Miss Heilala asks for caution as she prepares for Miss Pacific event
NUKU’ALOFA – July 12, 2018: 3.30pm (Nuku’alofa Times): The newly crowned Miss Heilala Kalo Funganitao has called on Tongans to love and support each, remembering to practice caution on what they say, as she focuses on the upcoming Miss Pacific contest here in Tonga in November.
Miss Kalo was crowned two weekends ago amidst negative criticism on social media.
Her crowning was marred by her own fellow contestants ignoring her as she walked to receive the Miss Heilala crown from Tourism Minister Hon Semisi Sika.
She has emphasized the importance for Tongans to support each other in every way they can, to achieve a better nation.
“One of the most important things I learn while doing this was that Tongans should be supporting each other. There’s already enough people out there saying negative things about us,” she said as she referred to her and the Heilala contestants.
“To see the way Tongans were talking about and reacting to my fellow pageant sisters and myself included. It’s not that it makes me angry or disappointed.
“It should be the opposite. We should be the first ones to champion our girls and champion all of our Tongan people in whatever they decide to do. Be very careful about what you say because it does have an impact on someone and also support each other. Love your neighbor as yourself and especially if that person is a Tongan and you’re a Tongan yourself.”
She said she had gone into the Miss Heilala event because she has a passion for Tonga and wants to help promote our island Kingdom to the world.
“I feel like this is still a dream. I am really happy not for winning it. It’s not about me. It’s about the people whose hard work and efforts went into this – my family, Appraxus, all of my friends who have send me their love, and everyone else who were paying for this as well,” she said.
“This crown isn’t just what someone looks like or how well they do on any given night because there’s so many things that could happen on one night. Rather, when I went into this I wanted to do it because I didn’t see enough girls who had the passion for Tonga and could actually put their words into action and it’s something I want to do in New Zealand. Always remember you have to keep God in the forefront of everything you do.”
Since her crowing many have also come to support her and called on Tongans to stand behind her as Tonga’s ambassador to the Miss Pacific pageant.
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