PENAMPANG – This year’s Kaamatan festival came to a beautiful close with the crowning of Kerinah Mah as the new Unduk Ngadau.
The 22-year-old Sino Tombonuo lass, representing Kota Kinabalu, beat 43 participants and took over the role of legendary figure Huminodun from former Unduk Ngadau queen Sherry Anne Laujang.
She won herself RM45,000 in scholarships sponsored by the Asian Tourism International College and the Almacrest International College, return ticket to Bangkok, RM8,000 in cash, a Samsung Galaxy A5, and a trophy, among others.
During the question and answer session, she said participating the Unduk Ngadau has always been her dream.
“Through Unduk Ngadau, I am able to enhance my knowledge (on the Kadazandusun culture and traditions) and also the language,” she said.
Kerinah was crowned by Puan Sri Genevieve Kitingan, the wife of Deputy Chief Minister and Huguan Siou (Kadazandusun paramount leader) Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan at the event held at Hongkod Koisaan here.
Shareene Francis Loudin, who represents Penampang, bagged the first runner-up position, while Arveyna Pamella Januin of Papar came in as the second runner-up.
The Unduk Ngadau pageant is one of the most important highlights of Kaamatan, which depicts Huminodun, a maiden who was sacrificed by her father, Kinoingan, to save the people from famine and grant humans a bountiful harvest.
A newly crowned Unduk Ngadau is expected to carry out social and charity works as well as promote Sabah tourism for a year.