Late last month, Miss Intercontinental New Zealand 2014 Rohaibie Rennie (who happens to have 100% Filipino blood
) retraced her family roots in Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte. While the homecoming was originally intended to attend to the wake/burial of a deceased relative, the town’s municipality took the opportunity to formally welcome her and give honor/acknowledgment to the achievement she has brought. The mayor saw to it that she was given proper recognition.
In the same trip, she also made two separate school visits where big crowds of students showered her with enthusiastic cheers, guested on a radio program where she was interviewed by a local media personality and went on a district hospital tour to check out the patients and facilities.
Rohaibie (right) with her mother
Your blogger was able to chat via email with Rohaibie and cornered her with some questions regarding the 10-day vacation in Sindangan and being a New Zealand beauty titleholder.
1) What is your greatest realization from this homecoming trip that you feel would help make you become a better person?
“I have always known Filipinos to be avid fans of beauty pageantry but I have never experienced the extent of their enthusiasm first hand. My greatest realisation from my homecoming was how becoming a beauty queen and public figure can enable me to bring so much joy and happiness to so many people, and also how I can utilise my title to influence people to follow their dreams and be the best they can be.”“
2) Life in New Zealand is entirely different from what you witnessed in Zamboanga del Norte in particular. What, if any, are the similarities that you surprisingly found for yourself?
“To me there are no obvious similarities between life in New Zealand and life in Zamboanga del Norte. However, I think a similarity these two places share are their people. Filipinos and Kiwis are friendly and easy-going, which makes them approachable and easy to get along with.”
3) Once you compete in Jordan for Miss Intercontinental, the locals will see you as Miss New Zealand with a twist (your Filipino roots, of course). How do you plan to use this uniqueness to your advantage?
“It is a huge advantage being a Filipino competing in international pageants, regardless of which country you represent. Those who follow pageants are aware of how supportive Filipinos are and I plan to use this to my advantage when I compete at Miss Intercontinental in October.”
Various images from her trip to Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte.
4) And lastly, any message to my readers who are just as excited to see a full-Filipina doing well in New Zealand pageantry?
“It is very exciting to see so many Filipinos succeed in beauty pageants all over the world and I am delighted to know that through my Filipino roots, I have been able to bring attention to my country – New Zealand. I could not have reached this point of success in my career without the support of the Filipino people and I hope to make you all proud when I compete at Miss Intercontinental in October. Thank you to those who have shown their continued support and to those interested in following my journey, you can do so by following me on Facebook – Miss Intercontinental New Zealand 2014 Rohaibie Rennie using this LINK.”
Best of luck in Miss Intercontinental 2014, Rohaibie! I’m sure you and Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2014 Kris Tiffany Janson will hit it off well. . ;-)