Amazing news for Filipino fans from all around the world: Catriona Gray is Miss Universe 2018!
The Philippines’ bet won the 67th Miss Universe competition at the IMPACT Arena in Bangkok, Thailand earlier today.
Miss Universe 2018 is… PHILIPPINES! pic.twitter.com/r2BkN8JpXh
— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) December 17, 2018
The first runner-up was South Africa’s Tamaryn Green, while the second runner-up was Venezuela’s Sthefany Gutiérrez.
Gray, 24 years old, bested 93 other women in the pageant. She’s bringing back the Miss Universe crown to the Philippines after only a three-year gap and without the help of a beauty pageant camp, an impressive feat.
Miss Universe 2017 Demi Leigh Nel-Peters took her final walk before passing down the Miss Universe crown to Gray.
The Filipino-Australian beauty queen was wearing a fiery evening gown created by designer Mak Tumang which was inspired by the Mayon Volcano, an icon in Gray’s hometown of Albay.
The final question the top three contestants had to answer was, “What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life and how would you apply it to your time as Miss Universe?”
Gray talked about her work in the slums of Tondo, Manila.
“Their 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.”
She added: “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.”
Before joining the Miss Universe contest, Gray joined another global contest in 2017, Miss World, where she landed at the top 5.
In March, she won Miss Universe Philippines 2018, becoming the Philippines’ representative at this year’s Miss Universe competition.
She is the fourth Filipina to bring home the crown, after Pia Wurtzbach in 2015, Margie Moran in 1973, and Gloria Diaz in 1969.