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Samantha Panlilio slays the Miss Grand International 2021 evening gown prelims

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Dec 03, 2021 12:34 pm

The Philippines’ bet Samantha Panlilio rocked the preliminaries stage in an intricate Rian Fernandez creation. 

Panlilio and 60 other contestants paraded in the evening gown preliminaries of Miss Grand International 2021, held in Bangkok, Thailand on Dec. 2.

Panlilio was stunning in her bespoke sheer cape gown called “Layag Balangay,” inspired by the Philippines’ lashed-lug boat used as trading ships in pre-colonial times.

Designer Fernandez said in an instagram post that the gown’s bejeweled bodice contains Caribbean Blue opal rhinestones, glass beads and oversized Austrian Swarovski crystals. 

“This piece is a perfect way to reawaken Filipino pride in a forgotten heritage of the ancient Filipino ingenuity,” Fernandez said.

Panlilio also wowed the crowd during the night’s swimsuit presentation, where she effortlessly nailed her pasarela walk in a blue one-piece swimwear. 

On Nov. 29, Panlilio competed in the pageant's swimsuit competition, where she was named one of the "best in swimsuit" finalists. The Best in Swimsuit winner, which will be based on judges’ scores, will be announced during the pageant's grand coronation night.

Meanwhile, during the pageant’s national costume competition on Nov. 30, Panlilio impressed fans and the audience in a Paru-Paro Festival-inspired piece by Louis Pangilinan—an intricately beaded white and gold bodysuit and gladiator boots, and the piece de resistance: a pair of oversized diaphanous butterfly wings by Santino Rivera who also designed the costume’s gold headdress.

Miss Grand International 2021 coronation night will air on Dec. 4, Saturday, 8 p.m. During the telecast, the pageant will also give out the following awards: 

  • Best in National Costume
  • Best in Swimsuit
  • Best in Evening Gown
  • Best in Social Media
  • Miss Popular Vote Award

Panlilio won the Binibining Pilipinas Grand International title in July. She has expressed in previous interviews that she is gunning for the first Philippines’ Miss Grand International title. 

Last year, Philippines’ Samantha Bernardo finished first runner-up to Miss Grand International 2020 Abena Appiah of the United States.