Result: Unduk Ngadau 2016 (Miss Harvest Festival, Sabah)

A new queen was born on 31 May 2016, after 44 contestants from different Sabah and Malaysia districts competed for the State-Level Unduk Ngadau 2016* title (Miss Harvest Festival of Sabah), which marks the end of month-long Kaamatan celebration (Harvest Festival). The photos below are clickable to zoom in.

Top 7 Winners of Unduk Ngadau 2016. From left to right: Patriciaelsa Jimy (Klang Valley), Vinny Alvionitta Sasising (Matunggong), Claryssa Henry (Kudat), Sherry Ann Laujang (Penampang), Fenny Ester Joslin (Banggi), Christine Joan Charles (Papar), Charmine Bartholomew (Kapayan)

Result: Unduk Ngadau 2016

The following is the result:
Unduk Ngadau 2016: Sherry Ann Laujang (Penampang)
1st Runner-Up: Claryssa Henry (Kudat)
2nd Runner-Up: Fenny Ester Joslin (Banggi)
3rd Runner Up: Vinny Alvionitta Sasising (Matunggong)
4th Runner Up: Christine Joan Charles (Papar)
5th Runner Up: Patriciaelsa Jimy (Klang Valley)
6th Runner Up: Charmine Bartholomew (Kapayan)

From left to right: 1st Runner-up: Claryssa Henry (Kudat), The Queen: Sherry Ann Laujang (Penampang), 2nd-Runner-up: Fenny Ester Joslin (Banggi)

Unduk Ngadau Beauty Pageant has been around since 1940s, but it only becomes an official annual competition in 1960. It is the highlight of the Kaamatan, and in the video below, you can see the crowd went crazy when the top 7 finalists were “unveiled”.

Unduk Ngadau 2016: Sherry Ann Laujang (Penampang)

Sherry is simply gorgeous. Her skin is so “radiant” that it almost makes my photos overexposed, no kidding. She has the look of a queen. However, she was extremely nervous during the contest. Her elder sister, Samantha Sharon C.E. Launjang, is the 4th runner-up of State-Level Unduk Ngadau 2012.

Unduk Ngadau 2016: Sherry Ann Laujang (Penampang)

Most guys would agree with me that many beautiful Kadazan sumandak (girls) are concentrated in Penampang area. Out of 56 State-Level Unduk Ngadau contests in the past, Penampang won the title 25 times (now 26)!

Sherry Ann Laujang in traditional Kadazan costume

Sherry is 21-year-old, and she is from Kampung Ramayah. She is a Kadazandusun with 25% British blood (her great-grandfather was a Briton), and she just earned her accounting diploma from UiTM Sabah.

Sherry Ann Laujang in evening gown

1st Runner-Up: Claryssa Henry (Kudat)

Claryssa was the strongest rival of Sherry. Her name was heard everywhere in the beginning, and she has a lot of supporters.

1st Runner-Up: Claryssa Henry (Kudat)

Claryssa Henry was wearing a traditional Rungus costume called sukolop. Many people didn’t think that it’s a good idea because sukolop is a thinner clothing Rungus women wear at home and farm, and too simple for formal events. She proceeded anyway to create more awareness about this dress.

After the competition, there is a hot debate which says Kudat should have won the first place, because most people think Claryssa was doing better than Sherry in Q&A session.

Claryssa Henry in evening gown

I don’t understand Kadazandusun language, so I don’t know who is right. Anyway, the judges had mentioned that 40% of the score is based on beauty, 30% on traditional costume, 20% on presentation and 10% on attitude.

Therefore, Q&A is not the sole factor for winning, though it’s important. No matter what, hopefully everyone will stop quarrelling about this during festive time. Both of them are fabulous girls.

2nd Runner-Up: Fenny Ester Joslin (Banggi)

2nd Runner-Up: Fenny Ester Joslin (Banggi)

Fenny Ester Joslin in a traditional Rungus costume called tapi

Fenny Ester Joslin in evening gown

3rd Runner Up: Vinny Alvionitta Sasising (Matunggong)

Vinny is my favorite candidate actually. She is picture perfect. She will definitely win the Miss Photogenic title if there is one. She is awarded the subsidiary title of Miss Natural Beauty.

3rd Runner Up: Vinny Alvionitta Sasising (Matunggong)

Vinny Alvionitta Sasising in traditional Rungus costume

4th Runner Up: Christine Joan Charles (Papar)

Whenever Christine showed up, the people went gaga, and their scream almost broke my eardrums. There must be something special about her. Can anyone tell me please?

4th Runner Up: Christine Joan Charles (Papar)

She is also the winner of Miss Conservation WWF Subsidiary Title. She will be attached to Sabah WWF to raise awareness on the conservation and wildlife issues from 1 Jun 2016 to 31 May 2017.

