The Philippines is still at the height of euphoria with the fresh victory of Filipina Australian Catriona Gray as the country’s fourth Miss Universe titleholder, joining Pia Wurtzbach in 2015, Margie Moran in 1973, and Gloria Diaz in 1969. Defeating 93 other beauty queen hopefuls in this year’s Miss Universe competition is a huge achievement that merits a big applause, admiration, and honor. Finally, Gray who is a Bicolana hailing from Albay, made up from a heartbreaking loss in the Miss World pageant in 2016. Her stunning performance on stage radiated how she treated her loss as a challenge to stand up and continue her chase after her dream. True enough, her labor resulted to sweet victory which has reverberated all throughout the world.
Gray excelled in most of the categories, from a giant lantern strapped to her back, a slow-motion twirl in a hot pink bikini and a long gown in flaming hues that symbolized a mythical Filipino bird, and her spontaneity in the question and answer portion. As described by Wurtzbach in her instagram, Gray was “a girl on fire” since the beginning of the competition and concluded it with her fearless “lava walk” and the message she conveyed in the final round. Her two closest rivals, Miss Venezuela and South Africa, were both stunning, but both lost to Gray’s straight to the point and bull’s eye answers in the most challenging, crucial portion. She was a crowd favorite actually given the deafening cheers from the crowd of different races from the rest of the world since the coronation night began. She indeed deserves the crown that from now and onwards would definitely change her whole life. Gray made history for winning the most-coveted Miss Universe title and crown making the country stand proud before the rest of the world. Gray’s crown indeed is a timely Christmas gift for all Filipinos.
Clad in a flaming red Mayon Volcano-inspired evening gown, Gray expressed her winning piece. “I work a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila and the life there is very… it’s poor and it’s very sad and I always taught myself to look for the beauty in it, to look in the beauty of the faces of the children, and to be grateful and I would bring this aspect as a Miss Universe to see situations with a silver lining and to assess where I could give something, where I could provide something as a spokesperson. If I could teach also people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster, and children would have a smile on their face.” It was the message of Gray during the final round that speedily catapulted her to victory and to stardom. At 24 years old, Gray has been doing charity works with poor families. Her advocacy definitely helped her relate to the questions posed on her by host Steve Harvey. For sure she will continue her advocacy now that she is already Miss Universe.