MANILA – Catriona Gray became the fourth Filipina to be crowned Miss Universe after she won the prestigious beauty pageant in Bangkok, Thailand on Monday.
Gray redeemed herself from her runner-up finish in the 2016 Miss World by living to the hype of her being the heavy favorite to win it all as she prevailed over South Africa’s Tamaryn Green and Venezuela’s Sthefany Gutierrez.
She takes over the crown from her predecessor Demi-Leigh Nel Peters from South Africa.
Clad in a fiery red evening gown, Gray gracefully walked into the pageant’s runway as she was named the new Miss Universe.
Gray’s answer in the final question-and-answer portion virtually clinched the title for her.
When host Steve Harvey asked the finalists about the most important lesson they have learned in their lives and ways to apply it should either of them becomes Miss Universe, Gray replied, “I worked 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 for 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 the silver lining. And to assess where I could give something, where I could provide something as a spokesperson. And this I think 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 faces.”
In the question-and-answer portion prior to that, Gray was asked about her stand on marijuana legalization, and she said that she supports its legalization solely for medicinal purposes.
Joining Gray in the final three of the pageant were Tamaryn Green of South Africa and Sthefany Gutierrez from Venezuela, who were crowned first and second-runner up, respectively.
Gray earlier stunned netizens with her “slow-motion twirl” during the preliminary competition of the pageant.
Gray is the fourth Filipina to win the title, after Pia Wurtzbach (2015), Margarita Moran (1973) and Gloria Diaz (1969).
Salvador Panelo, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel & Presidential Spokesperson, also released rhe following statement on the 2018 Miss Universe Pageant:
“The Palace wishes to congratulate newly crowned Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.
Ms. Gray truly made the entire Philippines proud when she sashayed on the global stage and showcased the genuine qualities defining a Filipina beauty: confidence, grace, intelligence and strength in the face of tough challenges. In her success, Miss Philippines has shown to the world that women in our country have the ability to turn dreams into reality through passion, diligence, determination and hard work.
Ms. Gray’s triumph sets the bar high in empowering more Filipino women to believe in themselves and to fight for their own place in the universe. We salute and admire her victory.
Catriona’s crowning glory is placing the Philippines in the world map again for its beauty and elegance that matches the world renowned attraction of the many scenic and mesmerising islands in our country.”
(Ivan Saldajeno/ Benjamin Bondoc/PNA)