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Saturday, 16 June 2012

What Miss Earth Sabah Pageant Week Entails...

There's no rest if you wanna be a winner!

It's not all fun being beautiful, it's also educational! The finalists spent Monday with 2 respected speakers: Mr Daniel  Doughty from Borneo Conservancy, and Mr Richard A. Gontusan, DTM Toast Masters International.
Mr Daniel Doughty
Mr. Richard A. Gontusan
Mr Daniel gave a talk on Conservation and Environmental Issues in Sabah, and the first question he asked the room was, "How much is enough?" Enough of what, you may ask. I did. Lol! Then he continued to say "to live a sustainable lifestyle". He also explained the difference between businessmen and entrepreneurs.

Green washing is a term I learnt that day, which points to businesses who do green activities just for the sake of branding, and not because they are actually going green. The cogs started turning when he said this, and I can think of a few big companies who do this.. Hmm.. The girls were very much taken by his talk, especially when he went on to the topic of marine conservation, which I later found out is actually one of Sabah's main environmental problems.
The talk was funny and interesting, evident on the girls' faces!
Mr Daniel pointed out to the finalists that they should practice what they preach, and that it is never too late to start. To do something well, you must know why you do what you do, and that he hoped they would take what they have learnt beyond the competition, whether they win or not.

As for marine conservation, well, the main obstacles being faced are pollution from palm oil (which is one of Sabah's biggest industries) into the rivers, the limited education, and the management of the industry. For marine conservation to make a difference, there must be a certain level of commitment from all who are involved, even if they are just fishermen.

The girls were then asked to split into 3 groups for 15 minutes, to discuss and draw their agreement on "What "development" is to you".
Group 1 having fun: Xandria, Daphne, Christini
Olivia giving some suggestions to group 2: Affy, Joanna, Grace and Deidre
Group 3 concentrating hard: Isabelle, Carolren, Sweetsweet and Frederica.
After the 15 minutes was up, each group had send a representative to the front to explain what they had come up with. Group 3 was called first, and they nominated Isabelle.
Isabelle explained that the main concern for her group was finding a balance between technology and the environment. Miss Earth contestants can also help with the sustainable development of our country by educating those who may not have access to environmental education. Renewable energy is also a good investment.
Group 1, which saw brand names and tall buildings as development, was represented by Xandria.

The last group, group 2 had Affy explaining that law and policies played a big role in development and the environment.

Mr. Daniel ended his talk with explaining what the point of the group task was: To put into perspective how similar or different everyone sees development, and to initiate the need to start digging for more information, reasons and solutions. Passion and belief is important, he advised the girls, because if people see your sincerity, you will inspire people to follow in your footsteps. Which pretty much sums up the role of Miss Earth Sabah! =)


Mr. Richard's talk, as you can probably guess, was Effective Public Speaking Skills. Among other things, he emphasized the need for good preparation, pronunciation and to be expressive. A good sense of humour is a bonus, and Mr Richard had the room cracking up with his jokes!

The way you fill in the pauses, hold your hands and deliver your talk is also important for a public speaker, as any distractions will take away the focus from what you are saying. Check your appearance before going on stage, take a deep breath, and you're ready to impress!

Then the girls were invited to go up front and answer a question posed by any of the other finalists. Mr. Richard then gave feedback on how they can improve the way they answer, which is definitely a useful skill during the finals, where each girl will be required to answer questions from the emcee on stage!
Guess what Carol's doing wrong?
Isabelle's speeches are always passionate.
Joanna's nerves got the best of her, until encouragement from Mr. Richard helped her nail it!
Correct use of hand gestures Frederica!
Then we were rushed down to Silk Garden, in The Pacific Sutera, for a High Tea Reception with YB Datuk Masidi Manjun!
Datuk Masidi having a laugh with Miss Mandy and Olivia.
Also present was the GM of Sabah Tourism Board, Datuk Irene Benggon Charuruks
Who's that on the end? ;p
Datuk Masidi gave everyone a book on KK.. Yes, everyone! =D
Group photo!
 Finals are tonight! Will you be there? =)
 xxxxx

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