Demonstrate Beauty, Talent and Intelligence
[Miami, Florida – August 27, 2008] On July 12, 2008, OCA – South Florida Chapter and United Chinese Association of Florida successfully co-hosted the second Miss Florida Asia Pageant at the North Miami Beach Performing Arts Theater, drawing over 600 attendees to witness the crowning of Miss Florida Asia.
This year, eight contestants represented six countries. They are Kayla Kimberly Chin Nuke [China], Gloria Li Ya Chow [China], Tia Bao Tran Vo [Vietnam], Kimia Mavon [Iran], Nancy Van Anh Nguyen [Vietnam], Marie Eilis Tessa V. [Philippines], May Shir Igawa [Japan/Israel], and Mimi Goon [China].
The categories were Miss Florida Asia, First Princess, Second Princess, and awards of Miss Photogenic, Miss Congeniality, Miss Talent, Best National Costume, Best Swimsuit and Best Evening Gown.
The six distinguished pageant judges were the Honorable Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson — Vice Mayor of City of Opa-Locka, Dr. Antonio Wong — Chinese-American family practice physician, Dr. John Chang — Korean-American surgeon, Quan Anh Cao — Vietnamese-American English professor of Palm Beach Community College, Al Otero — Latino American Executive Director of Broward County Chamber of Commerce, and Edmond Chun-Hon Tse – Controller for Production (East) of Fairchild Media Group – who traveled from Toronto, Canada, to join us.
The pageant auditors were Tony Mok – CPA and Susan Xu – Taxation MBA – who assessed all scores for accuracy and legitimacy.
The Honorable Raymond Marin — Mayor of City of North Miami Beach – presented the proclamation of Miss Florida Asia 2008 to Winnie Tang, Producer of Miss Florida Asia. Mayor Marin emphasized that the City of North Miami Beach embraces diversity and promotes multicultural programs. He wishes that the Miss Florida Asia to be held in the City every year.
Ronin Taiko started off the Pageant with the powerful Japanese drumming. During the pageant, rising stars from the Indian community – Ashlee and Hana Madhukar sang “I am alive” and “I will survive” and Indian classical dance by Jyouthy Thomas. Chinese vocalist Pablo Kee sang “China Dream” in Chinese and “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”. The Ife-Ile Afro-Cuban Music and Dance group has performed a colorful “Havana Carnival”.
After a month-long intensive training in public speech, skin care, modeling walk and dancing. Contestants were judged for post-Pageant Interview (25%), National Costume (10%), Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit (15%), Talent (25%), Evening Gown (20%) and On-Stage questions (5%).
The Pageant officially began on Thursday evening (July 10) when the judging panel interviewed each contestant individually to score the post-Pageant Interview.
On Saturday evening, contestants welcomed the audience with an opening dance — “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”. After showing their fun and energetic side, they quickly changed into their respective National Costumes to start the Self-Introduction phase and began the On-Stage competition. All contestants are currently attending college and/or senior high school; the majority of them have plans in various medicine fields as career goals.
During the Talent competition segment, Kayla performed a colorful belly dance, Gloria a traditional Chinese ribbon dance, and Tia a mixer of Tango and Cha Cha with a partner. Kimia performed a solo act from musical. Nancy played “Memory” on the piano with accompanied by an electric guitar, Tessa performed a modern dance, May an Israeli-style belly dance and Mimi choreographed her own Chinese ballet.
Contestant # 1 Miss Kayla Kimberly Chin Nuke was born in Miami, Florida. She is a recent graduate of University of Miami in Biology and Psychology. Kayla intends to graduate from dental school and pursue a career as an orthodontist, so that she can help individuals to look and feel better about themselves through their smiles. Her long term goal is to have her own private practice.
Contestant # 2 Miss Gloria Li Ya Chow was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Gloria will attend University of California. After graduating from Berkeley Optometry School in 2012, she plans to partner with colleagues in the field of optometry and Ophthalmology to open a prestigious clinic. For leisure, she enjoys dance and would like to be involved herself in community service.
Contestant # 3 Miss Tia Bao Tran Vo was born in Saigon, Vietnam and moved to Fort Lauderdale at age of 5. She is currently attending at Florida Atlantic University. Tia plans to hold two degrees in Biology and Health Administration. She anticipates earning a graduate degree in Optometry. Her future goal is to open a free clinic for the unfortunate.
