Filipinos expressed their support for Catriona Gray, the country’s Miss Universe 2018 representative, when the official Facebook account of the prestigious beauty pageant uploaded her picture a month before coronation.
Witty remarks flooded the comments section of the post, where social media users pretended to be foreigners and used clever wordplay to show that they are actually from the Philippines.
Gray will compete with 93 contestants from all over the world. The pageant’s coronation night will be held at Bangkok, Thailand on December 17.
Catriona’s journey to stardom
Gray was no stranger to the limelight, having joined “Eat Bulaga’s” Little Miss Philippines, a beauty pageant for girls, in 1999. She was just five-years-old.
She pursued her studies after and once again entered the limelight during her late teens.
Gray ventured into commercial modeling and quickly became one of the most sought-after talents of her generation. She appeared in regional and global campaigns, as well as different magazine covers.
Some of her stints include Bench Body fashion shows and commercials for Pond’s and Pantene.
Gray also graced the Philippine edition of Rogue Magazine in their 2014 music issue.
— Rogue Magazine (@rogueonline) February 3, 2014
After two years, she set her eyes on the beauty pageant scene and entered Miss World Philippines 2016, the precursor to Miss World—the oldest running beauty pageant.
According to her, she surprised herself when she decided to join Miss World. She shared in an interview dated August 2016:
“I don’t know. I was even kind of surprised myself. I didn’t expect it because I kind of look at the whole pageantry thing in a certain light before.”
“And all of a sudden, parang overnight, I saw it in a different perspective and I looked at it as the heart of it is the advocacy. So that’s what made me fall in love with it. So that’s why I’m joining Miss World.”
Gray was crowned Miss World Philippines after earning lots of special awards and impressing the judges with her inspiring answer in the pageant’s “Question and Answer” portion.
She was awarded Best in Swimsuit, Best in Evening Gown, Best in Fashion Runway, Best in Talent, Best in FIG Image Gateway, Miss Folded & Hung, Miss Hannah Beach Resort, Miss Figlia, Miss Manila Hotel and Miss Organique.
This secured her a spot in the Miss World 2016 held in Maryland, the United States. She finished in the top five and earned three awards—the Multimedia Award, the Talent Award (second place) and the Beauty With a Purpose Project (top five).
She additionally impressed the judges with her answer in the contest’s “Question and Answer” portion, where she was asked about her qualities that would make her win.
By January of this year, Gray joined Binibining Pilipinas 2018. The winner of the contest will represent Miss Universe, considered the most prestigious beauty pageant.
Three months after, she won the crown and earned both corporate and contest awards, namely the Pitoy Moreno Best in National Costume Award, Best in Evening Gown, Best in Swimsuit, Miss Jag Denim Queen Award and Miss Ever Bilena Cosmetics Award.
Similar to her previous “Question and Answer” replies, Gray also impressed the judges with her answer to a question asked by US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Yong Kim.
Now, she is on her way to represent the Philippines in Miss Universe 2018, where she revealed that she is already “about 99” percent prepared.
“I’m about 99 (percent prepared) e. I want to prepare early kasi. I don’t want to be stressed because (by) November I just really want to relax, refresh and review,” Gray said.
“I don’t want to be stressing about costumes or clothing or things like that, so I really prepared early talaga and I have a few pasabog,” she continued.