Category Archives: Events

2017 Tet Sinh Vien Festival

Photos by: Ned Du

Written by: Jullianne Pham, Miss Social 2016

The Royal Court attended the Tet Sinh Vien Festival at Yerba Buena High School on February 11th. Quan, Savannah, and Alex arrived in the early morning to help set up the MVNCI booth. The ladies gave away Li Xi’s to children that stopped by the table, and they also made arts & crafts with paper crowns along with the children. Several visitors stopped by the booth to take photos with the Royal Court as the afternoon passed. By the time it was 3PM, the ladies went backstage of the high school theatre to help prepare for the Miss Teen Tet Pageant competition! Jullianne arrived just in time to begin preparing the contestants for their competition. The Royal Court felt so overjoyed to see all the lovely contestants again—time flew by so fast from the Miss Teen Tet mixer back in January!

The 10 contestants were split up into their dressing rooms as the Royal Court were assigned their duties. Jullianne and Alex helped the girls in their dressing rooms, making sure that they changed into their right outfit on time to go on stage. Savannah helped with the lights and sound, and Quan arranged the order of ladies from other pageants to help with the crowning segment. Seeing the jitters of the girls as they conversed backstage was so nostalgic for the MVNCI Royal Court—this was the Royal Court almost exactly one year ago! It was different seeing a whole pageant unfold from the other perspective. Watching the contestants dance, do their introduction, walk in their Ao Dai and evening gown, and answer the questions by the judges felt a lot less nerve-wracking than actually experiencing it themselves. It felt exciting and amazing for the ladies to become mentors and older sisters towards the contestants on their special evening—guiding, supporting, and motivating them through all the crazy, scary feelings that the Royal Court went through a year ago.

When it was time to announce the Miss Teen Tet Pageant Royal Court, Quan gathered all of the pageant sisters backstage and handed a bouquet of roses, a sash, and a crown to each of them. Adrenaline was rushing through all of their bodies as they waited for the emcee’s to announce the winners! Julianne flowered Miss People’s Choice, Savannah flowered Miss Scholastic Achievement, Alex sashed Miss Talent and Second Princess, and Quan crowned the new Miss Teen Tet Queen. After the new Miss Teen Tet Royal Court had their share of photographs taken on stage, the ladies gathered for a huge group picture with the pageant royalty that attended the show.
It was a wonderful experience for the ladies to mentor the contestants of this pageant at the Tet Sinh Vien Festival. If you would like more information about the San Jose Tet Festival that is put on every year, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/TetSanJose.org/.
If you would like to revisit the Tet Sinh Vien event this year, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1685650811765494/
Thank you to the Vietnamese Voluntary Foundation, VIVO, who held this Tet festival event: https://www.facebook.com/VIVOusa/

October Community Service – VietAYA’s MAYS

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Written by: Savannah Pham, 1st Princess 2016

Photo Credits: Tuan Anh Nguyen

On Sunday October 23rd, Quan, Alex, Jullianne, and I volunteered in San Jose for the MAYS (Mid-Autumn Youth Summit) workshop, held by the Vietnamese-American Youth Association. This workshop was hosted for high school students, mainly those in their local high school Vietnamese Student Associations who were rising leaders. To start off the day after introducing ourselves, we asked the students to introduce themselves and their schools so we could learn more about them. Then, Quan and I led an icebreaker to encourage active listening; as active listening is an integral part of communicating effectively as a leader. For this icebreaker, the students had to pair off and share either their happiest moment or something they looked forward to. After both students had the chance to share their stories, they were asked to repeat the other student’s story back to them to gauge how well each person had listened.
After the icebreaker, we split into smaller groups and the four of us facilitated a teambuilding activity. The idea for this activity came from the same activity we had done during our court retreat, so Alex and Jullianne chose to have the high school students do it since it had been fun and educational for us. For the activity, one of the students in the group had to instruct the other group members (who were blindfolded and instructed not to speak) how to construct Lego pieces into a certain formation. The students did an excellent job and once we debriefed, we discussed the importance of communication, listening, teamwork, and the importance of modeling these skills as leaders in their schools. Overall, we had a great time working with these students and getting to know the future leaders of our Vietnamese community here in the Bay Area.

If you are interested in participating in MAYS next year, you can read all about the summit at: https://www.facebook.com/VietAYA/

Community Service – Lytton Gardens

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Written by: Jullianne Pham, Miss Social 2016

On Saturday October 1, 2016; Jullianne and Alex visited the Lytton Gardens in Palo Alto to help decorate the nursing home for Halloween! The ladies arrived at 10AM to check-in. Upon arrival, they were led towards the storage room in the back—there were a handful of boxes, containers, and baskets full of Halloween decorations! They were told that they had the freedom to decorate as they pleased in the front lobby and in the back room where the elderly played games and ate their meals. Alex and Jullianne decorated the front lobby first with window decals, scarecrow stands, ceiling decor, and wall decorations. Halloween signs, skeletons, and bats were hung along each wall of the room; while pumpkins, ghosts, and orange & black decor were placed among the tables, table stands, and counters. Some of the elderly even stopped by to give them advice on where to place the decorations!