Contestant # 4 Miss Kimia Heather Mavon was born in Fort Lauderdale. She will be senior of St. Thomas Aquinai High School. Kimia plans to attend a highly competitive university majoring in Chemistry followed by graduate studies in Medical Sciences with a career as an Obstetrician.
Contestant # 5 Miss Nancy Van Anh Nguyen was born in Silver Spring, Maryland. Currently, Nancy attends the College of Dental Medicine at Nova Southeastern University. After graduation, she plans to specialize in prosthodontics. She hopes to dedicate her life to reconstructing patients with congenital defects of the head and neck and to also travel the world to help underserved areas.
Contestant # 6 Miss Maire Eilis Tessa V. Onia was born and raised in the Philippines. Her whole family moved to Miami two years ago. Tessa is currently a junior at Florida International University with a major in biology and minor in chemistry, with a plan to pursue a career as a Pharmacist. She was born and raised as a Christian. After moving to the United States with a busy schedule, she is trying to balance school, work, church, family and social life.
Contestant # 7 Miss May Shir Igawa was born in Tokyo and has lived in Miami since she was five years old. She returns to Japan every summer and attended a regular Japanese elementary school during her summer visits. She would like to support organizations which go above and beyond to educate under-privileged kids from around the world because education is the door to a successful future.
Contestant # 8 Miss Mimi Goon was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She will attend Palm Beach Atlantic University this Fall. Mimi plans to become a pharmacist and help others in need of assistance. She loves to travel and explore different cultures and lifestyles. By participating in this pageant, Mimi hopes to gain more knowledge about the Asian community and culture.
When all the scores were tallied, May won three titles for Miss Photogenic, Miss Talent with Israeli-style belly dance and the Best Swimsuit & Physical Fitness awards. Tia won the Best National Costume award with her beautiful and elegant Aodai – the Vietnamese national dress. Nancy won the Best Evening Gown award and Gloria received highest vote from all contestants to be Miss Congeniality.
After two exciting and fast-paced hours, Miss May Igawa was crowned as the Miss Florida Asia 2008 by Miss Xiaozhen You [Miss Florida Asia 2007]. “I feel honored to be crowned the second Miss Florida Asia,” said May. “I believe the Miami’s Asian Community can be a lot stronger and by implementing new events such as these will make it a reality.”
Miss Tia Vo won the title of First Princess 2008 and Miss Kayla Chin Nuke is Second Princess 2008 and. Both were crowned by Miss Hong Thuy Nguyen [Miss Florida Asia Second Princess 2007]. “The pageant is not only about beauty, but intelligence also plays a part,” Tia said.
Along with the title, the winners received scholarship prizes of $1,500, $1,000 and $500, respectively. Prizes partially sponsored by State Farm Insurance Company.
“All contestants are winners by participating at the pageant and a memorable experience where they develop unforgettable relationships with other Asian American women in the community,” says Winnie Tang, producer of Miss Florida Asia.
“The success of the second Miss Florida Asia goes to Production Director Johnson Ng, Stage Manager Kam Wong, Pageant Manager Ann Yu, Artistic Director Wendy Fong, Image Director Sunny Tsai and Assistant Anna Ng, Hairstyle Consultant Ann Luu, Logistics Manager Igor Ellis, Audio Assistant Mike Chen, Visual Assistants Brent del Rosario, X Lu, Xieting Luo and Ed Yung, Pageant Assistants Greta Moncoya, Vicky Cheung, John HoChan, Pat Motro and Takezo Murasaki, Stage Designers Eileen Chang and Allen Lu, Graphic Designers Eileen Liu, Photographers Bertho Boman and Gene Li, Judge Panel Coordinator April Chang, Performers Ashlee & Hana Madhukar and Pablo Kee, Mistresses of Ceremony Indra Bosko and Lisa Hu Barqust, Masters of Ceremony Andrew Sussman and Anly Liu, Auditors Susan Xu and Tony Mok, plus all local and out-of-town judges and all volunteers.”
“We would also like to express our gratitude to our sponsors for their generous support: State Farm, Doctors Plus Medical Center, SolunaMD, Dr. Stephen Vernon, LEASA Industries Co., Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Miami, Sushi Café, Welbaum Guernsey, World Printing, Fashion Village, Blossom Street Florist of South Florida” continues Tang, “and the NANAY for its tremendous support to provide us with NANAY Community Center as the official training facility.”
The Miss Florida Asia 2009 will be held on July 11, 2009 at the North Miami Beach Performing Arts Theater.