Pageant World

Samantha Panlilio’s gown at MGI prelims inspired by ‘balangays’

CEBU CITY, Philippines— A beautiful tribute for our country’s rich culture and history. 

Filipino fashion designer Rian Fernandez shared on his Instagram account the majestic story behind the evening gown that Miss Grand International Philippines’ Samantha Panlilio wore to the pageant’s preliminaries.

Samantha’s gown, he said, was inspired by the “balangays,” wooden boats that were used for cargo and trading in the Philippines and the Malay archipelago.


A hand embroidered sheer Rian Fernandez cape gown is inspired with the seafaring vessel of the Philippines being the first wooden watercraft excavated in Southeast Asia,” reads the first part of Rian’s caption. 

The gown is adorned with Caribbean blue opal rhinestones, glass beads, and oversized Austrian Swarovski crystals. 

Aside from its exquisite form and design, the gown also had a beautiful cape to match is majestic beauty. 

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

If this is what Samantha’s team prepared for the preliminary competition, can you imagine what other surprises are in store for us during the coronation night that will happen this Saturday, Dcember 4? /  dcb

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