Journal Staff


Belta Perez, longtime president of John Robert Powers LLC; is making every effort to continue doing business, as well as expanding into additional areas.

JRP offers dance, voice, acting and modeling skills.

The school relocated to Ada’s Plaza in Hagatna and Perez was preparing it. It is now open Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. “We just reopened,” she said. For interested students, “We can take appointments,” Perez said. “We’ll be more than happy to see them.”

This year, Perez is bringing back the Miss Hemisphere Pageant and told the Journal it will comply with all COVID guidelines.

“In cooperation with our local island community, we have begun our interviewing process for the 2021 Miss Hemisphere International preliminaries on Guam,” she said.

Contestants must be female, aged between 18 and 39, of single status, and adhere to the rules and regulations of the pageant. “We will be judging Poise, Beauty, Personality, and Stage Presence,” she said. Attire for the pageant will only be a one-piece swimsuit and gown. Contestants may create a headpiece with artificial or authentic flowers to compliment gowns.

Maria Little, president and CEO of Miss Hemisphere USA/International said she has “high hopes to see Miss Guam 2021 in the 2022 New City finals,” in a press release sent to the Journal.

The pageant is scheduled for July 5 at the Hyatt Regency Guam. Perez said people need diversions. “I was trying to bring the community back to the sense of activities — for women; for families.”

The Miss Hemisphere winner will receive a round trip ticket to New York City for the final, $1,000 for accommodation and expenses, a gown from Gay Lord and a one-year supply of Gleem skin care products, as well a specialty collection of jewelry from my Soul Repair. In addition, she will receive a professional portfolio, a personal make up kit for stage appearances and the winner’s crown, title sash and bouquet. Miss Congeniality and Miss Photogenic will also be awarded. Details from JRP are available on Facebook and Instagram.

Perez has supported the Alee Shelter since 1977, she said and 10% of the proceeds of this year’s Miss Hemisphere will go to the shelter. “It’s part of the tradition,” she said.

A new range of retail jewelry is her latest endeavor, Perez said, retailing her own collection of My Soul Repair Jewelry. She is also now an ambassador for the region for Gleem, an organic aloe vera skin care range from the U.S. mainland.

“I’m waiting for the retail license,” she said. She has been waiting about three months for the license, she said. In the meantime, she can market the products, but not sell them.

 “The government was closed; they were overloaded; they told us to be patient,” Perez said. DPW came for the service license to Ada’s Plaza, she said. “They said they had a lot of people waiting.” Perez said. She said she understands the licensing challenges. “I have been patient, because we’re all in the same boat,” she said.

Perez said the pandemic has had a dire effect on small businesses.

“So many of the small businesses who were part of my network have closed. It was hard for people to diversify.”

Belta Perez is diversifying into selling the My Soul Repair jewelry range.
Photo by Lin McAfee, courtesy of Belta Perez

Small businesses owners in Guam were a network of their own, she said. “We used to talk to each other; we used to help each other out.” Retail offers opportunities, she said, as it is doing for her. “People may want to look at that.”

As to JRP she said people have asked her to continue in business. “If we can stay afloat; if we can hang on through this pandemic — the community really needs our services.” The pandemic has been tough she said, although she is positive in attitude. “I’m really okay.” mbj