The Miss Pacific Islands Pageant (MPIP) in Apia, Samoa, started with a church service on Sunday.
The contestants were given a rousing welcome by a gospel choir during the service.
Miss Papua New Guinea Kellyanne Limbiye was the first to introduce herself to the church congregation and expressed how inspired she was by the choir’s “angelic singing”.
The service was followed by press interviews and selection of topics to be presented by the contestants on Thursday.
Limbiye chose to speak about health.
Topic presentation is one of the highest scoring categories in the pageant won by Papua New Guinea’s Abigail Havora last year.
Each contestant will be given five-minutes to present their view on the chosen topic.
The other categories are sarong wear and traditionally-inspired dress.
Eight contestants are vying for the crown this year and they are Miss American Samoa, 19-year-old Antonina Keka Lilomaiava; Miss Cook Islands, 21-year-old Tepaeru Helen Toka; Miss Fiji, 24-year-old Anne Christine Dunn; Miss Nauru, 19-year-old Lucina Detsiogo; Miss PNG 23-year-old Kellyanne Marie-Lisa Limbiye, Miss Solomon Islands,
23-year-old Camilla Grossmith; Miss Samoa, 26-year-old Prisilla Olano and Miss Tonga, 21-year-old Laura Melaia Renae Lauti.
The theme for this year’s Miss Pacific Islands Pageant is ‘Celebrating our history and embracing our future’.
The crowning will be on Friday 2 at Gymn 1 in Tauanaimato, Samoa.