On March 28, 2021, Samantha Bernardo made the Philippines proud with her 1st runner-up win at Miss Grand International 2020. The beauty queen captivated the judges with her so-called granada walk, quick wit, and not to mention her jaw-dropping outfits!
One of her standout looks was the emerald green gown she wore at the preliminary competition, and turns out, the piece has the most beautiful meaning behind it.
According to the Binibining Pilipinas organization, the gown is called Lipad (the Tagalog word for "fly"), and it's an homage to the yellow-throated leafbird. What's so special about this bird, you ask? It's native to the islands of Palawan, which also happens to be where Samantha grew up!
Designer Louis Pangilinan hand-embroidered the gown with emerald beads, sequins, and gold crystals to represent the striking colors of the native bird. The fine, feather-like threads on the lower half of the piece only accentuated the inspiration further, giving the dress more movement for Samantha's signature strut.
The gown's emerald color was no accident either! "Emerald green shows a woman's growth, humility, and courage—characteristics that made our queen Samantha grand and awe-inspiring," the Binibining Pilipinas organization writes.