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Bb. Pilipinas Grand International 2021 Samantha Panlilio on Beauty, Fitness, and Mental Strength

Medically reviewed by Martha Juco, MD · Aesthetics

Written by Kai Magsanoc · Updated Jul 25, 2022

    Bb. Pilipinas Grand International 2021 Samantha Panlilio on Beauty, Fitness, and Mental Strength

    Can you imagine what it’s like to be scrutinized and judged by your looks while your social media presence and answers to media questions are also nitpicked and broken down? This is just part of what a beauty pageant contestant has to go through, and it does not end after she wins her title.

    In this special #CoffeeWithKai series, we meet the new queens of Bb. Pilipinas 2021. They share beauty tips, fitness tips, and mental health tips that can help you.


    Kai Magsanoc: Hi, everyone! Welcome to #CoffeeWithKai here on Hello Doctor PH. I am Kai Magsanoc, editor-in-chief of HelloDoctor Philippines. And with us today, in our special series of interviews with the new Binibining Pilipinas queens, is none other than Miss Samantha Alexandra Panlilio. She is our new Binibining Pilipinas Grand International.

    So hi, Sam! Welcome to Hello Doctor!

    Samantha Alexandra Panlilio: Hi, Miss Kai! Thank you so much for inviting me today. [I’m] very excited to speak with you.

    KM: Of course, of course, and I’m very excited to get to know you. Because we have so many pageants in the Philippines, but it’s really important for the Filipinos to know who they are supporting.

    So please, Sam, please tell us more about yourself. For the people who weren’t able to follow Binibining Pilipinas this year, and they’re meeting you for the first time, what would you like them to know about you?

    SAP: Yes, so hello to everyone watching. My name is Samantha Panlilio. I am this year’s Miss Grand Philippines 2021. Just a little background about myself: I was born and raised here in the Philippines. I went to high school here, in Las Piñas, in Southville.

    Afterwards, I moved to the US for 7 years to attain my degree in Business and Computer Science. So I was a coder, and I’m still a big geek when it comes to computer stuff. After which, I worked there for a while as a digital account manager.

    And then two years ago, I moved back to the Philippines so that I could help with the family business, and be specialized in land development, hotels, and resorts, and that’s when I also decided to join Binibini.

    KM: What made you join Binibining Pilipinas, Sam?

    SAP: Yeah, so when I moved back, I really wanted to challenge myself and put myself out of my comfort zone. I wanted to do something for myself, and also kind of re-acquaint with the Filipino culture, because I’ve been gone for so long.

    And I just really wanted to put myself out there, and I thought that Binibini would be such an amazing platform so that I could also grow as a woman, realize more of my advocacies and what I’m passionate about.

    And on top of that, I have a lot of family friends who have joined Binibini in the past, and upon finding out that my tita Myrna Panlilio was actually the first Binibining Pilipinas Universe winner in 1964, I was just compelled to join the pageant.

    I mean, who wouldn’t? I really just wanted to raise that Panlilio flag yet again in pageantry.

    KM: Ah, so it really runs in the family.

    SAP: Yes! Legacy.

    KM: But I’m pretty sure when your tita joined in what year was that?

    SAP: 1964, the first Binibining Pilipinas ever.

    KM: Okay, but I’m guessing, Sam, during her time and your time, the competition has of course become more evolved. Especially with digital media, the way people are voting, the way people are giving you their support.

    So how has the pageant made a difference for you, especially now that you’re one of the queens?

    SAP: Well, it’s been so amazing since coronation night. I can’t even begin to comprehend how much support I’ve been getting.

    But on a more personal note, I feel that I have really grown as a woman. I know it’s cliché — and a lot of people say this throughout pageantry — however, it is so true.

    Like everytime you join something, or they give you a new task to do in Binibini, you always put your best foot forward, and upon doing that, you also discover things about yourself. Usually they are positive things, and lovely things that you just wanna keep pursuing.

    So I really feel that I have grown, and I’ve had, like I mentioned, more passion towards advocacies, and made a lot of friends as well that I’m thankful for.

    KM: Can you tell us, maybe share with us one of those things that you learned about yourself that made you a better woman?

