Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2017 Rachel Peters crowns her successor, Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2018 Catriona Gray. Leandicho

Shades of Gray: Catriona sweeps Binibining Pilipinas awards
Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo ( - March 19, 2018 - 8:56am

MANILA, Philippines — An early pageant favorite, Catriona Elisa Gray, wins as the Philippines’ official representative to the 2018 Miss Universe pageant.

Gray has been crowned Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2018 at the coronation night held in Araneta Coliseum, Cubao, Quezon City on March 18.

From the moment Catriona was named as the first winner of the first-ever Pitoy Moreno National Costume Award, fans of the 24-year-old TV host, model and singer already had a good feeling that she is going home with the topmost title by the end of the night.

From winning Best in National Costume in a Mindanao-inspired Jason Demavivas ensemble, Catriona went on to win five of the 11 minor and major special awards given, including Jag Denim Queen, Miss Ever Bilena, Best in Swimsuit, and Best in Long Gown.

Initially, Gray was pitted against volleyball star Michele Gumabao, who later on went to win as Bb. Pilipinas-Globe 2018.

In the much-awaited Question and Answer portion, Gray was the last of the contestants called via draw lots. One of the judges, H.E. US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Yong Kim, asked her: “After the devastating war, Marawi is now on its way to recovery. What is your message to the young women of Marawi?”

She nailed the title when she flawlessly answered:

“Thank you for that question. My answer and my message to the women is to be strong. As women, we’re the head of the 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 is underway, the morale of the community will stay strong and high. Thank you.”

As the new Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2018, Catriona wins:

  • One year ambassadorship contract with Cream Silk
  • P500,000 worth of management contract from Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc.
  • P500,000 worth of Dairy Queen endorsement contract that includes a TV commercial
  • Complete set of wardrobe from BPCI
  • Full scholarship training from Dale Carnegie
  • 18 months of salon services and gym membership
  • Personal accident insurance
  • P25,000 cash and P25,000 worth of Ever Bilena products
  • P500,000 Pizza Hut endorsement contract, including a TV feature

Born in Queensland, Australia, Catriona has an Australian father, Ian Gray, while her mom, Normita Ragas Magnayon, is from Albay, which is why she represented Albay in Binibining Pilipinas.

Catriona was named after her paternal grandmother, accomplished painter Catherine Gray nee Ross from Scotland.

A taekwondo black belter, Catriona earned a Masters Certificate in Music Theory from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. She also have a Certificate in Outdoor Recreation.

Apart from being the lead singer of her school's jazz band, she starred in local “Miss Saigon” productions. After taking up high school in Australia, she moved to Manila, where she became a top model at the age of 18.

In 2016, Gray was hailed as Miss World Philippines and she competed at the Miss World 2016 pageant, where she landed in the Top 5. She also received special awards such as the Multimedia Award, 2nd place in Talent, and Top 5 finalist for Beauty with a Purpose project.

If victorious, Gray will become the Philippines’ fourth Miss Universe titleholder, following Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran (1973) and Pia Wurtzbach (2015), who hosted the 2018 Bb. Pilipinas pageant alongside Richard Gutierrez.

RELATED: FULL TEXT: Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Top 15 finalists’ Q&A

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