Samantha Lo, the Philippines’ representative to Miss Grand International, is finally in Caracas, Venezuela for the pageant.
This, after fans noticed Lo’s absence from pre-pageant activities in the Venezuelan capital, prompting speculation as to whether she was still an official candidate.
In an Instagram post late Saturday, Lo said she chose to break her silence until she arrived in Caracas 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," she said.
According to Lo, the local organizer failed to equip her with the "proper transit visa that may have enabled me to complete my earlier trip to this host country."
"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.
The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier said it received reports that Lo “was unable to continue her journey to Caracas due to alleged issues with her passport.”
Despite the hiccups in her journey, the beauty queen said she intends to bring home the crown as she thanked Miss Grand International for welcoming her with "open arms."
"It is not easy for me to do this -- I still struggle with the fear and the trauma of recent days -- but I know there is a bigger picture here and I will not let such fear silence me or deter me from the grand task ahead," she said.
"I have come here not only as the candidate from the Philippines but as the voice of those who have faced similar situations like mine, the voice of those who have been abandoned of opportunity and pressured to remain silent."