Who is Samantha Ashley Lo, Binbining Pilipinas Grand International 2019?
MANILA, Philippines – Samantha Ashley Lo was named Binibining Pilipinas Grand International at the Binibining Pilipinas coronation night on June 9, crowned by her fellow Cebuana Eva Psychee Patalinjug.
Now, pageant fans are watching the 26-year-old Cebuana as she prepares to compete on the world stage at the Miss Grand International pageant in October.
Samantha was born and raised in Florida in the United States – the daughter of a Filipino-Chinese father and a Cuban-Nicaraguan mother. She then moved to the Philippines in 2015 to finish her nursing studies at the University of Cebu.
Taking up nursing while also working as an English is a Second Language (ESL) teacher, Samantha wasn't thinking about joining pageantry at all, until she went to a screening of pageant camp Aces and Queens in Cebu.
After speaking to then-Miss Intercontinental 2017 first runner-up Katarina Rodriguez, she decided to take the leap, put her studies on hold, and sieze the opportunity to join the pageant scene.
The risk obviously paid off. She joined her first pageant, Miss Mandaue, in 2017. And while she didn't place there, she wasn't discouraged, and went on to join the Binibining Cebu 2017 competition. As fate would have it, she would take home her first crown: Binibining Cebu Tourism.
It was a title that seemed perfect for the travel enthusiast who, as her Instagram shows, spends a lot of time exploring new places and enjoying the outdoors.
After winning her Binibining Cebu Tourism crown, Samantha also went on to win a modelling competition. In November 2018, she was named Best Model of the World Philippines at the Global Asian Model (GLAM) Philippines competition. The win brought her to Turkey, where the international GLAM competition was held.
It was on the heels of that experience that she decided to join Binibining Pilipinas.
As a candidate, Samantha chose education as her advocacy, inspired by her work as an ESL teacher. Specifically, she wants to promote reading in public schools.
"I know that as a Binibini people look up to us as role models and not only are they eager to see our beauty and talent but our communication skills as well and the feedback I have received is I have strong communication skills, and I want people to know that this didn't happen over night," she said in a previous interview with Rappler.
"I read a lot, I get excited to start a new book because its a 'world experience' in your hands and I can then take this 'experience' and incorporate it into my conversation and can pretty much talk about anything. This is what I urge people to do, educate yourself, read more, expand your conversations because essentially it expands your horizons," she said.
Samantha's horizons have definitely expanded – and with her upcoming turn in the Miss Grand International 2019 pageant, they're only about to expand some more. – Rappler.com