Lun Bawang Martina first to be crowned MGIS
By Jude Toyat
“ALWAYS AIM FOR THE highest goals, the best results, and the grandest vision. Do not worry about other things that might get in your way but work hard for what you have always wanted in life and stay humble,” said 21-year-old Martina Litad Balang after being crowned Miss Global International Sarawak (MGIS) 2015 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching on May 21.
Of Lun Bawang parentage, Martina from Lawas gave these words of encouragement particularly to the Orang Ulu people in the hope that her native community would always strive for success and embrace development in their lives.
Making her first foray into beauty pageantry, she beat 18 other finalists for the coveted crown, walking away with a cash prize of RM3, 000, a trophy, sash, and other sponsored prizes.
“I did not expect to win tonight but I am very happy and thankful to be crowned as the first Miss Global International Sarawak. I am very excited to get the chance to represent Sarawak in the upcoming Miss Global International Malaysia 2015.
“The winnings will be used to help ease the burden of my family,” she said when met after the event.
The second of nine siblings, Martina who aspires to become a businesswoman cited her father, Balang Tabari, as her biggest influence. “He is a very kind, tolerant, and patient man. I am so fortunate to have him, as well as my family and friends who have been my strong supporters in this competition.”
Besides being the champion, Martina also won Miss Body Beautiful and Best Evening Gown subsidiary titles.
Coming in second in MGIS 2015 was 18-year-old Phrisillia Mujan Peter who is of Kayan parentage from Kuching. She received a cash prize of RM1, 500, a trophy, sash and other sponsored prizes. She also won the Miss Elegant subsidiary title sponsored by Andy Love Kadus.
Meanwhile, Ellna Jiway, 21, of Bidayuh parentage from Kuching placed third and received a cash prize of RM1, 000, a trophy, sash, and other sponsored prizes.
The top three winners will also abide a one-year contract with MGIS and will represent Sarawak to national level Miss Global International Malaysia (MGIM) 2015. They will compete for the grand final of MGIM on Aug 1. All preparation will be managed by MGIS before the national competition begins that includes a two-month intensive training at a beauty camp in Kuala Lumpur.
Christina Dana Paulus Ripos, 26, of Bidayuh parentage from Kuching was placed fourth and received a cash prize of RM500. She also won the Miss Socialite subsidiary title sponsored by Check In Dance Club.
Meanwhile, Stepheni Johari, 24, of Iban parentage from Kapit was placed fifth and received a cash prize of RM300. Stepheni also won the Miss CityONE sponsored by CityONE Megamall, as well as the Best in National Costume subsidiary title. Both Christina and Stepheni also received a trophy and a sash.
Ezza Hunny (18 years old, from Kuching), Cammielye Oliver Rega (26, Belaga), Marzella Sigai (22, Sri Aman), Genevieve Gerald Wilson Unting (21, Kuching), and Claudia Gan (21, Sibu) were also placed in the Top 10 spot at the grand final.
Other contestants competed that evening include Ainaa L. Tacia (18 years old, from Kuching), Anny Wong Wei Wei (18, Sibu), Decharmene Gibson (18, Sibu), Paula Nanie Entia Nating (23, Miri), Pauline Nanie Mula Nating (23, Miri), Raden Atul (18, Kuching), Shayndee Dunstan (24, Kuching), Valerina Aren Alfred (19, Marudi), and Wendy Ling Jia Jing (20, Sibu).
Subsidiary titles and its winners were; Miss Talent sponsored by Station One Leisure Café (Cammielye), Miss Earth Hour by CityONE Megamall (Ellna), Miss Public Popular (Genevieve), Miss Popular by Gebriel Padan Make-Up Artists (Genevieve), Miss Charming by Merdeka Palace and Victoria Arms (Ezza), Miss Mozo by Mozo Club (Marzella), Miss Social Media (Genevieve), Miss Social Media by Malaysia Beauty Pageant Fan Page (Genevieve), Miss Photogenic by Miracle (Decharmene), and Miss Congeniality (Claudia).
Meanwhile, People’s Choice Award by Miss Malaysia Pageant went to Claudia, Miss Charity by Cammielye Golds Sdn Bhd to Shayndee, Miss Merdeka Auto Show by Sarawak Auto-Enthusiasts Society to Wendy, Best Catwalk to Ellna, Miss Hashtag Superwhite by Superwhite to Genevieve, People’s Choice Award (highest votes of 2090) went to Ezza, Miss Glamorous by Ambai Borneo Club went to Marzella, and Miss Tribal Curve by Tribal Curve Karaoke and Lounge to Claudia.
Each subsidiary title winner received a cash prize of RM200 and other sponsored prizes from their respective sponsors that includes sash, and crown among others.
Prior to the announcement of the MGIS 2015, the audience was entertained by singing performances from Iban songstress Melissa Francis, local singer-songwriter Jesper Nimoi, the ever-entertaining Dato CT Nurhaliza Sarawak, Philame Rosauro from the Philippines, as well as MGIS’ very own Miss Talent Cammielye Oliver Rega.
The grand final was hosted by TV3 newscaster Ramzan Mohd Saufi, while the panel of judges include National Director of MGIM Marlene Lim, fashion designer Rizky from Sposa by Rizky, professional make-up artist Eva Shahrul, jewelry designer of Anna Sue Jewelry Datin Anna Sue, renowned entrepreneur Jackson Goh, economic lecturer Haslan Benjamin Ottot, Mister Diversity Cultural International 2014 Lew Voon Khong, and pageanty trainer Dutta Prattama.
The contestants were judged based on their communication skills, physical attractiveness, catwalk, evening gown presentation, subsidiary titles, and stage presence.
Celebrity guests also attended the grand final that includes former Miss Malaysia World 2007 and Miss Universe Malaysia 2011 Deborah Henry, Miss Universe Malaysia 2010 Nadine Ann Thomas, Miss Intercontinental Malaysia 2013 Julies Lucas, Miss Punjabi Malaysia 2015 Kiren Dhillon, founder of most popular pageant forum Missosology Pawee Venture, as well as seniors of MGIM including Miss Global Malaysia 2013 Charissa Chong, and Miss Global International Malaysia 2014 Wendy Foo.