Binibining Pilipinas 2019: Cebu City’s Samantha Lo named Top 10 finalist for Best in National Costume
Vanessa Balbuena (The Freeman) - May 31, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Garbed in an exquisite Muslim princess ensemble designed by Edwin Uy, Samantha Ashley Lo was among those who earned the judges’ nod during Binibining Pilipinas 2019’s National Costume Presentation held Wednesday evening, May 29, at the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City.

Cebu City’s representative to the country’s most prestigious pageant navigated the runway barefoot in an orange-hued, heavily embellished and intricately beaded creation inspired by the Tausug, one of the major tribes in Mindanao. She wore long nails symbolizing the tribe’s ethnic dance known as Pangalay.

Samantha, a 26-year-old ESL teacher who was crowned Binibining Cebu Tourism 2017, was named among the Top 10 finalists for Best in National Costume in a year that saw the most creative designs yet – from a tweaked Emilio Aguinaldo uniform, a warrior outfit complete with shield and sword, to an Ibong Adarna-inspired number. 

Also hailed standouts in the pre-pageant competition were last year’s first runner-up Vickie Marie Rushton of Negros Occidental; last year’s second runner-up Samantha Mae Bernardo of Palawan; Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 2015 title-holder Leren Mae Bautista of Laguna; pageant veteran Emma Tiglao of Pampanga; visual artist and daughter of Miss Universe runner-up Desiree Verdadero, Maria Andrea Abesamis of Pasig; Tourism Management graduate Jessarie Dumaguing of Puerto Princesa City; Fil-Australian Forensics major Hannah Arnold of Masbate; ballet teacher Cassandra Chan of Bacolod; and Fil-Pakistani host and model Resham Saeed of Maguindanao.

Fans of the ten ladies can help their candidate win Best in National Costume by “liking” their videos on the Binibining Pilipinas Facebook page and visiting their website at To vote, one must log in via facebook or Gmail. Voting will end by 12 noon of June 8.

Although not a fast-track award, previous winners of Best in National Costume have finished well in the competition such as reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray who nabbed the award last year with a Muslim royalty costume.

Two other Cebuanas in the ongoing competition showcased their hometowns thru their national costumes: Gazini Ganados of Talisay City

had the Sto. Niño’s image in her costume by Richardson Apayla and also carried a statuette of the Child Jesus, while Ilene de Vera of Mandaue City carried a guitar to accompany her festive costume designed by Malayka Yamas.

Wednesday’s event also featured the 40 candidates in a fashion show for pageant sponsors Jag Jeans and World Balance. After the National Costume Presentation, the top three finalists for Best in Talent – Samantha Mae Bernardo, Cassandra Chan, and Alannis Reign Binoya of Batangas – were also announced.

Winners for both Best in Talent and National Costume will be revealed on the June 9 coronation night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, where Catriona, along with Miss Intercontinental Karen Gallman, Miss International first runner-up Ahtisa Manalo, Miss Supranational finalist Jehza Huelar, Miss Globe semifinalist Michelle Gumabao, and Miss Grand International participant Eva Patalinjug of Cebu are set to turn over their crowns.

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