Penelope Iakopo Price and younger sister, Miss Samoa Alexandra Iakopo in Nadi, Fiji for the Miss Pacific competition this week
By Nanai Taofiga Laveitiga Tuiletufuga
(Samoa Events Incorporated, SEI, Nadi, Fiji): Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.
For Penelope Iakopo Price, her relationship with her only sister and the younger of the two, reigning Miss Samoa Alexandra Iakopo has survived the test of time. And it has gone from strength to strength with Alexandra cheating death twice from two massive heart surgeries.
And in the middle of her preparations for the Miss Pacific Islands, their father was summoned by his maker.
It’s something that Mrs. Price does not want to dwell because she wants to stay strong and maintain her composure for the sake of Alex to concentrate on the pageant.
Back in September when she heard the news that Alexandra (or Sana as she is called by her family) was crowned Miss Samoa, the Denver Colorado resident was not the least surprised.
“I have faith in Alex in whatever she does,” said Mrs. Price. “She was determined to win the crown after her first pageant the previous year where Sana won the Catholic Church Miss Youth Pageant.
“And when the idea of trying out in the Miss Samoa popped up, Alex was quick to respond, why not, I got nothing to lose.”
And the rest is history.
She describes her younger sibling as cheeky and a troublemaker at times.
“She (Alex) looks up to me as a mother,” she says. “I took up some of the responsibility when my parents were busy with their missionary work when she was a kid.
“And she was not very easy to please as a kid.
“She has her own sense of style. And she doesn’t back down from what she wants.
“Alex is strong will and loves to embrace challenges.
“She’s a go getter. She’s a trouble maker some of the time but overall she’s a sweet loving person.”
Mrs. Price is with the Samoa delegation in Nadi this week to support her younger sister.
And she thanks the Almighty for his divine love in helping Alex to be where she is today.
Whatever the outcome, the US citizen and permanent resident is confident that Alex will walk away from the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant as a born-again young woman full of self-confidence that anything is achievable.
“She is here for a reason,” said the eldest in a family of five.
“As our late father had reminded all of his children constantly, there is a reason for everything to happen, good or bad,” she smiles as she walks to greet Miss Samoa returning from a public engagement with the 8 other contestants who will be vying for the title this week.