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🎶 I hopped off the plane at YYZ with my sash, and my sparkly crown… 🎶
Hello from Toronto!
The last 48 hours have been exciting; yesterday, I woke up bright and early to catch my flight from Vancouver to Toronto with some of my fellow Regional Delegates from British Columbia – Shawna, Madison and Gabriella. We rocked airport chic with our sashes, crowns, and of course matching jackets. Upon arriving in Toronto, we met up with Ariel, and headed over to our hotel for some BC girls bonding time and beauty sleep.
Today, I woke up with a huge smile on my face because the 2016 search for Miss Teenage Canada has officially begun! The BC girls and I spent the morning relaxing and getting ready for the big day ahead of us. After checking in, I met my roommate Denisse. She is Miss Teenage Manitoba, and is also a fellow Filipino-Canadian. We spent the next couple of hours unpacking our clothing, and ironing our dresses for the week ahead.
At around 7 pm the 2016 Miss Teenage Canada Opening Ceremonies began. I felt a surge of emotions, ranging from nervousness to excitement, as I walked into the ballroom at the Airport Holiday Inn in Toronto.
The party was Ahh-mazing! Do you remember the scene in The Princess Diaries – 2 where Princess Mia had a birthday party and invited all of the princesses from across the globe? Well, the welcome party was a little like that, but way better. There were so many people and things going on, that it was a little overwhelming (but in a good way). I was able to mingle with some of the other 64 delegates and the reigning Miss Teenage Canada Sarah Wojcik.
I am so ready for some fun in the sun! Thank you V.P.I. Canada for the free pair of designer sunglasses; I found my pair on their e-store for $28 plus shipping and handling. These are undoubtedly my new pair favourite shades because they’re so chic. Stay up to date with everything V.P.I. by following them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Check out the BC squad rocking our sunglasses!
I had a blast at Nuvango‘s sharable moment centre. Their clothing is bright, fun, and unique. Each piece of clothing is a functional masterpiece, and every girl can find something to match her style and personality. I had a really tough time deciding which article of clothing I wanted because there were so many options. In the end I chose this crop top masterpiece pictured on the right. I can’t wait to visit the Nuvango headquarters later this week, to get an insider look at this Toronto based artist designed brand. Check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
My sweet tooth was more than satisfied at the Sweets Canada tasting exhibit. Sam Dhutia of Sweets Canada generously gave out gourmet chocolate bars , depending on each delegate’s individual preferences, as discovered during the tastings. I had the opportunity to taste the dark chocolate ginger bar, and it was absolutely delicious! This chocolate bar had the rich and muted sweetness that I love about dark chocolate, with a surprising kick of ginger, that took the dark chocolate experience to a whole other level.
BRADLEE RYALL GOLF ACADEMY
At the party there was a live mini golf attraction set up by Bradlee Ryall Golf Academy which gave me the chance to test out my golfing skills before we head over to the golf academy on Wednesday to play a one-hole golf game for two ladies golf jackets from SWING active wear. I’ve never golfed before, so I’m very excited that we are being given the opportunity to participate in group lessons this week. If you also want to learn how to golf, the golf academy teaches at 6 different courses west of Toronto.
Golden Glamour Goddesses
Thank you Golden Glamour Goddesses for ensuring that we are pageant ready. They are providing girls a discount on eyelash extensions, spray tanning, and spray whitening. Thank you for helping us unleash our inner goddesses. You can find them on Facebook, and Instagram.
Dreams really do come true here at Miss Teenage Canada; I was able to hone in my inner Katniss Everdeen with thanks to Archer’s Arena. At the party, we did some target practice with a bow and arrow; don’t worry we were completely safe, as there was a giant marshmallow on the pointy end. I’m so thrilled that we are going to play Archery Tag in Toronto at Archers Arena on Thursday July 21, 2016. Be sure to keep an eye out for the hash tag #archerytag to stay up to date with all the action, and by following them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
I look forward to seeing the products that Rimmel London has provided us in our welcome bags.
Oral hygiene is a very important aspect of being a healthy, happy, and confident young woman. Thank you Archer Dental for helping us maintain our beautiful smiles by providing us with specially monogrammed high quality Oral B traveler’s toothbrushes. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
BATA SHOE MUSEUM
They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but a good pair of shoes can also do the trick! On Tuesday, July 19 we will be visiting the Bata Shoe Museum to see their impressive collection of shoes and artefacts from around the world.
