Samantha Mae Bernardo, Miss Grand Philiipines 2020 and Miss Grand International 2020 first runner-up, recently shared her regrets and experience with the competition during her “Slam Book” interview. Samantha shared that her greatest regret was being absent from her father’s side during his untimely demise.
The diva mentioned, “I experienced the loss of my dad four years ago and I was not here in the Philippines. So, every day we called, but it was a sudden death, so I did not have the chance to hug him and that broke my heart. “ Samantha was working in Cambodia when her father passed away and, since there was no direct flight from Cambodia to Manila, she had to travel to Bangkok from where she had her connecting flight to the Philippines.
Samantha, who was one of the favourites for the Miss Grand International 2020 title and she always aspired to win the crown for the Philippines, ended up as the first runner-up at the end of the event finale. She shared that the final question and answer during the final round at the competition. The answer came from her dad. She mentioned, “During my interview training sessions with the Kagandahang Flores camp, I remember crying each time my trainers would ask me anything relating to my father. I even told them if they were trying to be mean to me. That’s when they told me that if my actual question in the pageant would be about my dad, would I cry in front of the audience? So, when I gave my answer to the final question, I was able to contain myself and not cry. “
During the final round, the top three finalists were asked, “If there is only a single dose of vaccine left, to whom will you give it to – to a 15-year-old or a 70-year-old and why?” To which Samantha answered, “My heart goes to senior citizens because my mom is turning (into a) senior citizen. And I experienced the loss of my dad three years ago and I cannot afford to lose my mom. My heart goes to them because they are the most vulnerable during this time. A 15-year-old has the stamina to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. With proper exercise and healthy living, they can live with it. And we know as well that every citizen here will choose (the one) and never afford to lose their parents. “
The beauty queen also shared that she is very grateful for the opportunities she has received till now and is looking forward to new ones in the future. During the interview, she was asked about the one celebrity she’d like to trade lives with and be friends with, to which she replied Angelina Jolie because she admires the work she does for humanity. She also disclosed that she will be opening the Binibining Pilipinas 2021 swimsuit competition.
Samantha was also asked if she is going to join showbiz in the future to which she stated, “I hope I’ll really be a good host for TV. That’s one of my goals and that’s what I want to pursue. But I feel like I’m not getting any younger to push through a career in acting. It’s also a passion, just like pageantry. If given a chance, why not? And if it’s not too late for me, why not?”
Samantha shared that she would love to do the backend reporting of the beauty competition if given a chance. She advised the delegates and aspirants of beauty pageants to keep their mental health safe and healthy. She asked them to go back to them why on why are they here and what’s the purpose, which will help them in staying focused on the goals as she added that winning is not about achieving the platform anymore but about the winner being able to make a significant change in society with her work and presence.