Once Alex and Jullianne finished decorating the front lobby, they proceeded to the back room. They pasted window decals on all of the backyard doors, hung ceiling decors along each corner of the room, and placed small pumpkins along the walls and ground of the room. Small scarecrows and witches were placed at various corners of the room; some were also placed on the piano and desks. The elderly that were playing cards and bingo at the time complimented the ladies on how well they decorated and conversed with them about their volunteer work—it was heart-warming hearing their lovely comments about how not many volunteers come by to help, so it was nice seeing new faces for a change.
When Alex and Jullianne finished, one of the elderly approached them to talk about school and their pageant experience. It was a lovely experience being able to work with the elderly. Being able to make their day by livening up the place with new decorations made the ladies very happy!
If you are interested in volunteering at Lytton Gardens in the future, you can express your interest to: Dora Sanchez, dsanchez@jtm-esc.org

Miss Asian Global 2016 Pageant

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Written by: Y Phun, 2nd Princess 2016

Photo Credits: David Yu Photography and Miss/Mrs. Vietnam USA Pageant

 

On August 20th, 2016; the MVNCI 2016 court attended the 2016 Miss Asian Global (MAG) Pageant at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco. My court and I had the opportunity to watch the MAG pageant for the first time. When we arrived at the theater our escort, Cong, showed us where to check in and get our ticket. We talked to the programming staff and they told us the tasks we needed to do. We helped the programming committee by handing out program booklets and by asking for donations for the Jade Ribbon Campaign—which raised awareness for hepatitis B and liver cancer within the Asian-American community. It was nice greeting and mingling with people as they were coming in. It was also nice being reunited with our friends from different pageants again as we all supported the MAG delegates together.

Around 7PM, we were seated at the VIP balcony along with the other pageants’ courts. The show started with the beautiful traditional costumes from different cultures. It was beautiful to see the handmade costumes and the unique outfits that each delegate wore. Their self-introductions, fitness and swimsuit, talent, and evening gown portions followed the traditional costumes. The whole show was filled with colors and inspiring words from different viewpoints. The women that presented themselves on stage were beautiful, smart, independent, strong, and passionate about their platform. It was also my first time experiencing the other side of pageantry from the audience’s view. I could feel the nervousness and excitement from the girls because I was in their shoes 5 months ago. The feeling of being on stage and talking in front of a few hundred people was rushing through me again.  The Miss Asian Global pageant was a wonderful production–but the whole show went by so quickly!

I would like to congratulate the new Miss Asian Global 2016 Royal Court. On behalf of MVNCI, I would like to thank the Miss Asian Global organization for inviting us to their pageant.

For more information about the Miss Asian Global Pageant and their new royal court, please visit: http://missasianglobal.com

2015 Tet Festival at History Park, San Jose

On February 28, 2015,  the 2015 MVNCI court made our way to the highly anticipated celebration hosted in San Jose, CA — the Tet Festival!  As we stepped onto the grounds of History/Kelley Park, the Tet atmosphere came alive with lunar decorations, individuals dressed in cultural-wear, and music.

We first setup our booth where we planned to hand out red envelopes filled with chocolate coins, toy cars, and tiaras to the children that stopped by, as we waited for the opening ceremony to begin.  Cathy and Mandy were asked to be the MC’s for the opening ceremony, and the collaboration of the two could not have made a better team for such a job!

Cathy and Mandy took away the stage with opening ceremony, and Cindy and I joined later them onstage in the “Chuc Tet” part of the program.  Along with the Miss and Mrs Vietnam USA and Hoa Hau Ao Dai Bac Cali court members, we each sent a New Year wish to the community in attendance at the event.

Throughout the festival, we had many inspiring visitors stop by our booth.  Along with passing out red envelopes, we crowned little girls with tiaras and gave out toy cars to little boys.

After the court and I cleaned up our booth for the day, I had the honor of being one of the judges for the Ao Dai Contest.  It was a great experience to watch each of the contestants showcase the beauty and elegance of their ao dai, as well as listen to their eloquent answers to the questions asked by the MC’s.

On behalf of the court, we would like to congratulate the Vietnamese-American Tet Festival Committee on a successful event!  We thank you for your time and dedication to making this event possible for our community.  For more information about the event, please visit: http://tetsanjose.org/

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