my life - it was a priority for me to dedicate and commit myself full time to the Miss American Samoa title."
"Being Miss American Samoa is a 24/7 job because I am the representative of the territory American Samoa and it is a great honor given to me," she said smiling. "This is an excellent opportunity to help my community and give back to my community - my island home."
"So this is my commitment, my priority, which is to serve our people as Miss American Samoa, because its my home, my country and I am to represent my home with pride, with humility, with confident," said Nua with another smile on her face.
"And besides, you can't serve two masters at the same time. I have to give up something to achieve good in another area and you have to sacrifice something for the betterment of all," said Nua, the daughter of Saoluaga Nua and Usuimalo Ah Soon Nua of the Manu'a islands.
Nua, a business graduate of Northern Arizona University in Accountancy, said in her profile message on the pageant website, that besides academics, "I am an outgoing individual who has a passion for athletics. I enjoy playing recreational sports on my spare time."
"My ambition is to pursue graduate studies in accounting and sports management so I can be of assistance in promoting the business sectors and athletics for the youth in American Samoa, and of course the entire South Pacific Islands," she said.
Samoa News wish Nua the best in the Miss South Pacific Pageant, an event that organizers in Samoa say recognizes and promote the attributes, intelligence, talents, cultures and traditions of young Pacific Island women.