Tu'a'ofa Wins Heilala Miss Tau'olunga
Just wanna share with you guys some news here from Tonga. Please forgive me he‘e ngali kuo te kaaimu’a. Ko e ki’i ongoongo na’e ‘ikai ke te mätä tonu ai, ko e fo’i telelouniu pe, but i can tell you that my sources are undoubtedly reliable. We were fortunate with the Heilala Festival last night, that Tu’a’ofa won first prize for the tau’olunga pre-teen competition, out of eight other contestants. It's her first taste of competition, and although i was worried for her being new to the experience, i guess our little Tu’a is one tough gem, cos she rose to the occasion like a pro, fearless i tell you. When introduced to the idea of joining the competition, following the success of ‘Etivise Sikei Jr, Tu’a seemed confident, that winning is possible for her (haven’t talked to Tu’a though lol). I guess there was a positive impact on her mentally from ‘Etivise’s success, plus, like all mums, Tu’a was consistently sharpened on her tau’olunga skills. Also, she got further tutoring from Sr. Clare and Vake (who’s currently visiting us with husband Maikeli) on how to win over the crowd and judges. I guess these tutors were former dance gladiators in their own right. Right? So our gem Tu’a walked out to the stage, smiling graciously. Led to the stage by our very own SaimoneJr Mahe (star tulafale), no need for any band, ko e toki patö mai e tepí ia, ka ko e fakateetee ia ‘aTu’a’ofa. And near the end, as rehearsed, our little man Saimone (5yrs old) got up and did the tulafale the Saimone way. I tell you, this little guy, Saimone, 150% full of energy poured out on the stage his talent, was like icing on the cake for Tu’a’s performance. Cos when we see overly excited Samoans doing the tulafale, that's how this 5year old does it, just like that. Oh my goodness, for those of you new to seeing these two on stage, you would be in awe at how gracious and joyful Tu'a does it, plus how wildly energetic and overcharged Saimone does his. Too bad i don’t have videos or pictures. (Manatu’i, ko e fo’i telelouniu pe eni. Find your pictures from someone else). Anyway, we were all happy with the results. The second prize went to Sisi’uhila Vahe (mokopuna ‘o hoku aunty Felisita Fe’ao), congratulations to you Sisi, and i guess it’ll be a night for all of us to enjoy. Tau fiefia kotoa pe ai. Also, Tu’a won first prize for the best costume, prepared by her grandma Lotiola. Kou toe fkpapau’i ki heku sources, pe koe kui pe ‘a Tu’a’ofa na’a ne ngaahi e teunga, na’a ko ha fo’i copyright foki eni. Kaikehe, fkpapau’i mai ai pe heku sources it was Tu’a’s grandma, indeed, who had sleepless nights hono teu e teunga tau’olunga ‘o Tu’a. Congratulation to you Mum. Sai ia ke ‘osi e Uike Heilala, ka ke malolo a, na'a ke toe puke. Kaikehe, ‘ikai ke fai ha lau ia ki he pale (1000 Pa'anga). Hange ko e tangi ‘a e ki'i finemotu'a ‘Ahau, “ko e kili pe mo e hui” (‘ofa atu Grandma Fatai). And lastly, kuo tu’u ai pe ‘atamai ia ‘etau ta’ahine tau’olunga, kuo ma’u ‘ene tikite ‘a’ana ki he'etau Re-Union in NZ (I was told it was the main reason she willingly participated in the competition). I guess our little gem has it all figured out eh! Anyway, i owe you guys an apology for not making it there myself to get you some pictures. You must understand, Lotiola Jr and I were at home celebrating Pele’s 27th birthday. Happy Birthday again to my wife, Pelenatita Pome'e Manu. Kaikehe, mou nofo a famili. ‘Ofa lahi atu kiate kimoutolu hono kotoa. Meiate au, Hikosi’i, mei he ‘api ko Makahau (meaning Makave & Matahau . . . ‘oua ‘e lau ena).