FIFTEEN gorgeous Guamanians gathered together last Friday night at the Sheraton Laguna Guam’s Ocean Sirena Ballroom competing to see who will be crowned as the most lovely lass in the land and receiving the much coveted 2011 Miss Universe Guam crown.
For over three hours, Agat’s Jeniki Suba, Maite’s Meike Dunagan, Talofofo’s Meshae Lorenzo, Dededo’s Czerina Buenviaje, Inarajan’s Shayna Jo Afaisen, Dededo’s Cindy Tingzon, Yigo’s Tabitha Owens, Dededo’s Jolia Rodgers, Dededo’s Nicole Mafnas, Maina’s Leana Willess, Yigo’s Charly Leonen, Tamuning’s Alexandria Sanchez, Barrigada Heights’ Katarina Martinez, Chalan Pago’s Joanie Angoco and Tamuning’s Norma Barcinas strutted, spoke, smiled and sizzled their way through the competition, inching ever closer to not only the headline title, but the ancillary titles of Miss International and runner-ups in both respective classes.
After two elimination rounds and the field pared down to just six remaining contestants, it was now time for the gala’s two emcees, Peter Santos Constantino and Senator Mana Silva Taijeron, to announce the winners. The two announced Meika Dunagan as receiving Miss International Runner-Up (4th place), Katarina Martinez as Miss International (2nd place and winner of the swimsuit competition) and then Alexandria Sanchez as Miss Universe Runner-Up (3rd place). Moments later, a man rushed up on stage, handing Senator Taijeron a piece of paper, prompting her to address the audience, “We’ve just been informed that, uh, Alexandria Sanchez is Miss International.”
The stunned and pleasantly surprised Sanchez will represent Guam in the upcoming Miss International Beauty Pageant in Chengdu, Sichuan, China, as well as receiving a myriad of other prizes, including a $500 cash award.
Of no surprise to anyone on hand, the 2011 Miss Universe Guam crown went to Shayna Jo Afaisen. Earlier in the evening, Afaisen received awards for best native costume, most photogenic, as well as winning the evening gown competition. After the pageant, Afaisen, standing onstage and looking simply radiant, told Variety, “I’m in disbelief ... the highlight of everything has been meeting all the girls and now I get to represent our island. ... I can’t believe that I’m going to Brazil!” By winning the competition, Afaisen will represent Guam in the upcoming worldwide Miss Universe Pageant in Sao Paolo.
Apart from beauty – eloquence, articulation and confidence enabled the 2011 Miss Universe Guam winner to wow the crowd and judges alike with her response to the question in the pageant’s Q and A section: “What is the best thing about your village and why?” The southern belle responded, “The best thing about my village would be our cultural sense. Everything we do from the people we meet is all based on love and Inafa Maolek of cooperativeness and that shines with our people and our village.” The crowd erupted.
After the competition ended, and gathered with her friends and family out in the hallway, an emphatic “Thank You Jesus!” shouted the buxomly beautiful Meshae Lorenzo, as she looked up toward the heavens, assuredly upset that she was bounced out of the competition after the first round of cuts were made, but relieved that the starving-herself-sexy contestant could return to her normal life of pizza and burgers from Jeff’s Pirates Cove, referring to the latter she stated, “I haven’t eaten that since the pageant started and I miss that food so much. I want to go out tonight and chow that thing real fast.”