TKS N SONS 13TH MRS. INTERNATIONAL PAGEANT IN SINGAPORE


Wednesday July 1, 2020


SUGAR QUEEN
by SAMANTHA GOH

 

In 2016, TKS Mrs. International was officially recognized as one of the top ten most relevant international women’s pageants. It was also the year that I represented Malaysia to compete in an international beauty pageant in Singapore. Since winning the title of Mrs. Asean in 2016, I have not looked back. It was a significant chapter of my life because I had the chance to promote international charity events, be a judge, and mentor women in different parts of the world.

Six months ago, the TKS 13th Mrs. International pageant took place in Singapore. It was a significant event I attended before the Coronavirus pandemic hit the world. My heart goes out to all of those who have lost their dear ones. Today life is gradually adapting to this new normal, and I am humbled to figuratively stand-along side those enduring this as well.

TKS N Sons Pte Ltd, established in Singapore in 1975, is a name that is recognized in the beauty pageant industry locally, regionally, and internationally. Since 2006, they have successfully hosted hundreds of glamorous national and international events. TKS Mrs. International Pageant is founded by Ms. Beverly Tan, a trained psychologist & teacher who has worked closely with children and their mothers for many years. It is through this experience that the concept of the pageant came into being; symbolizing the celebration of the 3Ms: Marriage, Maturity, and Motherhood.

The TKS Mrs. International’s signature crown reminds its title holders of its purpose. It is more than a symbol of beauty; it reminds the winners of the importance of having a compassionate heart for those less fortunate as well as the elderly. Hence its moniker, the “Crown of Compassion”. Charitable activities are encouraged among its bearers to promote dignity and the honoring of one’s elders. The beauty pageant selects its grand winners from 40 Singaporean finalists as well as 25 International delegates. The finalists are categorized by age groups; Elite Mrs. are aged 46 and above, Mrs. are 25 to 45 years old, and Ms. are single women who are 25 and above. Last year I had the opportunity to be one of the judges for the Singaporean Mrs. category. During the interviews with the Mrs. Singapore finalists, I was very impressed by not only their beauty, but the confidence shown by the finalists. From CEOs to full time mothers, their careers, talents, and charitable compassion were top notch.

To make the pageant more poignant, this year TKS honored those who have served their communities by introducing a Senior Mrs. Singapore category. The oldest contestant was an 80 year old great grandmother, making this event a truly endearing one.

Over 20 international delegates flew to Singapore for this TKS pageant. Countries represented included the USA, Korea, Japan, Nepal, Fiji, New Zealand, Philippines, Myanmar, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and various African & European nations. All delegates were welcomed at the Changi Airport and taken to the Orchid Country Club, where they would reside for the duration of the pageant. An internationally-themed welcome dinner party awaited all of the contestants in the resort.

The 9-day schedule included trips to neighboring countries, interviews with judges, and 2 red carpet gala dinners held in the Grand Ballroom of Orchid Country Club. It was a week filled with cultural exchange, learning, and the sharing of experiences; where delegates formed close bonds and lasting friendships.On Day 2, the contestants traveled from Singapore to Kota Tinggi in Malaysia. After sunset, they embarked on a boat ride to watch fireflies twinkle in the mangrove forest of the Kota Tinggi Firefly Park. The next day, the delegates were taken on a tour to Yong Peng, a town in the Batu Pahat district at the center of Johor state in Malaysia. Yong Peng is known for its Chinese temples and FuZhou-style cuisine. This is because most of its inhabitants are descendants of Chinese who migrated from southern China. Delegates delighting in immersing themselves in the FuZhou-style cuisine.

Day 4 was a day trip to Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya, the largest Buddhist temple in Batam. It is steeped in history and beliefs. A short 45-minute ferry ride from Singapore, Batam is the largest city in the Riau Islands province, Indonesia. This was followed by lunch and a cultural show presented by local dancers. The next day they crossed the border from Singapore to Johore Bahru for another city tour. After some shopping they traveled to Desaru where they enjoyed a stroll along the famous beach. Day 6 was dedicated to rehearsals for the grand finale, and later that evening contestants were dressed in their best PJs for a Pajamas Party. Here everyone let loose and showcased their fun side.

