BINIBINING Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) and the Bangkok-based Miss Grand International have jointly announced that Samantha May Bernardo has been selected as the Philippines’ official representative to the eighth edition of the global beauty pageants that advocates to “stop the wars.”
Bernardo, 27, from Puerto Princesa, Palawan has finished as second runner-up in Binibining Pilipinas, in 2018 and 2019, and was an official contestant for the national pageant’s 57th edition last year before it was postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Ma. Andrea Abesamis, Binibining Pilipinas first runner-up in 2019 who inherited the Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2019 title from erstwhile titleholder Samantha Lo (who resigned after competing in the 7th edition of the international tilt in Caracas, Venezuela) was expected to vie for the eighth-finals last year but whose postponement was extended until March this year. Now 29, Abesamis became technically ineligible to compete – age ceiling is 28 – paving the way for Bernardo’s selection.
In a statement released last Tuesday, BPCI says it “extends its full support to Bernardo to win the country’s first Miss Grand International crown.”
At the same time, BPCI also expressed regret for Abesamis who, nonetheless, “keeps her Bb Pilipinas Grand International title which she will pass on to the next winner at the 57th Bb Pilipinas finals on April 17.”
An empowered woman, Samantha Bernardo stands 5 feet 8 1/2 inches tall and measures 36-23-37. She finished a degree in Hospitality Management.
Sam was a competitive rhythmic gymnast for 9 years and represented her province in national competitions. Aside from sports, she is a cultural performer and a former president of Sining Palawan Dance Troupe that showcases Philippine folk dances. She has also worked as a professional model and an entrepreneur who owns and runs her clothing company. Her heart to serve fuels her competitive spirit and determination to excel in her field.
Sam is a volunteer and spokesperson of Philippine Movement Against Malaria, which aims for a malaria-free Philippines by 2030.
She understands that “in this period in our history, in this time of a pandemic, the war has already shifted from armed conflict to a war against hunger and for better healthcare.
Countries face economic recession as citizens lose jobs, resulting in disagreement and inequality. The pandemic also evidences the collapse of healthcare systems around the world, taking the lives of many, especially the poor and the underprivileged.
“It is very timely and significant to bring this war on hunger and health to Miss Grand International,” says Samantha, who hopes to lend her voice to amplify these social issues.
“As we journey together and share our resources, we can influence this war, and the Sun will rise again with hope, love, and peace to all.”
Samantha leaves for Bangkok on February 28 (to fulfill the required 14-day quarantine) before the two-week pageant begins and culminates with the coronation night on March 27.