By Joseph Vitug
Interviewing delegates whose command of English is
rather limited and with the absence of translators around could be
rather frustrating. Still, despite the language barrier, one of
the most important considerations is to put your subject at ease, and
perhaps scuttle the original questions you intend to ask the subject.
That’s what happened in this case.
I got to chat with this sweet, charming, and lovely
lady a couple of times, first in the first official press presentation
and second after the National Costume presentation. After the
first press presentation, I got the fortune to approach her and I
greeted her with the compliment that I think she should have been
crowned Miss World instead of Priyanka, and congratulated her on her
placement among the Top 24 in Global Beauties’ Internet Era No. 1
Beauty search. We discussed about the weather, and that at that moment
she wants to take a swim at the hotel pool because of the warm weather
(well, it was warm despite the overcast skies that hovered above,
holding back its downpours at that moment when otherwise it will
release a torrent of showers). It was a warmly cordial
conversation we’re having that I didn’t have the guts to proceed
with asking her the questions from my prepared questionnaire.
Besides, there was Miss Russia beside her, and I wanted to be
considerate with he r so I also chatted with her – also about the
weather. Miss Russia mentioned to me how it is a sharp contrast
from her birthplace in Siberia (we all know how extremely cold it is
there), and she asked me if our weather is always like this… I told
her that sometimes it’s all hot sun. With other activities to
attend to, the delegates were soon whisked away after that…
I attempted to proceed with my prepared questionnaire
during the second occasion we got to meet. I only managed a mere
three questions because it’s quite tough trying to make the
questions simple enough for her to comprehend… I suggested
we’ll continue our interview some other time. She can clearly
carry a conversation with the simplest English words, but a few more
complex ones are beyond her comprehension as of now. Still,
nevertheless, I find her smart enough and a charming lady with a good
heart. I feel she would probably be able to actually give real
substantial answers if there is someone on hand that can translate my
questions to her. Anyway, here’s an attempt to create the
right context of what she’s trying to communicate:
1. Q: What makes you happy? What
makes you sad?
A: I’m happy whenever
I’m with my family. I’m sad when anyone in my family is not
well or when I hear something bad about our planet.
2. Q: What are the most important qualities a
woman must have?
A: She should be
natural, elegant, an interesting person, and educated.
3. Q: If you were chosen Miss Earth, what
activities and/or causes would you intend to focus on during your
A: Pursue further
education and studies back in Alma Ata [Kazakhstan’s capital]
especially since there are a lot of college programs in that city.
I would also like to deal with the gases in our atmosphere.