MANILA -- Amid critical reactions to her triumph over Samantha Bernardo, Miss Grand International 2020 winner Abena Appiah Akuaba humbly offered her message of love and gratitude to the Filipino people in a recorded video Tuesday.
Speaking in Tagalog, Appiah reiterated her oneness with the Filipinos who have been part of her beauty pageant journey since 2014.
“Kumusta sa lahat, mahal ko kayong lahat," she said in her messaged released by her trainer Rodgil Flores to ABS-CBN News Tuesday. It was recorded after a TV guesting stint in Bangkok, Thailand earlier in the day.
Appiah, who won over Bernardo in the dead heat finish at the pageant over the weekend, also directly addressed local critics who have bashed her victory.
“I love Samantha, I’m very sorry you feel the way you feel but I want you to know, I love you regardless and I’m still part of the Filipino family. And no matter what happens, we’re still one people. Mwah! I love you. Salamat po,” she said.
Appiah, Bernardo and other MGI beauties are headed to Phuket , Thailand later this week after fulfilling their engagements in Bangkok.
Flores said Bernardo is hopeful that she can return to Manila after Easter Sunday.