Pageant fans were surprised when Samantha Lo, the Philippines’ representative to the 2019 Miss Grand International, was not seen in the sashing ceremony and pre-pageant activities in Caracas, Venezuela. Rumors spread online about passport issues, which the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed when they said that Lo doesn’t have a record in the Philippine passport database.
After a week of silence, the beauty queen opened up on Instagram and shared what truly happened.
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According to her, “I know people have been waiting to hear from me but this past week has been such a rollercoaster of stress and uncertainty that I felt it was unnecessary to involve the public.”
She revealed the true story, saying, “I did not intentionally commit any of the acts that have been unfairly attributed to me. But yes, my local organizer, who handled my travel preparations, failed to equip me with the proper transit visa that may have enabled me to complete my earlier trip to this host country.”
Lo added, “Moreso, it wasn’t them who got me out of detention and put me safely on that plane to come back home. It was my family and other well-meaning Filipinos who did – and they are still not resting until this is over.”
She is staying positive about the situation. After all, she is already in Venezuela for the coronation. She said, “And when this is all over, I hope to bring home the crown and glory to the Philippines and our people. It is not easy for me to do this – I still struggle with the fear and the trauma of recent days – but I know there is a bigger picture here and I will not let such fear silence me or deter me from the grand task ahead.
“I have come here not only as the candidate from the Philippines but as the voice of those who have faced similar situations like mine, the voice of those who have been abandoned of opportunity and pressured to remain silent.”
Lo said that the Miss Grand International pageant has been supportive throughout the ordeal. They have “welcomed me with open arms, you are an amazing organization that has showed me nothing but compassion and humanity from the very beginning. Thank you for accepting me and giving me the opportunity to represent my country.”
The Miss Grand International coronation will be on October 25, 2019.
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