10 Borneo Ethnic Pageant finalists to vie for the title in London
By Jude Toyat
Borneo Hornbill Festival (BHF) 2016 concluded recently with 10 Grand Finalists of the Borneo Ethnic Pageant all set to fly to London this December.
Held in Kuala Lumpur, the champions of the Miss Iban, Miss Bidayuh, Miss Orang Ulu and Miss Sabah Open categories and the top two of the Miss KadazanDusun, Mr Sarawak and Mr Sabah titles earned the London Qualifier title.
Initial numbers of participants who were shortlisted to the preliminary round consisted of 17 Miss Iban, 14 Miss Bidayuh, 14 Miss Orang Ulu, 15 Miss KadazanDusun, 11 Miss Sabah Open, 22 Mr Sarawak and 22 Mr Sabah; a total of 115 participants altogether.
The preliminary round which took place on Thursday from 9am till 8pm witnessed only 74 participants turning up; 12 Mr Sarawak, 14 Mr Sabah, 10 Miss KadazanDusun, 8 Miss Sabah Open, 10 Miss Orang Ulu, 10 Miss Bidayuh and 10 Miss Iban.
Each contestant earns a maximum of 70 per cent points during the preliminary round which focuses on knowledge in their respective ethnic tradition and heritage, their ability to explain and elaborate on the costume they wore and their presentation for the cultural research that they have conducted.
Confidence, communication skills and personality also contributed towards the 70 per cent.
A simple get-together Gala Night on May 13 at Aryan Restaurant Jalan Raja Laut allowed the contestants to get acquainted with each other and let their hair down. Most of them were dressed in impressive evening wear accentuated with Borneo motifs and accessories.
The second stage of the preliminary round was held May 14 at Auditorium Tunku Abdul Rahman MATIC.
A maximum of 30 per cent of the points were at stake for the stage show and the participants had only 3 minutes to impress the judges with their catwalk, introduction and a brief elaboration of interesting facts about their own culture.
Some extended invitations to Borneo as an effort to promote tourism while others displayed their skills in singing, poetry and dance moves. Most of them included their own brief interpretation on ‘Culture & Unity’ which is the theme for BHF 2016.
A list of subsidiary titles were awarded at the end of the night.
The female subsidiary title winners were Sara Bernard (Miss Photogenic), Meryl Foster (Miss Favorite), Olga Wilnellia (Miss Body Beautiful), Maretinie Belief (Miss Dayak Pride), Donna Magdavira (Miss Spirits of the Harvest) and Yvonne Andiu (Miss Tourism).
The male subsidiary title winners were Theodore Sunie (Mr Photogenic), Nick Walch Walton (Mr Favorite), Joshua Lennet (Mr Physique), Alfred Keleman (Mr Dayak Pride), Muhd Fadhil (Mr Spirits of the Harvest) and Octavian Pagag (Mr Tourism).
Apart from the subsidiary titles, the semi finalists were also announced on May 14.
They consisted of the top 3 for Miss Iban, Miss Bidayuh, Miss Orang Ulu and top 4 Miss Sabah Open, Miss KadazanDusun, Mr Sarawak and Mr Sabah.
The semi-final was held on Sunday May 15 to select the BHF London Qualifiers from each category, namely the champions of Miss Iban, Miss Bidayuh, Miss Orang Ulu, Miss Sabah Open, and Top 2 of Miss KadazanDusun, Mr Sarawak and Mr Sabah.
All 10 London Qualifiers will be competing for a grand prize of RM15,000 ASB savings scheme.
The Grand Final to be held on December 10 this year will be held at Asia House Hall, London, United Kingdom.
Their flight tickets, accommodation and meals in London will be fully covered by BHF.
Besides the Borneo Ethnic Pageant semi-final, the Borneo Ethnic Dance Competition 2016 was also held on Sunday at MATIC.
A total of six teams from all over Malaysia took part in the Ethnic Dance Competition, covering two disciplines namely ‘Etnik Asli’ and ‘Drama Tari Etnik’, based on Borneo ethnic canvas.