Miss Grand Philippines 2020 Samantha Bernardo expressed her support to Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo and asked the public to stop online hate comments against pageant candidates.
Bernardo, who finished 1st runner-up during the Miss Grand International 2020, shared this via Instagram Stories on May 5 which had since been expired on the platform.
Some Facebook pages dedicated to beauty pageant conversations managed to make screenshots of these post and shared them on the platform.
“Please let’s stop hate. Let’s focus on supporting our queens without putting others down. I believe and I truly support Rabiya Mateo. She can win and be the next Miss Universe because she is smart, beautiful and purposeful,” Bernardo said.
“She will win because she worked very hard to represent all of us, Filipinos. Let us not put her down as well. Let’s unite for her. We love you, Rabiya,” she added.
Bernardo also noted that her time in pageantry had concluded and she no longer wished to be part of a “camp rivalry.”
“My time in pageantry is done and I don’t want to deal with this camp rivalry anymore. My team and KF for Crown and Country has nothing to do with all your hate. We did our best and we hope we made everyone proud with Binibining Pilipinas’ support,” she said.
She also stressed that this will be the last time she will address such issues.
“This is the first and last time I will address this issue. Again, let us all live peacefully where love is our language, humanity is our race and peace is our lasting legacy to the world,” Bernardo said.
Although Bernardo did not win the crown, her playful interaction with the winner Miss Grand USA Evelyn Abena Akuaba Appiah on stage was among the most talked about scenes during the coronation night of Miss Grand International 2020.
Bernardo’s statements came after Miss Universe Canada Nova Stevens bared she received racist and nasty comments from some Filipino pageant fans online.
However, when Stevens’ Instagram post added more fuel to the fire, the Miss Universe candidate asked the public to stop generalizing that all Filipinos are “racist.”
She also attached positive comments from Filipinos where they expressed admiration and support for her.
“The last thing I want is for anyone to experience hate so please don’t bash or generalize the Filipino fans; not all are racist. Some of my closest friends who also happen to be some of the nicest people I know are Filipino. In every group of people; whether black, white, green, yellow, red, purple, there are always a few bad apples,” Stevens said.
Mateo also apologized to Nova, on behalf of all Filipino fans, and urged her countrymen to be more respectful of others.
“I know that these hate comments is not the reflection of who we are as Filipinos, and what our country can offer. We are so much more than that. It’s just that some people have normalized being cruel, especially in the industry of beauty pageants. We can support each other without destroying each other,” she said.