Beauty queen in passport controversy with Binibining Pilipinas wins Superbods 2020
Samantha Lo and Sam Ajdani are this year's Century Tuna Everybod Superbod winners.
Century Tuna Superbods via Facebook
Beauty queen in passport controversy with Binibining Pilipinas wins Superbods 2020
Jan Milo Severo (Philstar.com) - September 28, 2020 - 1:23pm

MANILA, Philippines — Beauty queen Samantha Lo, who resigned last year as Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2019 due to a passport issue, won as this year’s Century Tuna Everybod Superbod.

Samantha was joined by fitness coach and professional model Sam Ajdani as this year’s titleholders.

Samantha and Sam bested 25 other Superbods candidates and will each take home P500,000 tax-free in cash, as well as other prizes.

Both winners passed rigorous digital challenges required during the competition to emerge as the new ambassadors of Century Tuna Superbods 2020. According to the brand, a panel of judges that included actresses Isabelle Daza and Alice Dixson chose Samantha and Sam as winners because both are health and fitness advocates "who are passionate in promoting health and wellness as an everyday commitment especially during these trying times. They are also exceptional individuals who remain optimistic and believe in getting back up again even after falling so many times."

Meanwhile, the runners-up were Superbod 2020 Stunner Candice Ramos and Superbod 2020 Ageless Erie Matic. Other candidates who took home special awards were Shirley Garcia, Zai Ebido, Enzo Bonoan, Samantha Purvor, Philippe Magalona, Nelson Banzuela, Key Trajano, Albert Lorenzo and Grace Del Rosario.

"The 25 finalists were all strong contenders, showcasing inspiring traits and skills to encourage themselves and their fellow Filipinos to keep going, and remain healthy and strong during these trying times," the brand added.

In an exclusive interview with Philstar.com during the final callback, Samantha said she joined this year’s competition because sports is her first love.

 “I've been an athlete for almost 20 years, so I think it would be a really cool thing to try and I admire everybody here. I'm excited to do Century Tuna Superbod 2020,” she said. 

“I grew up playing soccer and I became a cross-country runner and then I moved to the Philippines and I found beauty pageants or beauty pageants found me, so that became my second love. Now, I wanted to take a rest and go back to the basics, starting with health and fitness,” she added.  

It can be recalled that last year, Samantha figured in a controversy when she got in late at the 2019 Miss Grand International pageant after days of delay due to a passport issue, according to the Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs. 

"The Department of Foreign Affairs received reports that Binibining Pilipinas-Grand International Samantha Ashley Lo was unable to continue her journey to Caracas due to alleged issues with her passport. Based on an ongoing investigation, the DFA confirms that Ms. Lo has no record in the DFA passport database and is continuing the process of ascertaining the facts of the case," DFA said in the statement sent to the press.

Related: DFA issues statement on Samantha Lo's delayed trip for Miss Grand International 2019

In a statement e-mailed to Philstar.com, BPCI said it is "aware of the unfortunate incident involving Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2019 Samantha Ashley Lo."

BPCI confirmed that Lo was "detained" in France due to passport issues.

"Ms. Lo was detained by immigration officials in Paris and was eventually sent back to Manila due to issues with her Philippine passport."

BPCI shared that Lo was detained due to her "tampered" and "altered" passport reportedly secured "through a 'fixer.'"

Related: Binibining Pilipinas denies Samantha Lo's allegations over passport issue

On Instagram, Samantha broke her silence to answer allegations about the delay.

"I chose to break my silence until I arrived in Venezuela because I wanted to make sure I got here safely. Despite what happened last week and the trauma that came with it, I have moved forward and pursued this journey knowing that I did not intentionally commit any of the acts that have been unfairly attributed to me."

The Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2019 winner straightforwardly pointed at Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. for the delay.

"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," she claimed.

She also said that it was not BPCI that helped her fly back home from "detention."

"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 said.

Related: Philippines' Samantha Lo breaks silence on delayed Venezuela flight for Miss Grand International 2019

In an exclusive interview with Philstar.com during the Century Tuna Superbod 2020 Final Callback last February, Samantha admitted that things did not turn out well between her and the Binibining Pilipinas organization.

“Well, there are some behind-the-scenes, things that did occur between the organization and I and at the end of the day, I feel that it is best to resign respectfully and just move on. I did what I came to do and unfortunately, things didn't end amicably,” Samantha said.  

She, however, said that she is happy with her decision.

“I'm happy. I don't feel I lost anything. I've grown from the experience,” she said.  

RELATED: Controversial beauty queen Samantha Lo joins Century Tuna Superbods 2020

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