    SAP: Yes, so I was actually raised in a very business setting. I used to sit in my dad’s meetings ever since I was 10 years old, and the same goes for my siblings. So we’re a very business-oriented family, and so I’ve always been a go-getter, and I’ve always had that attitude.

    However, I came to realize that I have a more empathetic side, ‘cause I’m a very logical person. However when I did join [the pageant], I learned to be more empathetic towards people around me, and I’ve discovered that if you really want to help out in the community, if you really want to do it, then you will do it.

    Because what really matters is the initiative that you take. And if you put your mind to anything, you will get it. You just have to be persistent and have that determination.

    KM: Okay, that’s so inspiring. Thank you for that. But speaking of advocacies, one of the things we really love about our queens these days is you really stand for more than just beauty. There are causes that you want to use your influence for.

    So in your case, Sam, what is the advocacy that you are representing, or that you’re working with?

    SAP: Yes, so when I first joined Binibini, I chose my advocacy to be building sustainable communities in rural parts of the Philippines, and this was because I worked with Habitat for Humanity all throughout high school.

    We went to different communities in the Philippines and Indonesia, and we built houses for people who had a hard time attaining basic necessities like food, water, and electricity.

    However, during my Binibini journey, I’m so happy to say that my advocacy has evolved. Now I’m more focused on sustainable farming. And so every Sunday, I go to Cavite, to different local farms, and just talk to the farmers as they teach you more about agriculture, and how to achieve less carbon footing, so yeah it’s just been really cool.

    I’ve never thought I would do farming in the Philippines. And I really encourage everyone to do it. It’s so fun, and you just feel really one with nature, and you discover so many ways in which you can be sustainable which you haven’t thought of before.

    KM: I completely agree, because the answer to the problem of food supply is if every household is able to plant their own food.

    SAP: I agree, and of course you also want to know what you put into your body, because I’m very health-conscious. And if you plant it yourself, and you know exactly what’s going into your body, even based on just the soil that you used, it’s just so much more satisfying and fulfilling, knowing that.

    KM: Correct, I have this cousin and she has these really small, organic eggplants. And my mom was saying that if you buy that in a grocery store, that would be so expensive, when you can actually plant it.

    So maybe in the future we can have more discussions on these farming projects of yours okay, Sam?

    SAP: Yes, yes. I’m actually starting to build my own sustainable farm with one of the girls I was with in Binibini, Miss Manila, Patricia. So we’re starting our own sustainable farm together, and yeah, looking forward to that project.

    KM: That’s cool, that’s cool. And of course, you’re a queen, you’re an influencer, please use your voice to encourage more people to get into farming.

    So you mentioned being health-conscious, of course when you join a beauty pageant, it’s as much the beauty inside and out, but the beauty outside also matters.

    So let’s talk about the physical aspects, and help us teach our viewers how they can be more like you. How can they follow so they can be as fit as Sam?

    So in terms of fitness, Sam, what is your exercise or workout routine?

    SAP: Yes, so with my diet, ever since I was in college, I love to try extreme diets, which I really don’t recommend to everyone, because it really depends on your body type.

    For me, I like to experiment, and I’m also a cook at home, so I love to cook. I actually curate my own recipes, I have a food Instagram called @wifeyworthymeals, so I put all the macros in there and whatnot.

    But if we’re talking about diets, the one diet that really works for me is fasting. So I make it a point to fast for 3 days, at least twice a month. So it’s just a water diet, and I think there’s so many benefits to it if you really do your research. You produce ketones, your insulin levels are better, and it also prevents heart diseases and diabetes, so yeah, fasting.

    And also, I’m a firm believer that if you want to lose weight, then just simply don’t eat.

    KM: Sam, I’m sure you do your readings, you did your research before you got into fasting. But are you guided by a doctor or a nutritionist in your fasting?

    SAP: For the first year that I did fasting consistently, I went to a nutritionist and they just checked all my sugar levels to make sure that I’m not pushing it too hard. So they said 6 days a month of not eating is totally okay, for my body at least.

    And for my age, and my weight, and my height, so it really depends, and I would recommend whoever wants to try fasting to definitely see a nutritionist before going full blast into it.

