Rachel Frankie takes home Dayung Gawea crown
By Jude Toyat
RACHEL FRANKIE BEAT 16 other finalists in the Bitanding Dayung Gawea Tematu 2015 pageant for the coveted title, walking away with a cash prize of RM1, 000.
“It is important to have great confidence in yourself. When you have that, you can have a lot of fun, and when you have fun, you can do and achieve many amazing things,” said the 25-year-old Sarawak River Cruise sales and marketing executive after winning the pageant at Kampung Tematu multipurpose hall on June 27.
Of mixed Iban-Bidayuh parentage, Rachel has participated in several beauty pageant competitions including Miss Borneo Beautiful 2011, Miss World Harvest Festival 2012, and Dayung Sikora REDEEMS 2013.
“I did not expect to win since I had never won any beauty pageant competition before. I am very happy and thankful to be crowned the winner. The winnings will be given to my great-grandfather as I had promised him that before,” she said when interviewed after the event.
The eldest of two siblings, Rachel aspires to become a successful event project manager. She is also a part-time model and a cultural dancer.
She cited her mother as her idol. “I admire her hard work, perseverance and determination, she is really a strong woman.”
Coming in second in the competition was 17-year-old Betcy Guillen of Bidayuh parentage from Kpg Semeba, Kuching. The Form 5 student at SMK Jalan Arang won the cash prize of RM800.
Meanwhile, Claudia Savanni Awel, 17, a student of Culinary Arts at Kolej Vokasional Kuching of Bidayuh parentage from Kpg Semeba, Kuching placed third and received a cash prize of RM500. All top three winners also received a trophy, a sash, a bouquet of flowers, hampers and certificate for winning.
Other contestants who competed that evening include Jessica Flora Brucy, Alivia Bengo, Felissia Alisha Peamix, Steffi Lorea Peter, Stefenie Michell, Meriejane Jehok, Eniel Chelsia Laman-on, Felicity Christa Medam, Hilishalance Saen, Amy Lovelyca Kielo, Michelle Ashley Herman, Cornelia Natasha Ernest, Meretinie Belif, and Ivy Maria Marcus.
Subsidiary titles and its winners were; Miss Photogenic (Hilishalance), Miss Talent (Meretinie), Miss Popularity (Michelle), Miss Personality (Rachel) and Best Costume (Betcy).
Each subsidiary title winner received cash prize of RM200, a trophy, a sash and bouquet of flowers. Other contestants received consolation prizes of RM50 and a hamper each. All participants also received certificates of participation.
Before the pageant began, the audience was entertained by performances from Bung Bratak Cultural Group, Bidayuh singer Emil Hamlyn, and Miss World Talent 2014 Dewi Liana Seriestha.
The contestants were judged based on their intelligence, poise, personality and beauty by panel of judges comprising former beauty queens Teresa Michael, Fiona John, and Dewi.
Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communications Dato Sri Michael Manyin also attended the event.