CEBU CITY, Philippines — Not even a political crisis will stop Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2019 Samantha Ashley Lo from flying to Venezuela and compete in the Miss Grand International (MGI) pageant on October 25.
In her My Day post on Facebook, Lo announced that she will still compete in Venezuela to represent the Philippines despite tensions in the South American country.
Lo, who was Binibining Cebu Tourism 2017 before she forayed in the national and international pageant scenes, posted a statement on her Facebook’s My Day that it was her personal decision to fly to Venezuela and compete in MGI 2019.
“Just to make things clear, it is my personal decision to go to Venezuela and compete in MGI 2019,” says Lo.
Lo says she is aware of the current state of the country, Venezuela, where the pageant will be held.
Venezuela is currently facing a political crisis with the power struggle between President Nicolás Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó
She said Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI), the organization that stages the annual Binibining Pilipinas competition, is aware of her decision and “has respected my choice to go.”
“They have been great support in informing me on things I need to know and the safety precautions I need to take and consider,” writes Lo.
Despite the political crisis, MGI just recently held, in July 2019 back-to-back events and press conferences top billed by current title holder, Clara Sosa.
The Philippines has never won an MGI title.
Eva Patalinjug, the country’s bet last year to the international pageant, failed to advance to the Top 20 list.
Elizabeth Clenci finished second runner-up in 2017. Nicole Cordoves was first runner-up in the pageant’s 2016 run. In 2015, Parul Shah was declared third runner-up.
Lo’s victory in representing the country in the MGI pageant is looked upon by pageant fans as a straight win for Cebu.
Clenci and Patalinjug, who earned the right to represent the Philippines in the MGI pageant, are from Cebu.
Lo was born to a Filipino-Chinese father from Cebu and Cuban-Nicaraguan mother. She was born and raised in the U. S. and then later moved to Cebu to finish her nursing degree.
As pageant day draws near, Lo thanked everyone for their continued support and concerns for her safety.
“I hope you continue to support and pray for me and my [Binibining Pilipinas] sisters as we continue to prepare for the international pageants,” she says. / celr