KOTA KINABALU: Christine Joan Charles believes that 'it takes a village to make a beauty queen.'
The English teacher said she felt brave to join the Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan (beauty pageant) again for the third time because she has the support of people near to her.
"I am not alone, since many are behind me. As they say, it takes a village to make a queen.
"When it (the new pageant rules) was announced that one could join for a third time, I thought, why not I try again, maybe it will bring me to a new possibility," she said.
Christine, 26, was among the 50 Kadazandusun beauties from around Sabah and Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association (KDCA) branches vying for this year's state-level Unduk Ngadau title.
This time she is representing the KDCA Melaka.
Christine was 19 years old when she was crowned Unduk Ngadau Papar and represented the district at the state level in 2016.
Last year, Christine represented the Sabah capital, Kota Kinabalu, to the final but did not secure the top seven spots in the state-level Unduk Ngadau pageant.
Christine is aware that this would be her last chance to contest in the Unduk Ngadau competition based on the pageant's rules that the contestants must be between 18-27 years of age.
Clad in Penampang traditional costume, Christine said she's not pressuring herself to get a placement and to win the 2023 State Unduk Ngadau title.
"I know I am capable of carrying out tasks since I am used to doing volunteerism activities.
"I believe that I am brought onto this special path to provide my assistance to those in need. And if I win this crown, it will definitely help them (the needy)."
"It is not for personal ambition, although it will benefit whoever wins the crown, but it would definitely give me an opportunity to showcase what I can do and what I can serve," she said.
The 2023 state-level Unduk Ngadau finals will be held at the KDCA in Penampang on May 31.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is expected to attend the state-level Kaamatan festival on the same day.
The cultural beauty pageant has always been associated as the highlight of the month-long Kaamatan festival in Sabah.
The pageant celebrates Huminodun, a maiden who was sacrificed by her father, Kinoingan, to save the people from famine by bringing about a bountiful harvest.