Curacao wins Caraibes Hibiscus crown for second consecutive year

December 20, 2008 by admin
Filed under: Entertainment and Sport, Miss Curacao and Miss World 

MAHO–A passionate call for Caribbean unity coupled with her graceful and elegant performance won raven-haired, long-legged Curaçaolenean beauty Angenie Anamaria Simon the sixteenth annual Caraibes Hibiscus Crown, the second consecutive win for the Netherlands Antilles island nation. The 23-year-old Finance Assistant had the capacity-filled Sonesta Maho Conference Room audience enthralled by her beauty, confidence and wit.

Shortly after being crowned early Saturday morning, she told The Daily Herald that she will do her utmost in her new capacity to foster Caribbean togetherness and will be visiting as many islands as she can to repeat her call during her reign as queen. She said this was her first regional pageant, after having clinched the first runner-up position in the Miss Curaçao pageant earlier this year. She will represent her island at the Miss World Pageant in 2009.

Miss Puerto Rico Carolyn Tossas Castro (18) was named first runner-up and Miss Colombia Negaira Roa (23) second runner-up as well as the Best Traditional Wear title.

Miss Cayman Islands Treveen Stewart (19) won Miss Amity title; Miss Anguilla Fanny Richardson (18) the Best Gown title; Miss Peru Claudina Maira Sarrio (20) the Photogenic title and Miss St. Barths Jennifer Louis (20) the Popularity title.

The curtains raised on the sixteenth annual event with the 16 contestants gracing the stage in traditional wear and introducing themselves to the audience. Apparel featured ranged from carnival ensembles and traditional church dress of the 1940’s to the Pocahontas costume worn by Miss USA. Most contestants spoke about the allure of their native countries and encouraged the audience to visit.

However, unlike the other contestants, the new queen, dressed as a Curaçaolenean “clothes washer,” veered away from the common messages of her competitors and made a passionate call for the Caribbean to work together to combat the challenges facing the region. She said the Caribbean needs to “hold itself together” to be a strong unit. She also spoke about the tough work ahead for her own island as it prepares for its new constitutional status, likening the “work and decisions ahead” for Curaçao to the tough decisions that US President-elect Barack Obama will have to make in his new capacity.

Dressed as a traditional “guavaberry woman,” St. Maarten/St. Martin representative Miuricia Williams (24) drew attention to the uniqueness of the open-bordered twin island shared by two governments and highlighted its culinary and other delights. At one point, she faltered during her speech, but quickly got back on track and delivered confidently, selling the positive aspects of her “Friendly Island.”

Miss Colombia, who clinched the Traditional Costume title, donned a colourful garb which she said depicted the “colour, flavour and fashion” of her country.

Nineteen-year-old Guyanese Justine Perez, who pulled a strong following, spoke about Guyana’s vast rainforests and nature and said she had instantly fell in love with St. Maarten during her first visit and that it reminded her of her South American birthplace.

The swimwear segment opened with contestants performing a dance in similar summer dresses and then appearing individually in similar tiger-print, two-piece beachwear.

Elegance, glitter and glamour dominated the evening wear segment which featured gowns in just about every colour of the rainbow. However, it was the jet black, glittering, ankle-length gown worn by Miss Anguilla that copped the Best Gown title. The queen was dressed in an elegant orange spaghetti-strap gown with a daring front slit, which she modelled gracefully. Miss St. Maarten/St. Martin modelled a Caribbean-like multi-coloured, floral chiffon gown.

Before handing over the crown, former queen Laurien Angelista said she pocketed invaluable experience and memories during her reign and was happy to have served as the Caraibes Hibiscus Queen.

The pageant, which began around two hours after the scheduled time, also featured entertainment from, among others, Oddyssey, Miss Black USA 2008 Kristen E. White, the special guest for the evening and one of several judges for the event.

The 27-year-old Georgia native and American Idol semi-finalist, whose greatest passion is serving others, especially children, was crowned on June 23, 2008 in Las Vegas. In addition to the coveted crown, she also won a US $20,000 academic scholarship, along with a walk-on role on Tyler Perry’s hit sitcom, the House of Payne, a seven day/six night trip to the Grand Bahamas Island, and a host of other prizes.

Other contestants were from Brazil, Costa Rica, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Panama and Martinique. (Judy H. Fitzpatrick)

Source: The Daily Herald St. Maarten

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