LOOK: Could this be the winner for Best National Costume at 69th Miss Universe Competition?

Published April 28, 2021, 10:00 PM

by Robert Requintina

Miss Universe Malaysia Francisca Luhong James wowed pageant fans when she debuted on social media her magnificent national costume for the 69th Miss Universe Competition last April 27.

Called Kampungko, Francisca’s official national costume color scheme symbolizes the sweet, innocent memory of one’s youth while the motif on the fabric is inspired by Sarawak’s Orang Ulu print.

The look is completed with a headpiece in the shape of a bicycle, a typical mode of transport for youths back in the olden days.

This early, pageant fans around the world are cheering for this ensemble, saying this could be the winner of the National Costume Competition special award.

Some of the comments:

“DEFINITELY ONE OF THE BEST NATCOS EVER IN MALAYSIA PAGEANTRY HISTORY!! Balik kampung…oooo Balik kampunggggg…hati girang”


“This costume made us proud as Malaysian.”

“The best and deserving.”

“You’re not alone Frans! You bring the Malaysian house to the Universe. We love you!”

On Facebook, Francisca detailed her official national costume:

“The kampong scene is then brought to life in colour, complete with replica chickens and coconut tree when the reverse side of the house is revealed.

“Matching the scene is a vibrant off-shoulder orange gown representing a stunning evening sunset, and gold ‘kerawang’ wooden beading to reflect Francisca’s Sarawakian heritage.

“To complete the transformation, Francisca wears a whimsical-looking headpiece by Borneo Doll featuring a ‘Francisca’ doll with an identical gown and a crown to denote queenly beauty, surrounded by the national flower, ‘Bunga Raya’ made of intricately woven ‘mengkuang’ to symbolise her beloved country, Malaysia.”

Francisca is a 25-year-old Kayan-Kenyah-Iban native from Kuching, Sarawak.

She holds a first class honors degree in mass communications and majored in public relations and represented her school in long jump.

Francisca is the first woman with full native heritage to win Miss Universe Malaysia and would like to inspire more native women to pursue their dreams.

In her hometown, she lived in a longhouse with 101 doors.

Despite having asthma, she’s been awarded three medals for track. She is also a COVID-19 survivor.

The finals of the 69th Miss Universe Competition will be held in Hollywood, Florida on May 16 (May 17 in Manila).