September 15, 2014 – Just before the summer we were invited to attend the 10th anniversary of H.O.M.E.; for the last then years they have provided shelter to abused domestic workers and migrant workers and these days they also help with legal assistance if necessary.
But Sunday June 29th was not about problems, it was about celebrating the beauty within the brave women that left their country to work as a domestic worker in Singapore through the first ever HOME Talent Pageant. Named so, because HOME sees a lot of talent among the domestic workers they hope to encourage developing those talents. Also, they want to emphasize that life is not about being beautiful on the outside, but about being beautiful on the inside.
The afternoon kicked of with the finale of “HOME’s got Talent”, loosely based on the popular TV shows. Singers, dancers and actors performed acts that were touching, interesting and original. We saw belly dancing, hip-hop, traditional sarong dances, pop, zumba, tribal dances, and much, much more. We learned it takes a lot of courage to just go on stage and perform, especially when it is not your day job. But even though not all notes were hit at the right time, we had a good time watching, cheering and clapping.
After the Talent Pageant the actual Miss Home Talent Pageant began: a contest about finding the most beautiful girl on the inside and outside. 70 women from all ages and countries participated and the jury must have had a hard time, because in our eyes they all looked beautiful. They were radiant and it was obvious they felt like princesses for the day. The jury by the way was selected for their various expertise skills, about 25 judges in total and most of them famous in Singapore. It definitely added more glamor to an already glamorous event.
Sisi Sukiato from HOME told us that the girls followed many courses over the last six months to prepare for today’s pageant: “We don’t just let them go out there, we offered courses in public speaking and dancing for instance and they got catwalk training from Hanis Hussey (Singapore’s first super model ed.). We organized endless practice runs and photo shoots throughout Singapore, which all had to take place on Sundays as most of the participants only get the one day off.” There were several rounds, but our favorite was definitely the global wear round:
The only dark cloud was that Sister Bridget Tan (founder and CEO of HOME) was not able to attend. Earlier this year she suffered a stroke and she is now recuperating at home. But in spirit she was there and when all the girls paid tribute to Bridget (by performing a choreographed dance on Bridget’s favorite song) we all thought of her and sent her our best wishes.
After the tribute the prize ceremony began. There were a lot of different prizes, such as: Miss People’s Choice, Miss Catwalk, Miss Global Wear, Miss Home Talent, Miss Congeniality and of course the Miss Home Pageant 2014. For most winners it came as a surprise and according to the cheering from the audience, most agreed with the choices the judges made.
In our opinion the HOME Pageant was a great way to celebrate their 10th Anniversary. We’re not sure if there is going to be a pageant every year, but judging by the enthusiasm of the participants and the audience, there should be.