Miss Grand International Philippines 2021 Samantha Panlilio unveiled a surprise during the beauty pageant’s preliminary round held in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Philippine representative to the Miss Grand International pageant modeled her evening gown which was called “Layag Balangay” by its designer, Rian Fernandez.
The gown featured a bodice fully bejeweled with glass beads, Caribbean Blue opal rhinestones and Austrian swarovski crystals. It was accompanied with a hand embroidered sheer cape.
Fernandez said that the cape gown is “inspired with the seafaring vessel of the Philippines, being the first wooden watercraft excavated in Southeast Asia.”
The balangay is a type of lashed-lug boat that were used as trading ships by Filipinos until the Spanish Colonial Era. It is also known as the Butuan boat.
These boats were said to be instrumental in the settlement of Austronesian peoples in the Philippines and the Malay archipelago before.
Fernandez said that Panlilio’s cape gown is “a perfect way to reawaken Filipino pride in a forgotten heritage of the ancient Filipino ingenuity.”
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During the preliminary competition, Panlilio entered the stage wearing the gown but the sheer cape was not yet visible.
She surprised viewers when it suddenly tumbled down from her shoulders the moment she turned her back after completing a circular turn across the stage.
A clip of the cape reveal was uploaded on Twitter, where it has received more than 40,000 views so far.
Here's the Preliminary Evening Gown performance of Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2021 Samantha Alexandra Panlilio.#SamPan #SAMthingGRAND #SamanthaPanlilio#BinibiningPilipinas #ThirdSAMstheCharm #MissGrandInternational2021 #SAMinNaman pic.twitter.com/VieVByJewU
— Ken Sebastian (@KenSebastian16) December 2, 2021
“May pa surprise na kapa-epek si #Sampan,” a Twitter user commented, using Panlilio’s shorter version of her full name.
“ANG ELEGANT. HOW?” another online user commented.
“They say the third Sam’s (time’s) a charm. So prettyyy and that cape reveal effect?” wrote a different Filipino with a heart-eyed emoji.
An Instagram user also commented, “Pasavogue ‘yung gown, promise.”
“Pasavogue” is a play on the words “pasabog” and “vogue,” a word defined as “one that is in fashion at a particular time.”
Pageant fans also have the chance to vote for the “best in evening gown” through social media.
Ten Miss Grand bets will be selected from the online vote while ten other candidates will come from the pageant judges.
Fans are asked to “like” and “share” their Miss Grand bet’s picture on Facebook, where one like is equivalent to one point and one share is equivalent to two points.
On Instagram, a “like” on the Miss Grand candidate’s photo translates to ten points.
“First of all you need to FOLLOW the Instagram MGI (Miss Grand International) account, the photos that are liked by the followers of the MGI account will earn 2 points,” the pageant said.
Fans can vote for their Miss Grand bets for the evening gown portion until December 4, 6 p.m. (Thailand time).
The Philippines is eyeing its first Miss Grand International crown. Previously, representatives Samantha Bernardo and Nicole Cordoves finished as runner-ups.