Categorized | Featured, News

Miss Kona Coffee 2012 Corinne Quinajon; Miss Aloha Hawaii 2012 Brandy Shibuya

Miss Kona Coffee 2012 contestants. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Editor

Corinne Quinajon will reign as Miss Kona Coffee 2012 and Brandy Shibuya will wear this year’s Miss Aloha Hawaii crown.

Eight contestants participated Saturday evening in the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival’s scholarship pageant, competing for thousands of dollars in scholarship money and the two annual pageant titles.

The pageant included the lifestyle & swimsuit, talent, on-stage question and evening wear categories in front of the seven judges and a packed ballroom at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort.

Miss Aloha Hawaii 2012 Brandy Shibuya and Miss Kona Coffee 2012 Corinne Quinajon. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Quinajon is a senior at St. Josephs High School and wants to pursue a career as a registered dietician.

Quinajon outscored the other contestants in the swimsuit and talent portions of the evening, wowing the judges with the piano rendition of “River Flows In You.” She dedicated her performance to the memory of her grandmother.

Her parents are Byron and Deborah Quinajon and she has a sister, Natalie, 16.

“This is the same feeling as you get Christmas morning as a little kid and I haven’t had that feeling in a long time. It feels great,” Quinajon said. “I’m so honored.”

Although she is a Hilo native, Quinajon said she loves Kona coffee and appreciates its healthful qualities.

“I will represent Kona coffee to the best of my ability,” she said. “I’m so excited about this year.”

Quinajon said the pageant process helped her make seven new friends in her fellow contestants.

“I realized that it’s not a competition against the other girls. Everyone would be a great Miss Kona Coffee,” she said. “It’s really a competition against yourself – to be the best you can be.”

In addition to the wearing the crown for a year, Miss Kona Coffee also received a $1,500 academic scholarship, a host of prizes, and will represent the festival, Kona coffee and Hawaii on a five-day promotional tour of Japan courtesy of Ueshima Coffee Corp.

Shibuya, a Hawaiian Studies student at Hawaii Community College West Hawaii, said she has always looked up to the reigning coffee royalty and started preparing for the pageant in 2009.

“My goal has always been to be involved in the Miss Hawaii organization. I have been prepping myself for this for two years,” she said. “I was so shocked when I heard my name, but really happy too. I’m just grateful for this opportunity.”

Shibuya’s parents are Dane and Terry Lee. She has three siblings: Kassie, 25; Tiare, 17; and Dane Jr., 9.

The full slate of 2012 contestants included: Ariel Maile Enriquez, Cheynielle Minoakalani Pacheco, Carissa Ann Kimiko Kitaoka, Kayli Rayele Towler, Brandy Haunani Shibuya, Kapuahiilani Lapera, Noelani Keturah Spencer O’Connor and Corinne Quinajon.

A final appearance for Miss Aloha Hawaii 2011 Tatiana Boteilho (back) and Miss Kona Coffee 2011 Lacy Deniz. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Outgoing Miss Kona Coffee Lacy Deniz and outgoing Miss Aloha Hawaii Tatiana Boteilho were on hand to pin the crowns on the winners.

Judges included: Dr. Robert Duron, Llana Young Smith, Mark Ozaki, Jennifer Pimentel, Donald Garwood, Tracie Lopes and Jason Lent.

Category Winners

Miss Popularity: Corinne Quinajon

Most Photogenic: Kayli Towler

Miss Congeniality: Brandy Shibuya

Lifestyle & Swimsuit: Corinne Quinajon

Talent: Corinne Quinajon

First Runner-up: Kapuahiilani Lapera

Second Runner-up: Noelani O’Connor

Miss Aloha Hawaii: Brandy Shibuya

Miss Kona Coffee 2012: Corinne Quinajon

— Find out more:

Kona Coffee Cultural Festival chairman Norman Sakata presents a plaque to Tatsushi Ueshima, UCC Ueshima Coffee Co. chairman. The plaque recognizes the company's commitment to the festival and to promoting Kona coffee. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.