Fishd By EDO
Hashtagio is a Social Media Aggregator and User Generated Marketing Platform. They compiled all of the social media with the hashtag #MissTeenageCanada2016, and projected all of these tweets, instagram photos, and likes live during the party. During the rest of pageant week, you guys will be able to follow all of our activities, and experiences here in Toronto in real time by subscribing to the URL that Hashtagio is providing. But don’t be afraid of missing out on what we’re up to as all of the images and text will be archived in the Miss Teenage Canada site, and the Miss Teen Canada Blog Network.
Storia PR Inc.
A huge thank you goes out to Daphna and Karen Nussbaum of Storia PR in Toronto. They are an integral part of the 2016 Search for Miss Teenage Canada experience and will be retweeting and amplifying much of the media we make, everywhere we go. Check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
This night was unforgettable, and a big part of the experience was due to all of our amazing sponsors. Thank you so much for all of the swag. Be sure to keep an eye out through the rest of the week to stay up to date on all of our adventures here in Toronto.
As you drive down the tree lined Crescent Road, you might miss the turn to one of Surrey’s most picturesque locations. Tucked away in Elgin Heritage Park sits the Historic Stewart Farm. Visiting the farm is like stepping back into time as you are greeted by the costumed staff, and experience the rural setting in which the farm is situated in.
Upon arriving at the site, you will immediately notice the Farmhouse, with its blue sidings, red trimmings, and large wrap-around porch – a true testament to the Victorian architecture that was prevalent in the late 19th century. The Farmhouse is open to the public, and one can tour the building that the Stewart family once called home in the years 1894 – 1940. The home’s furnishings are typical of the Victorian Era, and are either donated antiques, or purchased reproductions. I recommend taking a guided tour of the building, as the staff will be able to point out which items were originally owned by the Surrey pioneer family, and answer any questions you may have, like “Why are the chairs and tables in the Parlour room so low!?” (It’s because Queen Victoria was 4’9″ and deemed dangling feet while sitting to be un-ladylike. To resolve this predicament, she had all of her furniture lowered closer to the ground. Seeing as the Queen was a celebrity of her time, people followed suit, and lowered furniture thus became uber trendy.)
Outside of the farmhouse, one can take a walk through the orchard and examine the 30 different apple varieties or stroll through the garden, and view the beautiful array of flowers during the months of May through September. In addition to the flower garden, the farm also grows its own heirloom varieties of produce. There are also outbuildings on the grounds such as the Pole Barn, Wood Shed, Root Cellar, and Threshing Shed. Once your feet begin to get tired, you can take a seat on one of the benches and watch as the Nicomeckle River cuts through the vast landscape.
The Historic Stewart Farm is open Tuesday – Friday from 10 am – 4 pm and Saturday – Sunday from 12 pm – 4 pm. The farm is closed on Mondays, Canada Day, and Remembrance Day. Although everyday at the farm is a wonderful opportunity to marvel at the peaceful scenery, there are special events that are held throughout the year so you can further immerse yourself in Pioneer culture such as the Royal Victorian Party, Father’s Day Open House, Pioneer Fair, Amazing Farm Scavenger Hunt, Olde Harvest Fair, and Christmas Open House. Admission to these events is free, and is a great way to have fun with family and friends, while learning a little bit about Surrey’s heritage.
The Farm also offers public programs, which are catered to specific age groups. Children can participate in summer camps for a fee, such as Farmhand Fever where they can experience what it was like to be a kid in the 1900s. There are also programs for adults like Afternoon Tea, and Pioneer Kitchen which is like a cooking class, but with a Pioneer twist.
Today, I had the opportunity to participate in a Pioneer Kitchen class held in the Farmhouse’s kitchen where we made homemade ice cream. We were lead through demos on how to prepare 3 different types of ice cream – Philadelphia Style Chocolate Ice Cream, Philadelphia Style Vanilla Ice Cream, and French Style Lemon Raspberry Ice Cream. They allowed us to help prepare the ice cream by measuring the ingredients, mixing the custard, and churning the ice cream (I definitely got my arm workout today). After all our handwork hand churning the ice cream, we sat outside on the veranda and sampled our delicious ice cream with homemade oatcakes, and tea. Check out my video below to see my Pioneer Kitchen experience!
I had such a great experience during Pioneer Kitchen that I would definitely participate in another class. Pioneer kitchen programs are held throughout the year, and are different each time. They have previously made apple pies, jams, and breads. I’m not much of a cook, but the staff were all very kind and offered knowledge as to how the pioneers would have prepared their own food.
Exact dates/times for programs and events can be found on their website (http://www.surrey.ca/culture-recreation/4835.aspx). Spots for their various programs fill up quickly so be sure to register online or call ahead to avoid disappointment.
