Kristina Janolo, the first Filipino-American to win the title of Miss Florida in its 76-year history, hopes to be the second Asian to be crowned Miss America.
Janolo wants to follow in the footsteps of 2001 Miss America Angela Perez Baraquio, a Hawaii-born Filipina.
Curiously, Baraquio and Janolo share many similarities. Both 24 when they entered the Miss America pageant, they were born in the United States, with their mothers hailing from Manila. Their fathers both lived in the provinces — Baraquio’s, from Pangasinan while Janolo’s, from Mindoro.
Also, their talent presentation for their respective state pageants involved music, with Baraquio playing the drums and Janolo singing the 1980s hit “Gold.”
Unlike the Miss USA pageant which sends its winners to the Miss Universe, Miss America titleholders do not compete in international contests. Instead, it offers scholarships to its titlists.
Contestants are also required to log in at least a year of community service before joining any preliminary district competition. The state winners are also expected to work for an advocacy, which they will promote in the national arena.
With environmental protection as Janolo’s chosen platform, the titlist hopes to promote the preservation of Florida’s Everglades, one of the largest wetlands in the world. “She was invited to Washington DC to talk about her platform,” Myrna added.
Janolo is currently earning her degree in marketing at the University of Central Florida and hopes to become an executive director for a nonprofit organization.