    KM: Yeah, okay okay, got it. Thank you for mentioning those other variables, because the journey might be different for each one of us.

    But when you do eat, what do you eat? The other days of the month, when you’re eating regularly, how do you eat, Sam?

    SAP: I usually make my own food, and I try to not put as many sauces on there as possible, I just try to keep it as organic [as possible]. And I’m also trying to be vegetarian at least twice a week, when I do eat regularly.

    And also, it’s just good for the environment. I did mention sustainable farming, going slightly vegetarian or vegan also helps the environment.

    KM: Yeah, yeah. I remember the Meatless Monday campaign. It really lessens the impact on the planet.

    SAP: And if I may also suggest, to anyone interested more about sustainability, please watch “Cowspiracy” or “Seaspiracy” on Netflix. They’re such eye-opening documentaries on why we shouldn’t be consuming as much meat or fish products.

    KM: Okay, well since you’re also into farming, I also suggest that you watch “Kiss the Ground.”

    SAP: I’ve seen that one, yeah, it’s really good.

    KM: It’s really beautiful, but okay. How about hair and skin care? What is your hair and skin care routine?

    SAP: Definitely always have some collagen. They say — I’m not sure, please correct me if I’m wrong, but they say that once you’re 25, you have to start taking extra collagen so that your skin is glowing more, and your hair and nails are glowing more as well.

    As for my skin care routine, I just like to keep it simple. I just make sure that I remove all my makeup and use a very slight exfoliating scrub to make sure that it’s all off. And same with the hair, kasi if you notice, our hair is always so volumized because we always have extensions, and ang sakit talaga when you remove them.

    At the end of the day, it feels so amazing. And I’m sure a lot of the girls can attest to this.

    Yes, so take collagen, make sure you have no makeup, and just put moisturizer.

    KM: Okay, got that. I’m gonna do that, too. But the most important aspect of health that I’d like to ask you [about] is your mental health. Because whatever it is outside wouldn’t be like this, if internally you aren’t healthy, if you weren’t okay.

    So Sam, how do you manage your mental health? I’m sure there’s a lot of pressure, right? Like when people see you outside, they expect you to — you know what I mean.

    You have to keep it together. So how do you do that? What is your mental health practice? Do you have a ritual or a routine?

    SAP: Yes, I actually meditate every night for 10 minutes, because I have such busy schedules. On top of Binibini, I’m also handling my family’s business, I’m in the marketing aspect, and I’m also still learning some coding languages.

    So I just have a lot going on in my mind 24/7, it’s really hard for me to shut down at night. So I think that meditation before sleeping is so, very important to me.

    And also, if I’m having problems, or I feel that there’s too much pressure, as a natural outgoing person, I’m very social. And I have this circle who I trust, my mom and some of my best friends, and I really find it helpful to talk to them, or rant to them if I have problems. That really helps me calm down too.

    So have an amazing support system, and meditation.

    KM: Okay, okay. Well, thank you, thank you for all the tips that you’ve shared with us, Sam. They’re all very helpful.

    So before we end this interview, what would you like to tell our viewers here on Hello Doctor Philippines? How can they follow your journey towards your international pageant? How can they support you?

    SAP: So first of all, I’d just like to say thank you again, Miss Kai, for having me today. I very much appreciate the health talk. I love to talk about these things, so I was really excited about this interview when I first heard about it.

    To all the viewers, please follow my journey. I’m on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube. And you can find me using samanthapanlilio_, and I hope that you support me throughout my journey for the Miss Grand International pageant come December.

    KM: Okay, thank you, Sam.

    Thank you for spending time with Sam and I today. We hope that you’ve gotten — she shared a lot of really great tips, especially as far as mental health is concerned.

    All of us are multi-tasking on a daily basis and we’re so hard-charged, and Sam has reminded us that meditation 10 minutes before you go to sleep can help you go to sleep and get the rest that you need.

    So watch out for our next interview in this series, with the next Binibining Pilipinas queen. Until then, this is Kai Magsanoc of Hello Doctor, wishing you a happy day (a happy dry or wet day, whatever that is) and be well.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Martha Juco, MD


    Written by Kai Magsanoc · Updated Jul 25, 2022

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