MANILA -- Miss Grand International 2016 first runner-up Nicole Cordoves is helping Samantha Bernardo prepare for the latest edition of the pageant, which is set to be held in Bangkok, Thailand on March 27.
In her vlog, Cordoves said she is happy that Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. chose Bernardo to represent the Philippines in the pageant.
This after reigning Bb. Pilipinas Grand International Aya Abesamis is no longer able to join as she has exceeded the maximum age for the competition.
"I'm really glad na ikaw 'yung naging representative this year for Miss Grand International because you're really prepared," Cordoves told Bernardo, who finished second runner-up in Bb. Pilipinas in 2018 and 2019.
"Kapag ako parang, 'Ano pa ba 'yung babaguhin kay Sam?' Siyempre I don't know what's happening behind the scenes, but everyone can feel naman na wait, ang dami niyang pasabog. The girl is fighting, she's really prepared and she has more in store for us," she added.
According to Cordoves, she already saw Bernardo's potential as early as her first attempt at the Bb. Pilipinas crown back in 2018.
"Before pa tayo nagkaroon ng encounter noon backstage, I remember watching you during your first time in Binibini... during the national costume competition," she recalled. "You were wearing this white Filipiniana... and I remember watching Sam clearly because you were such a performer. Perfect 'yung mga moves mo, super polished."
Cordoves promised to share her pageant knowledge and expertise with Bernardo off-cam, the same way she mentored Catriona Gray for Miss Universe 2018 -- which she eventually won.
The former beauty queen was also gracious enough to give her tips on the question and answer round of Miss Grand International during the vlog, after Bernardo said this is what she is most "worried about."
"For the question and answer portion, you have to already know the format of Miss Grand International -- that they do ask the most controversial questions in pageantry. So instead of getting anxious or afraid about it, look at fear straight in the eyes instead and just answer boldly. And I feel like you need to prepare a very strong response for that also," she said.
She went on: "Make sure that you always stand your ground because you tend to get to worried about also -- not you personally, but everyone, di ba? You tend to worry more about what other people's opinions are, if it's correct. But I do want to remind you as early as now that it's not really about being correct, it's about standing your ground."
Cordoves was the closest that the Philippines could get to winning the Miss Grand International crown, after finishing first runner-up in 2016.
Bernardo is set to fly out on February 24 in time for pre-pageant activities.