Taking the Stage at the Miss Kaka’ako Pageant


Paul Hayashi

Kau’i has prepared long and hard for the opportunity to compete in the Miss Kaka’ako Pageant.

Pageants are no walk in the park. A ton of preparation is required to compete in one, let alone participate. Chaminade University graduate Kau’i Perreira has decided to take this challenge head on in the up and coming Miss Kaka’ako Pageant.

Perreira graduated in May 2017 from Chaminade University with a bachelors in Marketing Communications and is currently in her first semester for her masters of Business Administration. At the same time she is also working as a marketing specialist in the marketing department at Chaminade University. She is 22-years-old and has lived on O’ahu all her life, born in Ewa Beach while growing up in Kaimuki.

Her interest in pageants first got started by her friends and family. Prior to this, she never had an interest  in such things.

“I’ve had a lot of close family, friends, aunties that have competed in the Miss Hawai’i and Miss Hawai’i USA track,” Perreira said. “I was never interested until I met one of my friends, Leilani Soon, she has won multiple titles for pageants and has been blessed to have so many opportunities because of it. So I prayed about it and I decided to run because of my platform, Save a Life, Suicide Prevention and Rehabilitation.”

Deciding to enter was only one small step, the preparation is where the real work begins. In the pageant there are 4 judged portions. It starts with the introduction which is un-judged. From there it goes on to the swimsuit, then the talent, evening gown, and finally the on-stage questions.

Perreira has been practicing for this since September, meeting with the pageant board and the other contestants almost every Sunday since then. She has had to prepare for each one of these portions individually. For example she has run many mock interviews with both the pageant board and her coach. Eating healthy and working out are important for the swimsuit competition. Picking an evening gown that shows off what you want to be is a very important part of it as well.

While trying to change and improve yourself is important, Perreira feels that it’s still very important to not become something you are not just because you think it might help you win. 

“They’re judging you, so when they ask you questions you always have to answer genuinely from the heart and know who you are, and know that who you are is enough,” said Perreira. “It’s hard taking critiques about who you are rather than what work you did. That’s the hard part of the pageant, as much as they have your best interest in mind, there is a par they want you to reach and you have to be confident in yourself that you don’t lose yourself in the process.”

Perreira, who participated in a number of clubs at Chaminade and is personal, has enjoyed the interviewing process of the pageant.

“They judge you from head to toe, and I think that was good for me because Chaminade was able to give me the foundation of skills necessary to succeed in interviews,” she said. “… Chaminade and the instructors have helped me build the confidence to stand up in front of people, speak my mind, and say it eloquently in a way that people can respect.”

On the opposite end, her least favorite part of the pageant was a bit of a surprise.

“The clothes! I don’t know why, but it annoys me to put clothes on all the time. So, I think the hardest part was finding a dress that would make  me look the way I want to look and present myself as. All the costuming that goes into the pageant, that kind of thing was the hardest part. And it’s expensive!”

It’s not just the self improvement that’s important to her. The exposure she gets from participating in this pageant helps her promoter her platform, Save a Life, Suicide Prevention and Rehabilitation.  She also hopes to get connected to a non-profit organization like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

“I just know within my heart that this as of now is my purpose,” Perreira said. “And that win, or just being a contestant, I know that I have gotten to a place where I can definitely grow. I’ve seen an improvement in myself, at least my worth and confidence.”

The pageant is on Nov. 9 on New Hope Sand Island at 6 p.m.. The winners of this pageant will go on to compete in the Miss Hawaii Pageant taking place in June 2018.