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Tea with Christina Cai Part 2 | #TeaWithQueens

Hello everyone!

If you haven't read last week's blogpost, I recommend that you head on over and read about Christina's local pageant journeys before reading this one! In this blogpost, I'll be sharing more about Christina's international pageant journeys. After she won the Ms Singapore Chinatown 2017 title, she represented Singapore in two other international pageants: Ms China-ASEAN Etiquette in Nanning, China, as well as Ms Chinese International in Hong Kong.

Time for some trivia! Ms China-ASEAN Etiquette (MCAE) is a pageant held in Nanning, China. The pageant is about forging close bonds and good etiquette between China and other Asian countries. This pageant is associated with the China-Asean Expo in Nanning. Although most of the fringe events were held in Nanning, the delegates got to travel to Vietnam as well as Da Tong, where their finals was held. Christina competed in this pageant before she flew to Hong Kong to compete in Ms Chinese International.

Christina went to Nanning with another Singapore delegate, Queenie (Ms Singapore 1st Runner Up 2017). In fact, she mentioned that every country had two representatives! Christina and Queenie were actually the youngest contestants in their year of MCAE. Christina was 18 then, and was just crowned Ms Singapore Chinatown 2017 as well. I can only imagine how thrilling it would be to be overseas alone too, so it must have been comforting in a way, to have a familiar face with you.

She also shared the stage with Queenie for the talent rounds as well. Although the delegates are competing individually, they were allowed to perform for the talent round as a country, which was what Christina and Queenie did. She also shared that there were a few rounds for the talent show as well: on the cruise, in a mall and during their finals! All of which, they performed together. I think it would have been quite a valuable experience for her since it was her first international pageant.

Christina shared that the pageant did have quite a few new experiences, such as a the trip with the other delegates to Vietnam, as well as being on a cruise and having a sort of 'preview show' on the cruise as well! Imagine performing, doing your make up and cat-walking when you're on a cruise! It can't be easy squeezing in the changing room with so many girls as well as walking on 'shaky' ground! She also mentioned that this was the first pageant where the official swimwear was a one-piece instead of a bikini, which I suppose most of us will be surprised by because we'd expect bikinis to be present in a beauty pageant.

Another interesting thing that Christina shared was that their finals in Da Tong wasn't held in a ballroom like the local pageant was, but within the Datong Ancient City Wall, and preparing for the finals in the location itself was a challenge as it was cold at night and anywhere beyond their changing room was completely dark! Lastly, another unique thing about MCAE was that the public could buy tickets and watch the finals too! I supposed the organisers allowed this as the pageant is associated with the China-ASEAN expo!

Christina mentioned that a lot of the preparations for MCAE was relatively time sensitive as she needed to do research on where to get her gowns and national costume for the pageant and most of the shops she had to visit closed just an hour after her classes ended. Not to mention, she only had a week to prepare for the pageant! Thankfully, she had people around her who were able to help her with finding the things she needed to prepare for the pageant in time!

Because of the preparation and the period of time she had to be away, she ended up putting her studies on hold for a year as she wasn't able to take just a 3 week leave from her curriculum. However, missing school due to this pageant wasn't necessarily a bad thing, because experiences like this won't always come around. If you're wondering, she's currently back in school and just performed at the Esplanade too!

As for Ms Chinese International (MCI), I know that a lot of people have had questions about the Ms Singapore Chinatown title. The winner of that title will head out to Hong Kong to compete in the Ms Chinese International pageant. Ms Chinese International is a pageant that is organised by TVB, which is a television station in Hong Kong. The contestants for this international pageant have at least be of Chinese descent. The delegates come from all over the world besides Asia. There are delegates from North and South America, Europe and even Africa. In this pageant, Christina made it to the Top 8!

Christina shared that the MCI pageant was quite different from the other pageants she had experienced previously. Since it was organised by a television station, you can guess how much media coverage this pageant received! Netizens were constantly watching the delegates on social media and even followed them around. There were plenty of comments about the contestants as well, but she shared that the comments they received weren't really as malicious as the ones that her local pageant contestants received.

She shared that there was a lot of specific timings that the contestants had to perfect when they were on stage during the finals since it was a live show that was being broadcasted. I remembered she did have to stream live for a while every now and then on social media during the pageant as well. It does sound tiring, but I think the pageant would have been a really great experience nonetheless because the way it's organised is quite different as compared to the other pageants Christina had competed in before.

However, she did share that there was a fair bit of waiting time during the photoshoots since the contestants had their shots done one by one, as compared to MCAE where there were more photos taken during their events and you'd find yourself trying to catch the attention of the photographers!

During her journey with MCI, she shared that it was the pageant where she met most of her 'pageant sisters', Christina shared that she bonded more with her fellow MCI contestants as compared to her local pageant, mostly because the group was a lot smaller. They do keep in touch and some of them decided to fly to Hong Kong the following year to watch the finals as well just to see each other which is really nice! Although she was alone on the stage this time, Christina had plenty of help from her friends, family, mentors and predecessor as well!

So, what's next for this queen? After joining these pageants, Christina has no intention of stopping her journey in pageantry. However, in the year of 2020, she'll focus on completing her reign as Ms Earth Singapore Water 2019 before she decides to join yet another pageant! I asked about the further future and she mentioned she probably would never want to leave the pageant world, be it competing in pageants even after she's married or being a pageant coach! So keep a look out for her, because there are so many great things to look forward to! I hope you enjoyed this blogpost, I'll see you in the next one!



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