Catriona Gray “Miss Universe 2018”
Catriona Gray was born in Cairns, Queensland to a Scottish-born Australian father, Ian Gray, from Fraserburgh, and a Filipino mother, Normita Ragas Magnayon, from Oas, Albay. Gray is reportedly named after her paternal grandmother, Catherine Gray (née Ross), an immigrant to Western Australia from Scotland in 1952.
Gray was a student at Trinity Anglican School in Cairns. She received a certificate in Music Theory from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. In addition, she obtained a Certificate in Outdoor Recreation and a black belt in Choi Kwang-Do martial arts. Furthermore, Gray was the lead singer of her school’s jazz band, and she also starred in local productions of Miss Saigon. After finishing high school in Australia, she then moved to Manila, Philippines where she worked as a commercial model. As of 2018, Gray is in a relationship with Filipino-German model Clint Bondad.
Miss Universe 2018
During the national costume show presentation, Gray showcased a beaded tribal suit featuring the indigenous tribes of the ancient pagan Filipinos, alongside an oversized Parol painted Christmas lantern pulled by a roller device. The costume was accompanied by a pre-Christian Shamanic dance of the historical Babaylan paganism. The costume gained both support and criticism, due to the perceived difficulty of walking and the failure of LEDs to function, whilst Gray cited her Scoliosis ailment.
In the pageant’s preliminary stages, Catriona Gray did a slow-motion walk on the ramp in the swimwear competition wearing a pink swimsuit, which was praised by fashion commentators and Internet viewers.
Gray represented the Philippines in the 2018 Miss Universe contest on 17 December 2018 held at IMPACT Arena, Muang Thong Thani in Nonthaburi Province, Thailand. During the first question and answer round, Gray was asked by host Steve Harvey, “Canada recently joined Uruguay as the second nation in the world to make marijuana legal. What is your opinion on the regularization of marijuana?”
Image by New York Post
She responded: I’m for it being used for medical use, but not so for recreational use. Because I think if people will argue then what about alcohol and cigarettes? Everything is good but in moderation.
In the final question and answer portion, the top three contestants were asked the same question by Harvey: “What is the most important lesson you’ve learned and how will you apply it to your time as Miss Universe?” She answered:
I work a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila and the life there is poor and very sad. And I’ve always taught to myself to look for the beauty of it and look in the beauty of the faces of the children and to be grateful. And I will 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. And this I think if I can teach people to be grateful, we can have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster and children will have smile on their faces.
Image by New York Post
At the end of the event, Gray was announced winner and was crowned by her predecessor Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa. She is the fourth Filipina Miss Universe, after Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margie Moran in 1973 and Pia Wurtzbach in 2015.