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MISS KOREA CROWNED MISS ASIA USA 2008

Miss Asia USA 2008 – 20th Annual Cultural Pageant – Alex Theatre – June 21, 2008

Record heat could not keep an anxious crowd of over 1400 people from filling the Alex Theatre on Saturday night to see who would be crowned Miss Asia USA 2008. Celebrating its 20th Anniversary as the premiere pageant for young Asian women in the USA, the Miss Asia USA 2008 Cultural Pageant once again played to another sold out audience. Electricity filled the air as 31 beautiful, intelligent and talented young Asian-American women proudly represented various countries from around the Asian continent. Throughout the show, they dazzled the audience and judges with their eye-popping national costumes, Scala eveningwear, Malibu Girl swimwear and evening gowns as they vied for the coveted title of Miss Asia USA 2008.

After five categories of intense competition, our distinguished panel of judges selected the stunning 26 year old Diane Yoo representing Korea to be the Queen. Inspired by her interest in diverse cultures and deeply held belief in cross-cultural unity, Diane earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the prestigious Baylor University and also attended the Mayo Hill School of Modeling. She calls Houston, Texas home, where she is Vice-President of Business Development of JDDA Concessions Management at the Houston Intercontinental Airport. Because she believes so strongly in honoring her civic and social responsibilities, Diane dedicates herself to assisting her others through charitable work and political involvement. One of her greatest strengths is her ability to inspire and organize others to serve with her. Appointed as the Asian Community Liaison and Special Projects Director by the Houston City Council, Diane successfully organized numerous volunteer and fundraising efforts within the Korean community as well as with members of many other minority communities. She earned special honors from the Texas House of Representatives and the Houston City Council for her dedication and contributions to the Asian and other minority communities. Diane also was given recognition for her efforts to assist victims of the Hurricane Katrina Disaster working with Houston Mayor Bill White’s Command Center. Expanding her political involvement on a national level, Diane contributed towards a draft legislative bill initiated by Congressman Mike Honda of California to provide disaster relief services affecting the Asian community nationally. Currently she is a representative for the Asian American Giving Circle, a founding member of Korean Young Professionals, and a Board Member of the Korean Chamber of Commerce. When she finally had a chance to catch her breath after the pageant, Diane said; “Being crowned Miss Asia USA 2008 means so much to me because this incredible pageant represents so much that I believe in about unifying our various cultures. To serve as the Ambassador of Culture and Goodwill among all the Asian communities is an honor and welcome responsibility, and I truly look forward to fulfilling it with all my heart and dedication.” In keeping with her commitment to fulfilling this responsibility, Diane’s future plans include relocating to Los Angeles.

“The title Miss Asia USA is earned through dedication, hard work and the demonstration of self-confidence, intelligence, beauty and elegance,” according to Virgelia Villegas, President of Virgelia Productions, Inc and the producer and director of Miss Asia USA. Diane Yoo showed the judges and the audience that she has all of those qualities in abundance. We are proud to have her representing the mission of Miss Asia USA to unite the communities of the 58 countries of the Asian continent because has already proven to be an outstanding role model for young Asian women in America. Her total commitment was what impressed me the most. Even though she lives in Houston, she never missed a rehearsal or pre-pageant event. It takes that kind of dedication to earn the crown. I look forward to introducing her to all the Asian communities this coming year.”

Virgelia went on to say, “I am extremely pleased and proud of all of our wonderful delegates and I offer them my sincerest gratitude for their participation and hard work. Our 20th Anniversary was unforgettable, and we couldn’t have done it without them. The same is true for our generous sponsors, our staff and our fantastic hosts, Pilar Lastra and Hector Luis Bustamante.”

Virgelia also announced the Queen’s Court and the winners of the special recognition awards:

Brittany Chen – Miss Taiwan – 1st Runner-up
Linda Tram Nguyen – Miss Vietnam – 2nd Runner-up
Liane Valenzuela – Miss Philippines – 3rd Runner-up
Tamanno Kamiljanova – Miss Uzbekistan – 4th Runner-up

Best National Costume – Diane Yoo – Miss Korea
Miss Photogenic – Chanita Thinrat – Miss Thailand
Miss Congeniality – Ouch Chourp – Miss Cambodia
Miss Popularity – Brittany Chen – Miss Taiwan
Miss Friendship – Sophia Garsevanian – Miss Armenia
Award of Courage – Ayako Kosuge – Miss Japan

The newly crowned Miss Asia USA 2008 has already received an official invitation from the Consul General for the Republic of Korea to participate in a cultural tour of her country of heritage. Details of the official visit have not yet been finalized and will be made available in the near future.

About Miss Asia USA

Miss Asia USA, Miss Teen Asia USA and Mrs. Asia USA Pageants are the premiere Cultural Pageants presenting Asian women in the United States who trace their ancestry to the fifty-eight countries considered part of the Asian continent. The pageants offer the delegates the unique opportunity to display the cultural beauty and the sociability of the country of their heritage. Through this celebration of Beauty, Culture, Elegance and Talent Virgelia Productions, Inc aims to unite the fifty- eight countries in the Asian continent. Asian women from all over the United States gather in the name of friendly competition to vie for these coveted titles Miss Asia USA, Miss Teen Asia USA and Mrs. Asia USA. The Pageant promotes leadership, personal growth; strengthens cultural values, camaraderie and unity in diversity. Each Delegate will not only epitomize beauty and intelligence, but reflect the unity and sociability of her country. The Pageants display the rich ethnic diversity of our society and gives us a glimpse into the multitudes of cultures that surround us today. The lavish parade of the National Costumes, the grace and elegance of the Evening Gown competition and the sensational Swimsuit Competition all combine to create an atmosphere of excitement that surpasses the audience’s expectations time and time again.

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