Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Miss & Mrs Vietnamese-America 2017 Pageant

On December 3, I was invited to the Miss & Mrs Vietnamese-America 2017 Pageant. On my last post I mentioned I had the opportunity to meet Thanh Giang and was offered to attend the event for free. The original V.I.P. tickets cost USD $60. The event was held at the DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel around Downtown Orlando.

Stage for the special event!

 At around 5 p.m. Katrina and I arrived at the hotel. We checked in with the front desk and asked where the event was exactly held. We were told it was held on the 2nd floor. Since we were there too early I just decided to chill. By the lobby there was a giant Christmas tree near the front desk, a cozy bar, and very spacious lounge. This gave me time to play Animal Crossing on my phone too.

Me waiting in the lobby at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

Half an hour before the pageant starts, Katrina and I went up to the 2nd floor and was surprised by a cute polar bear and snowman. They were hanging out near the elevator making sure everyone was going to have a fun time. It's great that hotels also get into the spirit of Christmas!

These 2 kept the guests entertained

At first I thought the event would start around exactly by 7, so I kind of worried haha! Also I kept in touch with Thanh to be sure we were on schedule. Finally, she arrived then she let me do her hair and makeup. This gave me the chance to get to know more about her too.

Thanh wearing a beautiful yellow laced dress

Before the pageant started, there were many children and teens on the 2nd floor doing dance rehearsals, putting on makeup and costumes. They were very excited to perform on stage and didn't hesitate to take pictures. I took pictures mostly with Thanh; mind you she's also very photogenic!

Very enthusiastic children and teens and Thanh had a blast

Some of the beauty pageant contestants were also going in and out on the 2nd lobby to take pictures while heading backstage to get ready. While I was taking pictures, Thanh showed me who was going to be hosting the show. It was none other than MC Luu Viet Hung! He was tall, handsome, and a really nice guy! Also people in the lobby were roaming around without shoes on hahaha! So I was pretty comfortable to do it myself since my feet was beginning to hurt from the prolonged standing.

I got to meet the host of the pageant before the show commenced

I had a lot of fun taking pictures, I've also manage to have time to admire the beautiful dresses that the beauty contestants wore. It's clearly obvious how much effort everyone put into themselves and I've noticed a few beauty queens were already wearing their crowns. It takes a lot of confidence and intense training before joining any beauty pageant. I appreciate the Vietnamese community in getting involved to not only set as a great example to the youth, but also to be the face that represents their country.

Thanh with one of the beauty pageant contestants 
These 3 Queens were ready to take on the stage

Many of the Vietnamese women competing were mostly wearing elaborate designs of the Ao Dai - a traditional and national dress of Vietnam that dates back in 1744. I have to admit, the ao dai is a beautiful dress, even in the most simplistic design, you can't help but to appreciate its elegance. 

Beautiful red ao dai. Her costume and headdress reminds me of a phoenix
An ao dai in black and gold. This costume was my favorite!

The pageant started with MC Luu Viet Hung introducing himself, then the show kicked off with the kids and teens doing a dance performance. The parents also showed up to cheer for them, and take up close pictures too. The performance lasted a little over 10 minutes. After the dance, the pageant contestants showed up while the singers were performing. One by one they all showed off their beauty and costumes.

This Vietnamese singer had such an amazing voice (I wish I had the chance to know her name!)

One of the contestants who did a stage walk

Another Vietnamese singer singing a pop song

The performances were great and full of energy. Even though I don't understand Vietnamese (Since I'm Filipino lol), it wasn't that hard to understand what was going on. The entire time I was in this event everyone was so sweet, and kind. I even had the chance to meet Thanh's boss, who was also very nice. 

Beauty pageant contestants gather for a group picture taking

Thanh with the contestants

Sadly, I had to leave early before I even had the chance to meet the winner of the beauty pageant since I had other things to take care of and left for Naples, Florida. However my time was very well spent and I have no regrets. 

Of course none of this would have been possible without Thang Giang. As head coordinator, she helped out making this event happen in Orlando. She's invested much of her energy into planning, directing and spreading the word out about this pageantry. Getting the chance to be invited to these special occasions doesn't come often so I embraced it wholeheartedly. Also since I've been living in Orlando for a couple of years, the Vietnamese community is very alive and well so I hope there will be much more to share of their culture down here in Florida.

Thanh Giang as a head pageant coordinator takes a lot pride and dedication. 

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