The Philippines’ Catriona Gray Wins Miss Universe 2018

The Philippines’ Catriona Gray is Miss Universe 2018.

The 24-year-old TV host, singer and model bested 93 other candidates at the pageant’s coronation night in Bangkok, Thailand on Dec. 17.

Gray, who hails from the Philippines’ Albay province, emerged victorious over South Africa’s Tamaryn Green and Venezuela’s Sthefany Gutiérrez.

She is the fourth Filipino to bring home the coveted title, following the footsteps of Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran (1973) and Pia Wurtzbach (2015).

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The final leg of the pageant was a Q&A segment that asked the Top 3 candidates, “What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life and how would you apply it to your time as Miss Universe?”

To this, Gray answered:

“I work a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila and the life there is… it’s poor and very sad. And I’ve always taught myself to look for the beauty of it, to look for beauty in 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.

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“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.”

Gray stunned the crowd with her evening gown called “Mayon,” which celebrates her home of Albay. She paired it with her signature “lava walk,” which went viral ahead of the competition.

“Today, Catriona is coming home. She is celebrating her roots – she is celebrating Albay! The prominent and iconic Mayon Volcano is the penultimate inspiration for this creation. It is dubbed the ‘perfect cone’ because of its symmetric conical form. Folk tales have it that it was named after the mythological heroine ‘Daragang Magayon’ (Beautiful Lady),” designer Mak Tumang wrote on Facebook.

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Speaking to reporters, Gray shared that her mother had predicted her victory.

“My mom is in tears. She told me, ‘I dreamed you would do this!’ When I was 13, my mom told she dreamed of me winning Miss Universe in a red dress,” Gray told ABS-CBN News.

The Filipino-Australian beauty queen wowed viewers earlier in the pageant with her national costume, which came with a gigantic parol representing the entire Philippines.

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Gray, who expressed her love for her country throughout the competition, says that she will try to do what is expected of her as the new Miss Universe.

“I was praying and looking out to the people because that’s what I remind myself. As long as I make them proud, I have done my duty,” Gray said. “I tried to do what was expected of me. I will try to do that in my reign also.”

She also told fans, “I am honored I can give you this Christmas gift.”

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Mabuhay ka, Catriona!

Featured Images via Twitter / Miss Universe

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