At the Miss Universe Cambodia 2019 Coronation Night, held on Sunday last week at Naga 2, Samnang Alyna, a university student from Phnom Penh, bested 24 candidates and was crowned as the rightful winner of the top national beauty pageant of the Kingdom. This national crown will be the key that opens the door for her to Miss Universe 2019, the most prestigious international beauty pageant. In her first official interview as Miss Universe Cambodia 2019, Alyna shares with Taing Rinith that she is ready to bear her country’s flag in the international stage; ready to give her best to make her country and the world a better place.
Good Times2: Can you tell us more about yourself?
Alyna: My name is Samnang Alyna, and I am 18 years old. I am the eldest of four children. My dad is an immigration police officer, and my mother is a housewife. I am also a first year student at the Pannasastra University of Cambodia, majoring in International Relations. Since I was a child, I have always dreamed of becoming an ambassador for my country.
Good Times2: What motivated you to sign up for Miss Universe Cambodia? Why was the competition important to you?
Alyna: Before my participation in Miss Universe Cambodia 2019, I had competed in World Miss University, an annual international beauty contest, hosted by Cambodia in 2017, and won second place. That gave me the confidence to participate in Miss Universe Cambodia. I also want to show the whole world that Cambodian women are blessed with courage, confidence, beauty and intellect, making us worthy of international recognition. To represent my fellow women in a competition is a source of pride for me.
Good Times2: How was your journey?
Alyna: I first applied for the competition in 2018. Along with the other 24 candidates who appeared at the Coronation Night, I was selected as part of the top 50 candidates from all over the country. The criteria of the selection were our beauty and appearance, our knowledge as well as our cat-walking. For a month, we had so many activities including visiting sponsors and going on university tours. We also went to Siem Reap to tour the ancient temples and understand deeper the history and culture of Cambodia. My favourite part of this competition was our visit to the orphanage. We gave presents to the children there and shared our love with them. I was personally touched by the children’s stories.
Good Times2: What did you feel when the emcee announced your name as the winner of MUC?
Alyna: Before the beginning of the Coronation Night, I had already readied myself for what was to come. No matter what the result would be, I told myself that I would accept it. However, during the final moments of the competition, I began to have a very strange feeling, like a combination of nervousness, happiness and excitement. When the emcee announced my name as the winner, there was no word that could describe my happiness at that time. It was unbelievable! I was so happy that I almost fainted. My parents, who have always supported me, were also very happy.
Good Times2: Do you think you deserve to win the crown? Which candidate do you think was your greatest competitor?
Alyna: I believe I deserve the crown because I believe in my beauty and knowledge. But I think all the candidates were great competitors because they were also very beautiful and knowledgeable. We got along very well and had a good time together. Although I was one of the youngest contestants, our age gaps did not really set us apart.
Good Times2: What have you learned from this national competition?
Alyna: I have learned so many things. First is how we can share our love and build a strong friendship with other people. I have acquired general knowledge, especially in [Cambodia’s] history and culture. I also picked up skills such as modelling, make-up and dressing from the trainings I received.
Good Times2: Will you be training for Miss Universe 2019 anytime soon?
Alyna: Before Miss Universe 2019, I will be trained in modelling, Q&A and communication with other contestants. Meanwhile, I have to strengthen my self-confidence on the stage. I do not know how long I have to prepare for the big pageant but I am sure I will be ready Miss Universe 2019.
Good Times2: What will you do if you win Miss Universe 2019? And what if you do not win?
Alyna: If I win Miss Universe, I will use this title to promote women’s welfare through education. I also want to help poor and orphaned children go to schools so that they can all have better future. Also as a public speaker, I want to inspire all young people to pay attention to their education. For my country, I want to promote the culture of Cambodia through social media, particularly by posting contents related to our culture and history.
If I don’t win, I will be still proud of being a Cambodian woman who has walked on the grandest stage as Miss Universe Cambodia. I will still be proud to have done what I have always wanted to do.
Good Times2: What are your plans for the future?
Alyna: Although I have duties as Miss Universe Cambodia, I will never give up my studies. As an International Relations student, I want to become Cambodia’s ambassador to other countries or an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I believe my title as Miss Universe Cambodia will assist me in my work, especially in communicating with other nations. However, I also want to be involved in the art sector because that is also what I like.
Good Times2: What is your message to Cambodian girls and women who want to become Miss Universe?
Alyna: I want them to be confident in their beauty, their knowledge, their own personalities, and go on towards the fulfillment of their dreams.