Christine Joan Charles in traditional Kadazan Papar costume

5th Runner Up: Patriciaelsa Jimy (Klang Valley)

Besides contestants from Sabah, we also have participants from Klang Valley, Labuan and Johor.

5th Runner Up: Patriciaelsa Jimy (Klang Valley). She is wearing traditional Dusun Tindal costume

Patriciaelsa Jimy in evening gown

6th Runner Up: Charmine Bartholomew (Kapayan)

6th Runner Up: Charmine Bartholomew (Kapayan)

The Crowning

As there are over 40 Unduk Ngadau, so the competition took a long time and finished at 7:40pm.

Ryannie Neils Yong, the Reigning Queen (Unduk Ngadau 2015), came to say Hi Hi and Bye Bye. You know the drill.

In first round, 15 contestants were selected, then shortlisted to top 7 in second round, and at last the Q&A round to decide the winners.

The moment of the final announcement

The Rungus ladies from northern district rocked the stage this year, when contestants from Kudat, Banggi and Matunggong won 1st, 2nd and 3rd runner-up (plus Miss Natural Beauty) respectively. Besides, Unduk Ngadau of Pitas also won the Most Creative Evening Gown (with Rungus motif as theme).

Yay! A new queen is born!

Kudat district is used to be famous for three things, i.e. longhouse, coconut and peanut. Now I guess it is famous for pretty girls too lol.

Crowning of Unduk Ngadau 2016

From left to right: 1st Runner-up: Claryssa Henry (Kudat), The Queen: Sherry Ann Laujang (Penampang), 2nd-Runner-up: Fenny Ester Joslin (Banggi)

Sherry Ann Laujang (Penampang) is named the State-Level Unduk Ngadau 2016

Subsidiary Titles

There are three Subsidiary Titles being awarded during Sodop Unduk Ngadau Charity Dinner on 29 May 2016. Below is the result:
Miss Conservation WWF: Christine Joan Charles (Papar)
Miss Friendly (Tati Tosuau): Dorizah Noh Tongod (Tongod) (Can I add her in Facebook?)
Miss Natural Beauty (Tati Topiodo): Vinny Alvionitta Sasising (Matunggong)

Unduk Ngadau Charity Dinner on 29 May 2016

Winners of Subsidiary Titles

Miss Natural Beauty (Tati Topiodo): Vinny Alvionitta Sasising (Matunggong)

Miss Conservation WWF: Christine Joan Charles (Papar). Ok, please scream.

Miss Friendly (Tati Tosuau): Dorizah Noh Tongod (Tongod)

Top 7 Most Creative Evening Gown

That evening every Unduk Ngadau was wearing evening gown designed with Sabah ethnic theme. Top 7 best designs were selected, and the dress (designed by Petrus Boyd Pensin) of Treacy Chee from Pitas won the Most Creative Evening Gown award.

Most Creative Evening Gown designed by Petrus Boyd Pensin, and presented by Treacy Chee from Pitas

This colorful theme is inspired by Rungus motif. I saw patterns that symbolize flower, lizard and people.

Most Creative Evening Gown presented by Treacy Chee from Pitas

This gala night is a good time to see the youthful side of Unduk Ngadau. You can check out my Facebook album for more photos.

One of the Top 7 Most Creative Evening Gown (Model: Hyellene Danius, Unduk Ngadau of Tuaran )

One of the Top 7 Most Creative Evening Gown (Model: Sharon Joseph, Unduk Ngadau of Libaran)

One of the Top 7 Most Creative Evening Gown (Model: Norfainie Binti Diwalang, Unduk Ngadau of Pagalungan)

One of the Top 7 Most Creative Evening Gown (Model: Muntel Binti Santangan, Unduk Ngadau of Lahad Datu)

One of the Top 7 Most Creative Evening Gown (Model: Laura Simon, Unduk Ngadau of Likas)

Congratulations to all the Winners!

Bare feet beauty pageant

You may notice this beauty pageant is very different. First, everyone is on bare feet. Second, “Gong Hair” is the standard hairstyle for the contestants. If you like their hair, watch the video by Beverley Shim to make one:

In fact, Unduk Ngadau Contest is a tradition to commemorate Huminodun, a maiden who sacrificed herself to save the starving people. You can read the very interesting and informative article titled Not just a beauty pageant, written by Melissa Leong, to understand the true meaning of this event.

“Kaamatan without Unduk Ngadau is not kaamatan. It will be like a song without rhythm.” -Joanna Kitingan (Chairperson of Sabah state-level Unduk Ngadau)

*”Unduk” literally means the shoot of a plant, signifying youth and progressiveness, and “Ngadau” means sun, connoting the beauty of the heart, mind and body of an ideal Kadazan­dusun woman.

Photos taken in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

You might also like:

Miss Cheongsam (Lady in Red)
Orangutan in the Swamp
Kiss of Fishes from Tinopikon Park of Moyog River
Underwater World of Aquarium & Marine Museum at University Malaysia Sabah (UMS)