MALACAÑANG yesterday congratulated Catriona Gray for winning the Miss Universe crown in Bangkok, Thailand, saying her victory “sets the bar high in empowering more Filipino women to believe in themselves and to fight for their own place in the universe.”
“Ms. Gray truly made the entire Philippines proud when she sashayed on the global stage and showcased the genuine qualities defining a Filipina beauty: confidence, grace, intelligence and strength in the face of tough challenges,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“In her success, Miss Philippines has shown to the world that women in our country have the ability to turn dreams into reality through passion, diligence, determination, and hard work.”
Panelo said Gray’s victory has placed the Philippines back on the world map “for its beauty and elegance that matches the world-renowned attraction of the many scenic and mesmerizing islands in our country.”
Gray, a 24-year-old Filipino-Australian, became a crowd favorite as she pulled all the stops during the competition, including donning a giant lantern costume, her viral “lava walk,” slow-motion spin, and her evening gowns and accessories that paid homage to Filipino heritage and culture.
Pia Wurtzbach last won the Miss Universe crown for the Philippines in 2015. Gray has become the fourth Miss Universe to hail from the Philippines, following in the footsteps of Gloria Diaz, Margie Moran, and Wurtzbach.
With Gray’s coronation, the Philippines became the fourth country with the most Miss Universe titleholders. USA is no. 1 with eight titleholders. Venezuela is second with seven, and Puerto Rico is third with five wins.