CEBU CITY, Philippines — Beauty queen Samantha Ashley Lo, who was supposed to represent the Philippines in the Miss Grand International 2019, was still absent during the pageant’s swimsuit competition 9:30 a.m. of October 17 in Venezuela (9:30 p.m. October 17 Philippine time).
The swimsuit competition is a major preliminary event that Lo has already missed.
She was also 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.
No official statements have been released by Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) or the Aces and Queens Camp regarding the absence of Lo in the ongoing pre-pageant activities in Caracas, Venezuela.
The coronation night will happen on October 25.
Pageant expert Norman Tinio in his blog, normannorman.com, also asked the question: “Where in the world is Samantha Lo?”
The blog entry, published October 15, wrote: “All the candidates of Miss Grand International 2019 in Caracas, Venezuela have already checked in, except our own Samantha Lo. Where could she be?”
“The only thing I know for sure is that she missed her connecting flight at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and that she is supposed to arrive in the Venezuelan capital by October 15. It’s almost midnight of October 14 in Caracas at the time of this blogging. Fingers crossed, we will see her resurfacing within the next twelve hours or so. That’s all I can say for now,” the seasoned pageant blogger said.
Social media is ripe with theories of Lo’s whereabouts.
Some posts say that she arrived in Manila on October 14 after she was not allowed to stay for more than 48 hours in Paris due to issues regarding her passport.
Online rumors say she is back in Cebu.
Pageant Lex Anthony Licuanan said this is a serious matter that BPCI should clear out because this is not anymore about Lo’s participation in the pageant but about her safety.
“We, the fans and supporters of Samantha Lo deserves an update. The Filipino Pageant Community deserves an update. BPCI should take responsibility for this. What is happening? What is the REAL happening?” asked Licuanan, who has been a pageant fan for 12 years.
Licuanan, 22 and a supporter of Lo since she saw him in Binibining Pilipinas 2019, said fans just want to know if the beauty queen is safe and sound.
“This is no longer about Sam competing and winning the crown. This is all about knowing that she’s fine. Once we all know that she is doing fine, safe and sound…that will satisfy us all,” he said.
BPCI had an official send-off for Lo last October 9.
Lo was Binibining Cebu Tourism 2017, placing second to Apriel Smith who won the crown that year.
In 2018, she became Best Model of the World Philippines at the Global Asian Model (GLAM) Philippines competition. She went on to represent the Philippines in Turkey during the international GLAM competition on the same year.
In June 2019, she won the Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2019 crown earning her the right to represent the Philippines in the pageant to be held in Caracas, Venezuela.
Despite news of political tensions in Venezuela, a brave Lo said she will continue on to compete in the pageant.
She earlier said that BPCI was aware of her decision and respected her choice to join the pageant.
“They have been great support in informing me on things I need to know and the safety precautions I need to take and consider,” she wrote in her Facebook My Day post last in early August 2019.