LAST Wednesday, Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2020 Samantha Mae Bernardo, 27, from Puerto Princesa, Palawan, flew into Bangkok, Thailand, the first of the 76 international beauty delegates to arrive for the 8th Miss Grand International Pageant that was postponed last year because of the pandemic.
Sam will fulfill the 14-day quarantine period in Bangkok before plunging into the thick of activities and competitions of the international pageant that advocates to stop the wars in the world.
Sam arrived in Bangkok wearing a modern take on the chut thai, the traditional garment of Thailand created by Cyrus Gueta Couture.
The ivory color symbolizes elegance and purity, embellished with clear glass beads and crystals that denotes wisdom and compassion which are Buddhist virtues. The gold accent is to attract good fortune and abundance. The lines and color were made clean and simple to bring out the beauty of the Filipina skin. To complete the look, her hair was adorned with a gold ornament.
This early, Sam has been touted by pageant blog sites as the top pick to win the coveted golden crown of Miss Grand International, currently held by Venezuela’s Valentina Figuera who won the pageant on home soil in Caracas in 2019.
Sam finished as Binibining Pilipinas second runner-up for two consecutive years – 2018 and 2019 – and was currently a candidate once more for the 2020 national pageant when she was handpicked to be the country’s official delegate to Miss Grand International 2020 which finally pushes through next month.
“Preparing for an international pageant during this time is really a big challenge,” said Rodgil Flores of Kagandahang Flores pageant camp where Sam had been training for her pageant journeys. “Everything was made possible through the collective efforts of, first and foremost, Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. together with Kagandahang Flores, Team Philippines, Wilbert Tolentino and Sam’s family and loved ones.”
The finals will be held at Show DC Hall in Bangkok on March 27, 2021.
The 57th Binibining Pilipinas, happening on April 17, 2021 at the Araneta Coliseum, will be hosted by actor Xian Lim and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.
Postponed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pageant will select its delegates who will compete for Miss International, Miss Intercontinental, Miss Globe and Miss Grand International.
Thirty-six contestants will vie for the crowns – minus 4 original delegates, including Bernardo, who is now in Bangkok for Miss Grand International, and Rowee Lucero, who competed for Miss Globe 2020 in Albania where she emerged as fourth runner-up.