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Kalamalama manager 'Goes for Gold'
by Jenny Lundahl, associate editor

She is a businesswoman – she has owned her own business and is currently an advertising representative for two monthly newspapers, O‘ahu Island News and Kalamalama. She is a student at Hawai‘i Pacific University. She is local. She is determined and persistent. She has won several pageant titles that paid her way through college, but she has yet to win the title of her dreams – Miss Hawai‘i USA.

Alicia Michioka, 23 years old and originally from Kauai, has 10 years of experience in pageantry. She’s been No. 1 in several of them – most recently as the 2000-01 Ms. Haleiwa Sea Spree. But after being the first-runner-up in two statewide contests in 2001, she wants to break through to the gold, for local pageants.

Photo by Kimo Lauer

“I have been running pageants all my adult life.” Michioka said. “I want to stop!” Her goal this spring is to win Miss Hawai‘i USA, and her plan is to give it everything she’s got and do all that she possibly can. If she doesn’t win? “I’m willing to accept it,” said Michioka, a convincing smile on her face as she sat in a lotus position on a chair in her office at Kalamalama where she is also Business Manager for the University newspaper.

On May 19, Michioka will, for the last time, put all her efforts and professionalism into reaching her ultimate goal. The annual Miss Hawai‘i USA 2002 pageant will take place at the Sheraton Waikiki, and “This time I’ll do it my way,” she said, her expression confident.

According to Michioka, pageantry is as time consuming as a full-time job, but being the ambitious young woman that she is, she manages to combine it with her two jobs and with being a full-time student in her last semester at HPU, double majoring in journalism and advertising. “My job at Kalamalama gives me the best of two worlds,” said Michioka, who is also a regular freelance writer for O‘ahu Island News.

So why hasn’t she given up after all the first-runner-up titles? Michioka simply says that “winners have a plan and losers have an excuse.” Michioka believes that in the past, she listened too much to other peoples’ advice. “Everyone always told me what to wear, what to say, and what to do,” she said. “This turned me into a person that isn’t me.” This year she’s going to be herself and, in the words of the old song, “do it my way.”

Click on image for larger view

Michioka is working hard outside school and the newspapers with fundraisers to meet her budget for this year’s pageant. She is currently selling her own candy/snack bag including kettle corn with arare and furikake, li hing mui, and li hing mui-flavored gummy candy. The bags cost $5 each, $1 of which is donated to the American Breast Cancer Foundation.

“I’ve spent lots of money on pageantry with support from my family,” said Michioka. “But to me it’s been worth it, and it has balanced out due to all the scholarships that I’ve won.” She adds that the experience she has gained has been invaluable.

Michioka warns anyone who is thinking about pageantry that it’s a real time commitment and nobody should enter a pageant just to win a scholarship. “Sure, there is a lot to be gained from a pageant, including networking opportunities,” said Michioka. “But nobody should do it for a purpose.”

Michioka has five suggestions for anyone considering pageantry. Answer the questions:

  1. Why do you want to be in a beauty pageant?
  2. What can you gain from a pageant?
  3. How much effort are you willing to put into it?
  4. Based on 1-3: Don’t change in order to satisfy somebody else.
  5. Do everything you can do to win. Make sure you can look back and say, “I did everything I could except affect the judges’ preferences.”


2002, Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.
This site designed & maintained by Rick Bernico.