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Samantha Bernardo: ‘Wellness is something that starts from within’

By MYLENE MENDOZA-DAYRIT, The Philippine STAR Published Jun 29, 2021 9:07 am

Samantha Bernardo was a clear crowd favorite at the recent Miss Grand International competition. Although she didn’t bring home the crown, she still beams with pride for being first runner-up.

At the recent virtual press conference hosted by Bb. Pilipinas to welcome her back, Samantha said that she was sincerely happy about the pageant results.

“I did my best and that’s what truly matters,” she said.

Shown a photo of her receiving the First Runner-up crown, Samantha pointed out how it wonderfully captured the genuine happiness she had that night.

“I can be the best runner-up ever,” she added. “I will do whatever it takes to represent not only myself but the country well.”

For her national costume, Samantha wore a golden eagle-inspired creation. “Like an eagle I know I just need the right moment to soar and spread my wings high to make it to the top,” she added.

Wellness is something that starts from within; keeping your emotional and mental health always aligned so that you can easily achieve a healthier physique as well.

Reminded of how a lot of Filipinos around the world bashed her for not bringing home the crown, Samantha replied: “If we want a better Philippines, we need to be better Filipinos. Stop the hate. Spread love. Be kind with your words.”

Before joining beauty pageants, Samantha was a student-athlete who represented Palawan in national sport events. In a major national competition, she bagged five gold medals in gymnastics and was crowned overall champion.

THE PHILIPPINE STAR: What is your definition of wellness?

SAMANTHA BERNARDO: For me, wellness is something that starts from within; keeping your emotional and mental health always aligned so that you can easily achieve a healthier physique as well.

Maintaining a daily healthy routine is something that some people find so challenging, but if you condition your mind and put into your heart that it is for your own well-being, I think that is when you start embracing wellness and eventually achieving it. 

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How healthier are you today (during the pandemic)? What healthy lifestyle improvements did you make?

I always believed that it’s all about perspective, some may have approached this pandemic negatively, but as for me, I saw it as an opportunity to learn new things, challenge myself and unlock new potentials. One thing that this pandemic taught me is to make use of your time wisely and nothing is wiser than keeping yourself holistically healthy.

I engaged in yoga, meditation and maintained a well-thought-out and balanced diet. I do feel that I became healthier, while being confined in our own home just before competing for Miss Grand International 2020. 

If there is something that I would want to improve on, that is to keep in mind that I need to rest. I tend to forget that pushing yourself towards your limit over and over again is not always healthy.

How did you prepare physically for the competition?

Preparation is something I am obsessed with because every day I learn new things about myself and the process is something I always find exciting more than exhausting.

I have always been an active person. Sweating it all out and sustaining my energy comes naturally to me. The challenge was how to do it during the pandemic where we are limited to do things only in our homes. I cannot go to the gym to do weight training so I tried to be as innovative as I can be. Yoga has helped me a lot in terms of coping, retaining a healthy mind, soul and body. 

How did you prepare mentally for it?

I taught myself how to read religiously. I am not the bookworm type but I see to it that if I have something that I can’t fully grasp, I will search for answers. Knowing a little bit of everything is something beneficial, being aware of current issues and having your opinions regarding it is something that I think we should normalize.

Praying also helped a lot. Keeping my faith and knowing that God is in control put my mind at ease. So having knowledge from books and wisdom from God is what made me mentally strong for the competition. 

What other aspects of your health and fitness do you wish to improve? What bad habits do you wish to correct?

If there is something that I would want to improve on, that is to keep in mind that I need to rest. I tend to forget that pushing yourself towards your limit over and over again is not always healthy. So, I started to enjoy the simple things in life like resting, taking a breather and even just merely lying down in my bed and spacing out is something that helps me recharge and clear my worries.

Taking a break also improves my quality of work, my mindset and my mood. So, I wanted to stop being so harsh to myself and listen to my body, when it says it needs to rest, pause and take that much-deserved unwinding.