Catherine Gabriel Lee crowned Miss Sarawak Ethnic Queen 2018

Catherine (centre) flanked by Michelle (left) and Oaisis, poses in a group photo with the other finalists after being crowned Miss Sarawak Ethnic Queen 2018.

KUCHING, September 1: Bidayuh lass Catherine Gabriel Lee was declared the first Miss Sarawak Ethnic Queen winner, beating seven other finalists in a glittering ceremony here on Saturday.

It was not only sheer beauty that won the 19-year-old the hearts of the judges, but also her strong stage presence, eloquence and impressive display of general knowledge that set her apart from the other contestants.

Catherine not only won the bragging rights as the inaugural Sarawak Ethnic Queen champion but she also received RM3,000 worth in cash and prizes.

First runner-up went to 27-year-old Bidayuh native Michelle Gromeko, who went home with RM2,000 worth of cash and prizes.

It was an all-Bidayuh affair at the top three of the 2018 Miss Sarawak Ethnic Queen pageant, with Oaisis Norun Favian, 21, taking third place to walk away with RM1,000 worth of cash and prizes.

Catherine parading her traditional costume during the competition.

The evening also saw the presentation of subsidiary titles, with each winner given RM200 worth in cash and prizes.

Oaisis won Miss Popular, while Miss Photogenic went to 25-year-old Kenyah lass Fiorenzie Dayang Jacob.

Another Bidayuh native, 23-year-old Trisha Camilla Joe, won Miss Congeniality, while Iban beauty Viviana Lin Winston, 19, won the Best Catwalk title.

Miss Talent went to 20-year-old Malay lass Asnida Roslan and the Best Costume Presentation went to 23-year-old Lun Bawang Joedie Vieenieeda Josly, who also won the Miss Arts, Culture and Heritage title.

“We hope to make this pageant grander next year and hope its reputation will continue to grow in the years to come. This pageant is one of its kind,” pageant organiser Nancy Chiew, the chairperson of Go-Go-Green, told reporters after the event.

She planned to hold the pageant annually, in its bid to promote Sarawak, as well as to create awareness on the importance to preserve and conserve the environment and pristine nature of the state. — DayakDaily