Pageant Turns 25: Top 10 Unforgettable Staff Stories

Jan 01, 2011

1. One year, the pageant received the wrong shipment of trophies. Instead of trophies with a beauty queen, they received trophies with a male figure in a swim trunk holding a victory wreath above his head.

2. In 1997, award coordinator, Julunda Gean Mendoza, went into labor the day of the pageant. On her way to the hospital, she took a detour to deliver the plaques for the pageant—what dedication!


3. In 1997, during the Miss Asian America Pageant at the Cathedral Hill Hotel, the Bay Area experienced an electrical black out. Miraculously, the hotel maintained its power and the show, although delayed, went on as usual.


4. One year, a rookie escort was so attentive to the contestants’ needs that he barely ate and slept. On the day of the pageant, he was overcome with exhaustion and fainted. The following year, he was named Head Escort.


5. Junior escorts, brothers Cezar and Zachary Mendoza, are both outfitted in tuxedos to present the bouquet to the Farewell Queen so that one of them can be back-up for the other in case one of them falls asleep.


6. In 2004, Rose Chung’s niece, Janelle Shoan, served as the emcee. Rose asked Janelle to wear a black “J-Lo” dress with a plunging neckline reminiscent of Jennifer Lopez’s infamous green Versace gown. Janelle initially refused for fear her grandmother would yell out, “Ai-ya!” from the audience.


7. Once, an escort assigned to ironing duty, inadvertently burned a hole through a contestant’s evening gown. Needless to say, escorts are no longer asked to iron contestants’ clothing.


8. During escort Jay Raymundo’s rookie year, he serenaded the contestants on stage and brought two contestants to tears after they were overcome with emotion.


9. To ensure that the last talent contestant returns on stage in time for the next segment, staffers form a human curtain around her while she changes in the area adjacent to the stage. (Of course, the staffers’ backs are to the contestant to maintain her privacy).


10. On an errand run, an escort was asked to buy pantyhose for a contestant. Not knowing exactly what to select, he purchased a Queen size, fi guring it was a perfect fi t for a Queen.

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