'See you, Philippines': Samantha Bernardo finally flies home after Miss Grand International win

Miss Grand International 2020 first runner-up Samantha Bernardo
Miss Grand International via Samantha Bernardo's Instagram account

MANILA, Philippines — After a month-and-a-half since winning in Thailand, Miss Grand International 2020 first runner-up Samantha Bernardino flies home to the Philippines, after securing a seat on the first available flight allowed by the country's ongoing travel restrictions.

On a quick live feed on the Miss Grand International page, a day before her departure, the Palawan beauty told some 2,000 viewers that she would be doing a courtesy call at the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok, as well as speaking engagements with pageant sponsor Kamol Cosmetic Hospital and a live interview with the KP1 Worldwide web-based channel thereafter.

"Thank you for supporting Miss Grand International and the queens in our future activities. I hope to be back in Thailand for the Miss Grand International 2021 with all my other sisters (Guatemala's Ivana Batchelor, Indonesia's Aurra Kharishma, and Brazil's Lala Guedes)," intoned Sam.

After the competition, the Miss Grand International 2020 court went around the country's top destinations to help the Amazing Thailand tourism efforts, which has been greatly affected by the global pandemic.

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After her stint with the girls, Sam stayed behind with Lala Guedes and Panama's Angie Keith to explore more of the island hideaways. In total, Sam spent over a month traveling, alone or with the girls, to eight Thai provinces, including Phuket, Krabi and capital city Bangkok.

"It's a night flight and I hope to meet all my friends. But, I'm sorry if I can't see you guys due to the restrictions," informed Sam at the close of her live feed.

Sam's placement in this year's competition is the second time a FIlipina almost got the crown, after Nicole Cordovez in 2016.

The 2021 edition of the annual Miss Grand International will unfold sometime in November or December.

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