The minute Catriona Gray announced her bid for the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 pageant, the buzz definitely didn't wear off. Pageant fans had been raving about her non-stop, which made her the consistent favorite to bring home the most coveted crown. Now that it's been announced that Catriona is our new Miss Universe 2018, here are some of the things you might want to know about her:
She bagged two of the most prestigious beauty pageant titles in the country.
ICYDK, Catriona is no stranger to beauty titles and prior to conquering this year's Miss Universe stage, she was hailed as Miss World Philippines in 2016. Right after, she competed on the international stage wearing the Philippine flag and placed fifth on the pageant's coronation night.
Who can forget her eloquent answer to the pageant's Q&A that made her everyone's bet to win the Miss World crown? Then at 22 years old, she was asked by Spain's representative Mireia Lalaguna: "Which qualities do you think it will take to wear my crown?" She answered, "I think, first of all, it takes bravery. To be a Miss World is to carry a burning torch. it is like action carried out by one to illuminate the lives of many. I would dedicate my whole self, my love for the arts, and my voice to try to uplift, empower, and educate people. And it will be my greatest honor and duty to hold this torch high enough so that all the world could feel and see its light."
While fans and pageant goers cheered for her to win, Catriona graciously accepted her top 5 finish in true beauty queen fashion. This time, she made us all proud again when she answered this question during the final round of the pageant, "After the devastating war, Marawi is now on its way to recovery. What is your message to the young women in Marawi?"
She answered, "Thank you for that question. My answer and my message to the women were, 'To be strong.' As women, we're the head of a household, and we have amazing influence, not only in our families, as mothers, sisters, and friends, but also in our community. If we could get the women to stay strong and be that image of strength for the children and the people around them, then once the rebuilding is complete and underway, the morale of the community will stay strong and high."
Both Catriona and BF Clint Bondad are Cosmo-approved!
We all know Catriona and model/celebrity Clint Bondad look great together. But did you know both of them are Cosmo-approved?
Back in 2012, Catriona was among Cosmo's 8 Sexiest Models, along with other models-turned-beauty queens Maxene Medina and Valerie Weigmann.
Then in 2015, her boyfriend Clint was among the COSMOMEN Centerfolds.
On Clint's latest Instagram post, he wrote, "Nothing better in the universe [than] cuddling you with sleepy eyes and knowing that you have arrived. My Queen. My Everything."
Now, that's a perfect couple.
Catriona is no stranger to ~slaying~ in front of the camera and on the runway..
After moving to the Philippines to trace her Filipino roots, Catriona has created a name for herself as a legit model.
Here she is as the face of a shampoo brand:
And here she was back in 2012, walking and even singing live for the Bench fashion show:
Singing is also her passion.
Catriona is so passionate about singing that she earned her Master's Certificate in Music Theory from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Back then, she was also the lead singer of her school's jazz band and a consistent performer in local productions including Miss Saigon.
Here she is showing her singing chops for Cosmo:
She also uses her art for a bigger purpose.
Catriona's love for the arts was actually a tool she's long used to give back to those in need. She has served a number of non-profit organizations using her skills and her influence to effect change.
She staged benefit concerts and auctioned some of her original artwork to raise funds for pre-schoolers at Smokey Mountains with a project she called "Paraiso: The Bright Beginnings Project."
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