Day 7 was the Awards Presentation, during which the first of 2 red carpet gala dinners took place. Subsidiary title awards were presented to the 2019 delegates. They were also judged in the fitness and talent rounds. All contestants had the chance to perform their talents on stage, from which the Top 5 were chosen to perform on the grand finale night. Business entrepreneurs from Singapore and other countries were awarded the 6th Annual Singapore’s TKS International Golden Brand Awards 2019. On top of the business awards, there were also the 13th Annual TKS Lady of Excellence Awards 2019. As the title suggested, women from all over the world who excelled in their respective fields were presented this prestigious award. I was one of the lucky few who was bestowed the Lady of Excellence 2018.

Special mentions were made for 2 beautiful delegates from Borneo, East Malaysia. The first was Datin Cleopatra Asing, our contestant from Borneo who was awarded Elite Mrs. Borneo International Ambassador 2019. The other was Esther Moo, Elite Mrs. Boneo International Ambassador 2018. Both ladies received the Lady of Excellence 2019 for their unparalleled work in charity.

After a week of travel and cultural exchange, the most anticipated day for all of the contestants had arrived. The Prejudging Round took place in the morning where contestants were interviewed by a panel of judges. Then at 6pm the Grand Finale Coronation started. The contestants illuminated the night with their presence, traditional costumes, and evening gowns.

The international traditional costumes category began with a talented singer from Thailand, who stylistically sang “Phantom of the Opera”. Krue Guang choreographed the contestants for the grand finale; he is the owner of “Centrestage”, a modeling, dance, and acting academy in Bangkok. Delegates paraded their costumes on the red carpet and waved their flags with pride onstage. This culminated in the grand finale, which was a mix of tradition and fun. Eyes lit-up for the tallest entrant, from the USA; she wore a creative costume with American Flag designs, competing in the Ms. category. At six feet tall, she looked like wonder woman. Fellow American Mrs. USA wore a red, white, and blue costume with a silver headpiece similar to that of the famous statue of liberty. The team from Japan displayed colorful Kimonos embroidered with cherry blossoms. Mrs. Korea looked lovely in her traditional “Hanbook”. Mrs. Africa wore a vibrant red dress with matching headdress. Elite Mrs. Philippines unveiled a gorgeous Barong Tagalog costume with her beautifully beaded umbrella. Mrs. Fiji wore a two-piece white sulu dress coupled with a handheld Fijian fan. Mrs. Thailand wore a golden Thai outfit with matching gold headpiece. All contestants looked spectacular onstage with their respective versions of their nation’s traditional costumes.

Mrs. Malaysia Previtha Rajah clinched the Best Traditional Costume Award with her magnificent colorful rendition of Che Siti Wan Kembang. The Keris she wore symbolized sovereignty, telling the story of when Che Siti ruled the state of Kelantan in the 17th Century. Today Che Siti is known as the only female to rule a state in the history of Malaysia and South East Asia. The Traditional Costume category is my favorite part of the pageant because I get to see the interpretation of the costumes from each country. The event was graced by the presence of the Royal Family of Yogarkarta, Indonesia, the cousins of the King himself. Other performances of the night included local singers and dancers from Singapore, as well as talented singer Aries Concepcion from the Philippines. In terms of colors, the 2 nighttime gala dinners began with red and black for a vibrant beginning, and were contrasted with the grand finale ending in refined pastel colors. The color contrast was further accentuated by Mrs. Europe winning the title of Mrs. International, wearing a golden glittering gown that stole the show.

The winners of 2019 for each category:

Mrs. International from Europe

Mrs. Asia Pacific from Malaysia

Mrs. Asean from Korea

Mrs. South East Asia from Singapore

Elite Mrs. International from the USA

Ms. International from the Philippines

A celebratory lunch was organized for the winners and all contestants before they headed to the airport. I would like to express my gratitude to Ms. Beverly Tan, founder of this beauty pageant, who has inspired and nurtured me into becoming what I am today in the international pageant industry. As we all know, 2020 is still being confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully by the end of the year, restrictions will ease and the pageant will be held again as scheduled. Needless to say, I am looking forward to the grand finale of the next 14th TKS Mrs. International Pageant.



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