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Miss Hawaii USA goes national

by Jenny Lundahl, editor


Back in 2001 when she was the first runner-up in the Miss Hawai‘i USA pageant, Alicia Michioka, an HPU graduate and former Kalamalama business manager, said that “this was my last pageant. I’m getting married next year.” Well, last May, she entered the Miss Hawai‘i USA 2002 pageant, won, and has since then been busy representing Hawai‘i around the Pacific Rim—instead of making wedding plans.

“I can’t believe it’s almost over already,” said Michioka while taking a lunch break at Bronson’s to tell Kalamalama what she’s been up to the last

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eight months. She was dressed in a red, long sleeve top and sharp black pants, her hair slicked back in a pony tail, and she looked more like a business woman than a beauty queen.

“I’ve been so busy traveling together with HVBC (Hawaiian Visitors Bureau and Convention Center) representing Hawai‘i, but it’s been so much fun.” Michioka went to Taiwan in the fall to attend the media press conference for the premier of Disney’s Lilo & Stitch, where she promoted, not just the movie but also Hawai‘i.

After Taiwan, she traveled once to Japan for another premiere and again to Japan and China together with the PCC (Polynesian Culture Center) and HVBC for world trade conventions.

“It’s been a great experience and my passport is full of stamps from all over,” said Michioka while laughing and picking at some chicken on her plate.

Here in Hawai‘i, Michioka has also been busy fulfilling her duties asMiss Hawai‘i USA 2002, which include attending both formal and informal events. “Sometimes I’ve been giving out awards,” she said, sometimes just greeting the guests at formal dinner parties. “I have to wear the tiara and the sash so people can take pictures with me,” she added with a smile.

Michioka has also used her success as a beauty queen for more serious social responsibilities. She is the spokesperson for Maile Alert, which is an organization designed to help locating missing children in Hawai‘i. “I decided to support them because I was kidnapped once myself,” said Michioka with a serious look on her face.

Michioka wrote an article for Kalamalama in 2001 about her experience as a victim to make readers aware of the need to be proactive about safety. Whenever she organizes a fundraiser, part of the funds raised go to Maile.

Michioka has not done any traveling recently since her agency has asked her to stay here to prepare for the national Miss USA pageant on March 24 in San Antonio, Texas. “I feel somewhat prepared, but I’m not fully there yet,” she said.

Going to the gym at least six days a week, sometimes twice a day, is part of Michioka’s preparation for the pageant.

“Mental preparation is also very important,” she said. She is very well aware of the hard competition she will meet in Texas, but her attitude is that “I will compete with myself and do the very best I can because I really want to win.” She also stressed the importance of confidence in oneself, and it was very obvious that she was secure in that part in her preparation.

Knowing what’s going on nationwide and around the world is very important, Michioka added. “When they ask you your opinion about something, it’s really important to provide strong answers with supportive facts,” she said.

When asked what will happen if she doesn’t win, Michioka answers with a smile: “I will just come back and give up my crown in May, and in June I’ll get married.” She also said that she would like to go back to school since her immediate career goal is to become a weather girl.

So, what will happen if she does win? “I will get to live in a prepaid apartment in New York City for a year, with an annual salary, while traveling around the nation and the world representing the United States.”



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