MANILA – “Isang karangalan Mahal Kong Pilipinas.”
This was Samantha Bernardo’s statement a day after she was hailed first runner-up in the 2020 Miss Grand International pageant. The USA’s Abena Akuaba Appiah took the crown.
As she shared her photos with Appiah and her fellow runners-up on Instagram, Samantha wrote: “Maraming salamat po @nawat.tv @teresa.mgi @valentinafiguerm and to all our Queen judges.”
“Everyone deserves to be here. I am so happy to have these beautiful moment with @lalacguedes @aurrakharishma @ivana.batch and of course our very own, my @kfforcrownandcountry sister @abenaakuaba. I love you. You know that. I told you, we will be in Top 2,” she added.
According to Samantha, she joined the competition to fulfill her purpose of being a symbol of hope, compassion and unity.
“I know I did my best and I have lived up to my purpose. I hope I made you proud again Philippines,” she said.
Samantha also thanked all the people who helped her in this journey, saying it meant a lot to her that they never stopped believing in her capabilities.
Following her first runner-up finish, Samantha now joins the likes of Elizabeth Clenci and Nicole Cordoves, who finished second-runner up in 2017 and first runner-up in 2016, respectively, in Miss Grand International.
A fan favorite during the competition held in Thailand, Samantha consistently got high votes in pre-pageant competitions such as swimsuit and national costume.
She was handpicked by Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. to represent the country after reigning titleholder Aya Abesamis was unable to compete due to age restrictions.
The Philippines has yet to win the Miss Grand International title.