Monday, October 27, 2003

[Sing Pao]

Miss Hong Kong Mandy Cho has fond memories of the carousel at Ocean Park because when she was six years old, her mother carried her onto the back of the horse and she felt like she was a little princess. In the blink of an eye, she has become Miss Hong Kong and this time she returns to that place to relive her childhood innocence!

Mandy is one of three sisters and when she was five, her family moved back to Hong Kong to live, until she returned to San Francisco in 2000 to study. Thus she is very familiar with Hong Kong and can speak Cantonese very fluently. This photoshoot at Ocean Park is fulfilling her wish as she believes that merry-go-rounds only exist in cartoons and she keeps her princess dreams in her memories. She remembers once when she visited Ocean Park with her sisters and mother together with some friends and she found the carousel horses so beautiful and so large. She asked her mother to lift her onto the horse before standing to one side and watching. Fourteen years later, she still has a great feeling for the place as she says: "The horse is smaller and I can easily climb in myself now. I was very vain when I was younger and I loved watching "Siu Tim Tim" (Candy) cartoons with the beautiful princess settings. (Have you ever imagined a charming prince would come for you?) Yes, but after I grew up, I realised this was just the story in a cartoon, as for my real life prince, I will leave that to fate."

As she loves eating, she turns in this direction to look for a boyfriend as she laughs: "We both have to like eating, it would be no fun if I ate and he didn't. I think if he is quite chubby, that would give a sense of security, he doesn't need to be too good looking as long as he looks okay, loves me and makes me happy!" Mandy reveals that she experienced her first love when she was 18 in San Francisco and although they have broken up now, they are still good friends and still keep in touch.

Mandy has had a happy childhood and has never had to worry about anything at home. Only when she entered the contest has she had the chance to step out into the world and realise she has grown up in a greenhouse environment with the protection of her parents against the wind and rain. She feels that it was a wise decision to take part in Miss Hong Kong and although she still has another two years of study before she graduates, to be able to experience society is a good thing because at least she can see what life is like on the outside. She will give herself one year, completing her duties as Miss Hong Kong before she faces the decision between her education and showbusiness. She says: "I like to stay at home and not come into contact with the world outside, but what you experience and what you hear from other people is always very different. Take showbiz for example, in the past I though that to be Miss Hong Kong all you had to do was to make yourself look pretty for other people, but now I realise that it is not so simple, there is so much more to come into contact with and I have learned a lot. If I didn't take part, I would not know that I could overcome so many difficulties. My father is the happiest because he used to be very worried but after entering, not only have I gained some results, I have also grown up a lot and he has even more confidence in me."

How does Mandy feel about showbusiness being described as a big dye tank and after experiencing it, what does she think? She says: "At the moment I have only touched the surface of this industry, so I can't pass judgement just yet. I don't know if I will become bad but I feel it is a personal issue and my family is my greatest driver. In order not to upset them, there are many things that I will think about before I do them. They have taught me that in life you have to move along with your surroundings and think from other people's perspectives, treating others with sincerity."

Her parents' support for her entering the contest was to allow her to broaden her perspectives and now she has achieved this target, but the time she has for her family has been reduced. She describes her relationship with her mother as being very close, as they share the same birthday and they share every emotion together. She says: "When I was younger, my mother held a birthday party for me and she would always stand behind me. When she saw me happy, she would be happy as though I was her perfect birthday present. When I was younger, I didn't realise this, but now I feel that my mother is very great and have learned to cherish my family. I will do anything to make my mother happy."


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