30
November
2019

Reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray reminisces about her incredible journey

30 Nov 2019 | Priya Bhardwaj

Catriona Gray, the reigning queen of Miss Universe 2018 reminisces her journey as it all started on the day when this amazingly beautiful Filipina was crowned as the queen of Miss Universe 2018, in Bangkok, Thailand on 17th of December 2019.

She succeeded and was crowned by Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters as she realizes that it’s her time to pass on the legacy just like it was passed on to her. The 25-year-old Filipina beauty was a front-runner in the competition from the very beginning. With thousands of followers keeping a tab on her every move, she was a force to be reckoned with and one of the most loved competitors last year.

 

Reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray reminisces about her incredible journey

 

The diva was an experienced beauty pageant titleholder as she also represented the Philippines in Miss World 2016 where she was placed in the Top 5 with her incredible performance. In a recent video, the diva showed her beautiful journey since she was crowned and now as she is going to crown the queen of 2019 Miss Universe.

The Filipina queen started by asking the question of how does one prepare to carry and raise their country’s flag on the international stage? Also, how does one prepare to carry a nation’s name across their heart? “It is only to prepare”, she further answered.

Preparing to represent the Philippines at the 67th Miss Universe competition was a journey that led her to discover her own country along with answering for herself the question – What does it mean to be a Filipino? “I had a choice to see the pageant as just that, a pageant. Or to see the competition as an opportunity to not only show myself as a passionate Filipino representative, but to also showcase the Philippines”. She explained.

Culture, Heritage and History

It was important for the queen to learn about the history of the country she was representing. So, she met with the local historians and built her foundation of understanding of the Philippines. The queen said, “I spent my free time studying topics and talking to people wanting to collect and understand as many view points and perspectives on local and world issues as possible to have a well-rounded view”.

 

Reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray reminisces about her incredible journey

 

Modern Filipino Wardrobe

In planning, Catriona envisioned a modern Filipino wardrobe featuring their unique fabrics and textiles. “My gowns, Ibong Adarna and Mayan were made as visual spectacles but with a story to tell. Because I wanted at the competition, that every time I would walk by, I wouldn’t need a sash for people to know that I was a Miss Philippines”, she said.

 

Reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray reminisces about her incredible journey

 

Lava walk

The diva talked about her lava walk while she was preparing for her Miss Universe 2018 pageant, she said, “Speaking of walk, confident, blazing and authentic this is what I envisioned my walk to be. I spent hours in studio, training and practicing different routines, turns and establishments. My mentor and I trained so that my walk would become muscle memory. And thus, the SLOW-MO turn and LAVA WALK took on a life of their own.”

For her national costume, she wanted to share the intricate and colorful culture of the Philippines. To bring Luz-Vi-Minda to life, her team and she travelled to all three island regions and told the story of the culture and symbolism behind each element in hopes to share the history, challenges and triumphs of the Filipino people to the universe stage.

 

Reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray reminisces about her incredible journey

 

Causes and Advocacy

It was so important to Catriona, throughout this whole journey in preparing for Miss Universe, that she also helped the Filipino people through her causes. As a passionate advocate for HIV/AIDS, she took part in awareness and testing campaigns and shared her message to different communities and campuses.

Catriona Gray, has always proven that she is not just a pageant queen but can also intoxicate anyone and everyone with her melodious voice. It was the time when her first ever music video came out. It was for the Young Focus Organization which tackles poverty, sponsor education and works towards making education accessible to the poorest children in the Philippines. Well, is there anything this Filipina beauty can’t do?

 

Reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray reminisces about her incredible journey

 

Known as Children’s causes advocate, Catriona starred in the music video ‘We’re in this Together’ which was written by Marcus David and produced by Young Focus International. Her single was loved by all the people and at that time it was at the Top in the iTunes, Spotify, and other digital platforms. Gray said, “I also release my first original song in partnership with Young Focus and its students to raise awareness for the need of education for the underprivileged youth. The song became a resounding tone of my spirit as I prepared for the pageant.”

My Beloved Philippines –

This pursuit was never about carrying her own name on a sash across her chest. It was about carrying her beloved Philippines every step of the way. Catriona expressed her feelings while saying, “I carried my nation as they carried me. On December 17th, one Filipina’s dream came true. But the crown isn’t the greatest honor of my life. It was in bringing pride to my country of my Philippines, that remains to be my greatest honor and my crowning glory.”

 

Reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray reminisces about her incredible journey