updated 24 Jul 2013, 16:36
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Sun, Jul 07, 2013
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'They will just call me rojak'
by Charlene Chua


SHE has never met her biological father.

Singaporean ITE College East student Elizabeth Houghton is thankful that her British stepdad has been her pillar of support. Her Eurasian Singaporean mum, Ms Emelda Paulo, 40, married him when Miss Houghton was just two years old.

Her real dad, who is also British, walked out on her mother when he found out that she was pregnant.

They were never married.

Miss Houghton, 18, said her mum, who has Spanish-Portuguese-Filipino ancestry, had revealed her lineage to her when she was nine.

The runner-up of Miss Singapore Intercontinental 2012 told The New Paper: "What my mum told me was that she was working in Kuala Lumpur when she was dating my dad, and he left after she told him about the pregnancy.

"She then came to Singapore to give birth to me and met my stepdad who, as it turns out, knew my birth father as they had worked in Hong Kong together as bartenders years ago."

She added: "I would never look for my birth father because I would never want to find someone who hurt my mum.

"If he came to look me up now, I will want to ask him why he left her.

"Other than that, I'm a very happy person because there's a lot of love and support from my family."

Currently dating her schoolmate, the only child - she has no step-siblings - is a self-confessed tomboy.

She loves longboarding, wakeboarding, kayaking and doing volunteer work on weekends as a cadet lieutenant for the National Civil Defence Cadet Corps.

The latter requires her to teach secondary school students about first aid, fire safety and crime prevention.

She is also about to realise her dream of being a paramedic - she will soon be embarking on an internship with Changi General Hospital.

Miss Houghton works part-time as a guest relations agent at local nightspot Ku De Ta and as a bartender at Thai restaurant Bangkok Jam to earn extra money during the school holidays.

She said: "I've been helping people with first aid since I was 13, wiping scraped knees with alcohol swabs whenever someone fell in school (St. Hilda's Secondary).

"I'm not squeamish about blood but then again, I haven't seen anything that bad yet."

Does she think her parentage would help her stand out in Miss World Singapore, which she joined because she "enjoyed" her experience of competing in Miss Singapore Intercontinental 2012? "People's eyes always pop when they find out that I'm so mixed," she replied. "But I don't think that gives me an advantage here. They will just call me rojak!

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