Tariu was crowned Miss Maine Kuki Airani, in the MCIPA pageant in September, and later flew to the Philippines to represent the Cook Islands at this year’s Miss Asia Pacific International pageant.
Tariu is amongst 42 other candidates competing for the title and on Tuesday (CI time), the contestants showed off their talents, at the “Johnny B Good” in Manila.
The half Cook Islands and half Russian Sydney-based model said she felt very happy about her win
“My culture is a part of my personality, so for me when I express it (culture) to other countries, I feel like they get to know who I really am,” she said.
The 19-year-old says pageant life is very busy.
“We are up at 4:30am a lot and we are on the go until about 11pm.”
Tariu has been in love with Cook Islands dancing since she was five. She learned the art while attending school in Atiu.
“From there my father tutored me and I have grown to love my culture and where I am from.”
Miss Asia Pacific International has tapped the power of social media to help determine who will be the People’s Choice Award.
Votes can be cast on both Facebook and Instagram, and the contestant with the most “Likes” and “Hearts” on those platforms will win the People’s Choice award.
To vote for Miss Cook Islands, “Like” and “Follow” her Facebook and Instagram “Lydia Simonis”.
Voting will close on November 22 at 11:59pm.
Miss Netherlands, Tessa Le Conge, is currently holds the title and will crown the 2017 Miss Asia Pacific International on November 29.