MANILA, Philippines — Palawan’s Samantha Mae Bernardo, who finished second runner-up in the 2018 Binibining Pilipinas pageant, is in the running for two special awards in this year’s contest — Best in Talent and Best in National Costume.
The candidates vying for the two awards were announced at the culmination of the pre-pageant show staged at the New Frontier Theatre in Quezon City on Wednesday evening.
Also in the running for the two awards is pageant rookie Cassandra Chan of Bacolod City, a professional ballerina and ballet teacher from the Philippine Ballet Theater.
Wednesday’s show featured the 40 contestants in a fashion show for pageant sponsors Jag Jeans and World Balance.
The second segment featured the national costume competition, during which the candidates showcased costumes made by Filipino designers.
Joining Bernardo and Chan in the talent shortlist is Alannis Rein Binoya of Batangas.
The 10-way fight for the Best in National Costume award, meanwhile, also includes last year’s first runner-up, Vickie Marie Rushton from Negros Occidental, pageant veterans Leren Mae Bautista of Laguna, Emma Tiglao of Pampanga, Samantha Ashley Lo of Cebu City, and Jessarie Dumaguing of Puerto Princesa City, model; visual artists Aya Abesamis of Pasig, who is the daughter of Miss Universe runner-up Desiree Verdadero; and pageant newbies Hannah Arnold from Masbate and Resham Saeed from Maguindanao.
The winners for both awards will be announced at the coronation night which will be staged at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on June 9.
Miss Universe Catriona Gray is expected to relinquish her Binibining Pilipinas crown, along with Miss Intercontinental Karen Gallman, Miss International first runner-up Ahtisa Manalo, Miss Supranational finalist Jehza Huelar, Miss Globe semifinalist Michelle Gumabao, and Miss Grand International participant Eva Patalinjug.