Unduk Ngadau 2011 Beauty Contest in Sabah takes place on the 31st May where The state level finals was held at the KDCA Center in Penampang. The location of this place is just about 15-20 minutes out from Kota Kinabalu city and will be the center of attraction for the Kaamatan Festival or Harvest Festival in Sabah Borneo.
As this is one of the most recognizable cultural events in Sabah and the Unduk Ngadau Beauty Pageant is very unique to the state. The title comes from the ethnic word Runduk Tadau which means 'the girl crowned by sunlight'. I wonder who will be the next Unduk Ngadau 2012.
Picture Source from pahaikan.com
2nd Runner Up - Caroline Anthony (Tuaran)
3rd Runner Up - Sophie Angela Kutam (Ranau)
More info on the Unduk Ngadau Winners for 2011
Unduk Ngadau Contest 2011
After the district level, each of the finalist then move on to the state-level pageant which is held on the 31st of May each year at the Hongkod Koisaan building or KDCA in Penampang, Kota Kinabalu. This is the main highlight and ending point of the month long Kaamatan celebrations.
|The unique Sabah Bamboo Band performing at Kaamatan|
As it was the first time for me, I had no clue on what to expect apart from a number of beauty queens parading on stage. Well, little did I know that there was so much more that just the contest.
Thousands of people were seen arriving in the morning while the entire KDCA complex was filled with all sorts of demonstrations, performances and stalls selling food, drinks and local handicraft. The main event was held inside the air conditioned building or hall while other activities were outside.
After a good strolling around the grounds, I must have seen some of the rare and unique cultures demonstrating the attire and culture in some of the specially made homes here. The mood was simply jovial while locals splashed with a myriad of colours were celebrating the end of the Harvest Festival in all ways possible. I will write more on this later.
As I went into the hall to witness the beauty contest, there were already hundreds of people in there. Many came from their respective districts to cheer upon the local winner while some even wore the clans traditional attire. Taking a seat upfront, VIPs were seen ushered in which included the Chief Minister of Sabah.
The program started with speeches and lead into a cultural show onstage. Followed next was a popular singer who took the mic and in came the beauty queens in batches in casual attire.
Little did I know what went on here so my personal guide was crucial to me in passing on the information. Almost every step of the way, I had some question to ask him and I hope he did not mind.
Attending this is a photographers dream come true for taking pictures of not just natural beauty but the beautiful and interesting accessories that came along with each and everyone on stage. No two were alike and given the chance, I would attend this again.
It was clear that some of the contestants had a much louder cheer compared to others. I wonder if this year, there will be more support from the crowds. Anyway, the beauty contestants looks so beautiful and pretty on stage with their ever smiling faces.
|Unduk Ngadau 2010 Winner - Crystel Eve Huminodun (Seated Center)|
WINNER: Crystel Eve Huminodun (Tanjung Aru)
1st Runner Up: Rochelle Fayrenie (Penampang)
2nd Runner Up: Lydia John Alai (DBKK)
4th: Ledesma Steven (Tuaran)
5th: Hannevy Vivie W Harry (Tambunan)
6th: Eflorina Jolius (Pitas)
7th: Debra Fiona Alexius (Likas)
Miss DIGI Popular: Einny Emil (Kinabatangan)
Getting to the KDCA is quite straight forward as all taxis will know this place. It takes about 15-20 minutes from KK town on normal time. On the other hand, there are buses to Penampang so check with the locals about the bus number from KK to Penampang. If you are coming from KK, the KDCA building is on your right. Hard to miss as it will be pretty crowded with lots of cars parked everywhere.