The Historic Stewart Farm, is a hidden gem that every tourist in Surrey must visit. Whether you’re a history buff, an avid tea drinker, or an aspiring chef there is definitely something for everyone of all ages and interests to see and do.
-Miss Teenage Surrey 2016
“Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
– Robert Frost
Canada. The Great White North. The country with maple syrup, poutine, snow (lots of it), free healthcare, die hard hockey fans, and nice people who say “eh” a lot. These are the stereotypes that are often mentioned when Canada is brought up in conversation. But in my mind, Canada represents something different. In a world full of what ifs and what could have beens, Canada is the road less travelled by.
In June of 2003, my parents and I boarded a plane to Vancouver, Canada. We left our home in the Philippines to venture off into the Great White North with all of our possessions crammed into 6 boxes. It was a gamble, one with high risk, and a potentially promising reward of a “better future” (though vague and immeasurable). My 6 year old self, could never fully understand the implications this would have on our lives, but 13 years later, I think that I am starting to see the ramifications of this one decision.
If my family hadn’t moved to Canada, we would probably still be living in our tiny home somewhere in Laguna, Philippines. Travelling within the country would be a rare occasion, let alone travelling outside of the Philippines. I probably would have been as equally dedicated to my education, if not more; but the probability of attending a post secondary institution would remain in the realm of uncertainty. Perhaps I would have gone to university, but the prospect of pursuing anything beyond a bachelors degree would be out of the question.
Moving to Canada opened up a world of opportunities for us. In the 13 years since arriving, I was able to engage in a variety of extracurricular activities such as violin, piano, volleyball, and dance. I was able to travel to places I’ve only previously seen in movies/books, go to school at a world renowned University, and become a delegate for Miss Teenage Canada.
When Canada Day rolled around this year, and I donned my sash and crown at the annual Vancouver Canada Day Parade, I did so with pride and gratitude. I happily smiled, and waved with my fellow delegates as we passed the hundreds of spectators. It was a wonderful way to celebrate a country that has opened up so many doors for me. I am forever thankful to my parents, for taking that risk 13 years ago, and taking the road less travelled by.
So yes, Canada is the place of the notorious winters, and maple leaves, but it is also so much more than that. To me Canada is a place of opportunity, a place where everyone is accepted for who they are, and where differences are celebrated due to our cultural mosaic. Canada is the place I grew up; the place where I found my friends, where I became educated, and more importantly the place that helped shape my values and beliefs – thus shaping who I am today. Canada is home and I am a proud Canadian.
-Miss Teenage Surrey 2016
On the weekend of June 25-26th, I volunteered at Variety’s Picnic at the Park, and attended the 1st Annual Sparkle Project Gala. Here’s a little synopsis on how that weekend went:
~ Saturday June 25th – Variety’s Annual Picnic at the Park ~
Variety – The Children’s Charity provides support to children with special needs. The organization hosts various events throughout the year to raise funds such as the Radiotion, Boat for Hope, and Variety’s Children Champions, and Variety Market & Auction.
I joined Miss Teenage BC, Miss Teenage South Western BC, and Miss Teenage Lower Mainland at the Face Painting table for the day, which gave me the chance to channel my inner artiste. The most popular request from the children were cupcakes, which luckily were my specialty. Other requests included ice cream cones, superman logos, butterflies, hearts, and even the Snapchat logo. No matter what the request, I did my best to turn their vision into reality. My favourite part was showing the kids the finished art and seeing their eyes light up with joy upon seeing their newly painted faces. Their big toothy smiles brightened up my day immensely.
~ Sunday June 26th – 1st Annual Sparkle Project Gala ~
This was by far one of my favourite events to attend yet. The day was filled with so much support, inspiration, and #GirlPower. The Sparkle Project BC strives to inspire girls to lead self confident, and successful lives by finding their inner sparkle.
Not only did the other delegates and I have some fun at the Photo Booth, we also had the opportunity to listen to a number of speakers such as Kristal Barrett-Stuart (Sparkle Project BC founder), Nicolle Hodges (Journalist), Adera Angelucci (Passionpreneur TV), Ashley Wiles (Sole Girls), Samantha Skelly (Hungry for Happiness), and Tara Teng (Miss World Canada 2012). Each woman shared their own individual stories about overcoming insecurities, finding confidence, and voicing opinions. All of the speakers had such powerful messages to share with us; my favourites included “When a woman wakes up, she will move mountains” and “Burn those Ships” (which means that in order to accomplish our goals, we must let go of the things that are holding us back).
The Sparkle Project Gala is an event that I would recommend to girls and women of all ages to attend, as everyone of all ages will be able to take something positive away from the experience.
I’m already looking forward to next years event!
-Miss Teenage Surrey 2016