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Catriona Gray

Miss Universe 2018

Catriona Gray of the Philippines was crowned Miss Universe 2018 at the 67th Miss Universe pageant, held on December 17 at IMPACT Arena, Muang Thong Thaniin Nonthaburi Province, Thailand. (December 16 in Canada) Contestants from 94 countries and territories participated in this year's pageant, surpassing the previous record of 92 contestants in 2017. The first runner-up was Tamaryn Green of South Africa and the second runner-up was Sthefany Gutiérrez of Venezuela. Canada's Marta Stepien placed in the Top 10.

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Catriona Gray
Ibong Adarna-inspired gown
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Luzviminda costume, back 
 Luzviminda costume, front
Catriona with her parents, Ian and Mita

With millions of followers on line, anything Catriona Gray does turns viral. Even Gray was surprised by the impact of her now famous “slow-mo twirl,” which she did on the Miss Universe stage during the preliminary competition on Thursday, December 13. The 24-year-old beauty queen said that while the pivot was practiced and intentional, she did not expect that it’s effect would have such an impact as to go viral.

The national costume that she wore at the National Costume Show of the 67th Miss Universe beauty pageant, held on December 10 in Nong Nooch Tropical Garden in Pattaya, Thailand, was so outstandingly creative that Vogue Thailand featured it alongside select others. The costume was a bodysuit beaded with intricate patterns inspired by the Pintados from Visayas, while her T’boli brass headpiece, belt and cuffs are all from Mindanao. Customized footwear embroidered with indigenous textile patterns and an oversized painted parol Christmas lantern pulled by a roller device complete the look. Called “Celebrate, Fight, Enrich,” the “Luzviminda” or Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao-inspired costume represents the country’s diversity and three major islands.

Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray, was born on January 6, 1994 in Cairns, Australia to a Scottish-born Australian father, Ian Gray, from Fraserburgh, and a Filipino mother, Normita Ragas Magnayon, from Oas, Albay.

Gray was a former student of Trinity Anglican School in Cairns and later earned her Certificate in Music Theory from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. She also acquired a Certificate in Outdoor Recreation and a black belt in Choi Kwang-Do martial arts. Additionally, 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 where she worked as a commercial model.

Before she joined and won Binibining Pilipinas 2018, she had already competed in Miss World 2016 and finished in the Top 5.

In Philippine pageant history, Gray is the first Filipino to represent the Philippines in both the Miss World and Miss Universe competitions. As such, she is the second Filipino to represent the Philippines in two major international pageants, the first being Carlene Aguilar (Miss Earth in 2001 and Miss World in 2005).

More than 90 contestants from different countries and continents are competing. Gray vies to become the fourth Filipino to get the Miss Universe crown on December 17 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

Catriona's Luzviminda costume

“Magdiwang. Lumaban. Pagyamanin.”

LUZON. “Magdiwang” [Celebrate]: The island group of Luzon is represented by the world-renowned “Parol/Christmas Lantern” from the province of Pampanga with an aluminum border (designed and made in Floridablanca, Pampanga – home of the pinukpuk aluminum). The border’s design is inspired by designs from the Philippine Baroque Churches that were declared as UNESCO Heritage Sites.

VISAYAS. “Lumaban” [Fight]: The island of Visayas is represented by a body suit with “tattoo designs” embellished with crystals derived from patterns used by the indigenous people found in various parts of the Philippines. The tattoo patterns are authentic and based on images in the Boxer Codex of manuscripts written in 1590. The tattoos represent an individual’s journey and a public testimony recounting acts of combat, bravery, and strength, that perfectly reperesents the courageous and resilient Filipino spirit amidst the trials we face in this day and age.

MINDANAO. “Pagyamanin” [Enrich]: The island group of Minadanao is represented by an authentic headpiece and brass accessories from the province of South Cotabato and customized knee-high boots with embroidered designs inspired by different indigenous texile patterns from the Philippines, namely: Inaul, Yakan, Maranao, B’laan, Bagoo, Tausug and T’nalak. The woven textiles express a strong belief in “ancestral and natural spirits” and “cultural roots” of indigenous communities that remain well preserved up to this day.

On the back of the Parol is a painting with an inscription of the lyrics from Lupang Hinirang, the Philippines’ national anthem written in baybayin (the pre-colonial Filipino alphabet) that literally translates as: Lupang Hinirang, Duyan ka ng magiting, Sa manlulupig, di ka pasisiil. Sa dagat at bundok, sa simoy at sa langit mong bughaw. The Painting also highlights victories, festivals, events, heroes and national icons with a style inspired by the works of Philippine National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco, a native of the Art Capital of the Philippines, Angono, Rizal in Luzon.