CEBU CITY, Philippines — Beauty pageant fans are now asking questions as to the whereabouts of beauty queen, Samantha Ashley Lo, who left the Philippines for Venezuela on Tuesday, October 9.
Lo, who represented Cebu in the Binibining Pilipinas competition last June 2019, is the Philippines’ muse in the Miss Grand International 2019 (MGI) pageant in Caracas, Venezuela.
Pageant fans, who monitored the event including the arrival of other candidates since October 8, had been posting status asking about Lo’s whereabouts.
Lo was not around during the pageant’s welcome ceremony and press conference on October 15, 10 a.m. in Caracas or October 15, 10 p.m. Philippine time.
The Philippines is 12 hours ahead of Venezuela.
Members of Facebook groups, which are dedicated to support Lo, posted different theories about Lo’s absence in the pageant.
Some said she got disqualified from the pageant for no apparent reason.
Others said she missed her connecting flight in Paris and had to take a flight to New York to catch another flight to Colombia and then ride a bus to get to Venezuela.
Some posts said she is expected to arrive on Tuesday, October 15.
Fans anticipated that she will be presented during the press conference. But she was not in the countries starting with letter “P.”
Pageant fans know that Paraguay, Peru, Philippines and Poland are clustered together when the candidates introduce themselves in alphabetical order.
But the Philippines was not there.
CDN Digital, who has covered Lo’s journey in pageantry, sent her a private message to get the real score.
Although her Facebook account is active, nobody responded to the message.
CDN Digital also sent a message to one of her family members but there was no response as of this posting.
Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BCPI) has not issued an official statement about Lo’s absence in the pageant.
Pageant fans also theorized that MGI president Nawat Itsaragrisil is perhaps making sure that Lo has a grand entrance as there are talks that she might win the Philippines’ first MGI crown.
The Philippines does not have an MGI crown although the country already considered as a pageant powerhouse with several wins in competitions such as Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International, and Miss Earth.
In December 2018, Miss Grand International 2018 Clara Sousa earned the ire of Filipino pageant fans after she posted on her Instagram account a picture of herself and Itsaragrisil in a kitchen with the caption, “Mabuhay! Real cooking show lol.”
Fans took it as Sousa’s jab at the Philippines since she used the word “mabuhay,” which Filipino beauty queens often use as a greeting in pageants.
The photo was posted three days before the Miss Universe 2018 competition in Bangkok, Thailand, which was eventually won by Catriona Gray from the Philippines.
Lo’s no-show in various MGI pre-pageant events worried supporters and fans.
Many said they are not getting updates from Lo unlike Leren Mae Bautista, who is currently in Albania, to compete in Miss Globe 2019.
Binibining Pilipinas has been sharing photos and videos of Bautista’s participation in pre-pageant events.
The coronation night of MGI 2019 will be on October 25, which means that Lo only has nine more days to bond with the girls and catch up on events.
That will be the case if she arrives in Venezuela on October 16.
The MGi crown has never been placed on the head of a Filipino beauty queen.
Eva Psychee Patalinjug represented the Philippines in 2018 but was unplaced. In 2017, Elizabeth Clenci went home with a second runner-up finish.
In 2016, Nicole Cordoves achieved the Philippines’ highest placement in the pageant’s history as its first runner-up.
Parul Shah represented the country in pageant’s 2015 edition and placed third. / celr