Guam has a new Miss Universe representing the island after a candidate was chosen during a final judging event at the Guam Museum Theater yesterday.
Myana Welch, a resident of Tamuning, was crowned the new Miss Universe Guam 2017.
The 28-year-old is an accomplished swimmer, past pageant winner and owner of the local hair and makeup business Color Me Pure.
“It’s such an honor, honestly. I’m so excited to represent Guam in Las Vegas. Hopefully, I do us justice!” Welch said after being crowned.
A self-proclaimed nutritionist, Welch said she would like to share her experience by advocating for better health during her reign, among other missions.
“I’m also a businesswoman, so I’d also like to inspire locals to be ambitious and to really go after things because we are a minority and we are not represented in the states. I think we can bring more awareness and strength to our people.”
In a last-ditch effort to have Guam represented for the Miss Universe pageant, which is to be held in Las Vegas, on Nov. 26, the Guam Beauty Organization (GBO) put the callout for interested beauties at the beginning of the month.
“We were kind of thinking of not having one, but then, as we thought more and more about it, with the situation we’re in, it’s best if we go and tell the world, ‘Hey, Guam is good. Guam is still here, we’re not going anywhere,’” said Joyce Bamba, GBO National Director, referring to the region’s tensions with North Korea.
The pageant, which usually takes months of planning and foresight was put together in a few weeks and for the first time as held in the Guam Museum Theater with just close family and friends invited. The usually crowded event hosted about 50 people.
“It’s not like anything we’ve had in the past. It is not a pageant with all the fanfare and hoopla, but it was the best we could do in order to send a delegate to the Miss Universe pageant,” Bamba said.
Due to time constraints in deciding last-minute to send a representative, Bamba was able to pull strings together for a simple judging finale. Although 12 contestants were originally interested, only three committed to joining in the short time provided.
Besides Welch, contestants Diliana Tuncap and Mauricia Mariano also answered the call to represent Guam, if chosen.
“These three young ladies who have been brave enough to step up to the tasks are to be thanked and commended for their courage,” Bamba said.
“Miss Guam’s appearance, center stage at Miss Universe will speak volumes to the world that in the face of adversity, we remain a people of great strength, faith and hope.”
As Welch was crowned yesterday, Miss Universe Guam 2016 Muneka Taisipic took her final walk across the stage and under limelight with Miss International 2016 Annalyn Buan. Tuncap is the new reigning Miss International Guam and will go on to represent Guam next year in Tokyo.
The international Miss Universe pageant competition will be broadcast live from the AXIS at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on Nov. 26.