Sorry Aussies but Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray said she is “Miss Philippines.”
The Filipino-Australian model appeared on Tuesday on the online talk show Build Series where she finally addressed the controversy that’s been buzzing ever since she won the pageant — is she Australian or Filipino?
You could say that Gray is a third culture kid: her father is a Scot who immigrated to Australia while her mom is a Filipino from Albay province. She grew up in Cairns, Queensland and moved to the Philippines after her high school graduation to work as a model.
When she won in December in Bangkok, there was a swell of pride among pageant-crazy Filipinos but some people got a tad upset when an Aussie tabloid called her “Miss Queensland.”
To add fuel to the fire, the mayor of Cairns said that they wanted to hold a grand reception for Gray, saying that her win was a “Cairns success story.”
Host Kerry Justich brought up the “war” between the two countries, and Gray said she is Miss Philippines but is also both Australian and Filipino.
It kinda sounds confusing, but let’s hear it from her.
She said: “I really feel like a Miss Philippines. I feel like a Filipina, a Filipino woman. It just so happens that when I was growing up I was very much an Australian and I think you can be both because I grew up with those two sides of the world.”
She said she found the whole debate amusing.
“I think that it’s funny that there’s a war going on. ‘She’s ours, she’s practically a Miss Australia.’ I am a Miss Philippines but I can’t blame them (Aussies) for being excited.”
Watch the entire interview below, where she also talks about her work with the children of Tondo in Manila, how she reacted when Tyra Banks said she loved her walk, and the overwhelming support she received from Filipino fans, among other topics.
There you go. Hope that ends the Philippines versus Australia debate. Maybe Australia should send a stronger bet next time so that they don’t have to claim Gray.