For the first time after she won Miss Universe in Bangkok, Thailand in December 2018, an emotional Catriona Gray celebrated her victory with the Filipinos as she bared her goals and dreams beyond pageants.
“This is really my first opportunity to celebrate winning Miss Universe with my whole country and the people that I love.
It brings me so much pride and honour to be able to bring so much joy to my country the Philippines.
So standing here in front of you gives me the utmost pride,” said Gray during her first press conference in the Philippines, in Cubao, Quezon City Wednesday afternoon, Manila Bulletin reported.
Gray was accompanied by Stella Marquez Araneta, chair of the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc, on stage during the press meet.
This is her first official visit to the Philippines as Miss Universe. In December, she stayed in Manila during the holidays. Araneta said: “We are very happy because we have somebody to represent Miss Universe like you.
You are the most beautiful beauty queen that we have now. I hope the best for you and you deserve it.”
Gray said that she doesn’t know if she’s ready for the “craziness” of her activities in Manila until February 24.
“I don’t know if I am ready guys. When I was getting ready for coronation night, I made sure my make-up was extra-water proof because I really felt that if I were to be announced as Miss Universe, I would cry.
But it never happened,” the Filipino-Australian beauty queen said.
She added: “So I think my crying moment will be during my homecoming parade. When I look back at my most emotional moments as a beauty queen, I have been surrounded by people.
Their passion about our beauty queens really makes me cry. I feel like a simple girl but here I am bringing joy to people’s lives.”
The Bicolana beauty queen will kick-off her homecoming parade in Pasay-Manila-Makati today.
The second homecoming parade will be held at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City on February 23.
A special show in honour of Gray will cap her visit to Manila at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao on February 24.
On February 22, Gray will pay PLDT Chairman Manny V Pangilinan a courtesy visit at his offices in Makati City, a tradition that has been carried on since 2014, when PLDT Home and Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc first forged their fruitful partnership in support of outstanding and inspiring women who make an impact in the international stage like the Miss Universe pageant.
Gray said that she will continue to be active in supporting charities and private organisations such as Young Focus (programmes for poor kids), Love Yourself Philippines (campaign against Aids), and Smile Train (corrective surgery for children with cleft lips and palates). Sought about her plans to pursue Broadway and Hollywood, Gray said: “Why not! I am open to opportunities! I would love to do Broadway.”
The fourth Miss Universe from the Philippines said that she would also love to promote Mindanao abroad despite some negative news that people hear about the area.“I would like to share what we can offer.
When I was researching for my national costume, I just realised how rich our culture is.”
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