Miss Universe Catriona Gray at the 121st Proclamation of Philippine Independence at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in New York City
Catriona enjoying the remaining 6 months of her Miss U reign
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - July 6, 2019 - 12:00am

After delivering an emotional farewell speech as Miss Universe Philippines last month at the Big Dome, reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray seemed to have slipped out of the limelight, making beauty-pageant enthusiasts wonder what she had been up to.

Here’s a Catriona update from Funfare’s “beauty expert” Celso de Guzman Caparas:

A few days after crowning her successor, Gazini Ganados, last June 9, Catriona flew back to New York to fulfill her duties as 2018 Miss Universe ­— and enjoying every moment to the hilt the last remaining six months of her reign and proving herself to be one of the busiest Misses Universe. Her successor will be chosen in December probably in Seoul where the late Chat Silayan placed third runner-up in the Miss U pageant.

with 2019 Miss USA Cheslie Kryst during the National Hockey League Awards in Las Vegas

On June 17, Catriona graced the 121st Proclamation of Philippine Independence at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The special guests included Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez, US State Department Undersecretary for Management Brian Bulatao, US-Philippines Society Co-Chair Ambassador John Negroponte and world-renowned Filipino virtuoso pianist Cecile Licad.

On June 19, Catriona and 2019 Miss USA Cheslie Kryst handed the James Norris Memorial trophy to Mark Giordano during the National Hockey League Awards on June 19 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

On June 21 in New York, Catriona visited the Education Through Music, a charitable organization that provides music as a core subject for all children, and utilizes music education as a catalyst to improve academic achievement, motivation for school and self-confidence.

and with newly-crowned Miss Universe Thailand Jennifer Paweensuda ‘Fahsai’ Drouin

On June 27, Catriona had her HIV test on National HIV Testing Day at Apicha Community Health Center in New York with health departments and other organizations to raise awareness about the importance of HIV testing and early diagnosis of HIV. (Note: HIV awareness is also the advocacy of 2015 Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach.) She said that “taking care of your health is not only in your best interest, but crucial for your loved ones, too.” Catriona was named Madrina (Godmother) of Latino Commission of AIDS in Sept. 2018.

On June 29, Catriona was in Bangkok where she chaired the judging panel and crowned the 2019 Miss Universe Thailand Jennifer Paweensuda “Fahsai” Drouin. Thailand is memorable to Catriona because it’s where she won Miss Universe last year.

Incidentally, Drouin was in the Philippines in 2017 when she competed in the Miss Earth pageant where she finished one of the Top 8 finalists. The winner was the Philippines’ Karen Ibasco. Drouin returned in 2018 to sit as one of the judges (along with Catriona) in the 2018 Mr. and Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines staged at the Performing Arts Theater of Resorts World Manila on May 12. 

Ruffa claims to be fancy-free

Ruffa Gutierrez, another beauty titlist (1993 Miss World Second Princess), is often seen these days without the handsome foreigner beside her. Ruffa claimed that she is fancy-free, much to the relief of her mom, Annabelle Rama.

Hosts and other guests (CJ Jaravata, Dong Ronquillo, Aziza Mondoñedo and Bubbles Paraiso) with their ‘glam-pillow’ souvenirs.

Aside from the concert/birthday-dinner at a five-star hotel hosted by Annabelle last June 22, two days before her birthday (June 24), Ruffa was honored with an exclusive Havana-inspired party at the Manila House Private Club by Pinky Tobiano and husband Juancho Robles. Guests included Dong Ronquillo (Lifestyle Asia editor-in-chief), Ferdie Salvador, Alice Dixson, Maricel Laxa and Anthony Pangilinan (with daughter Ella), Bubbles Paraiso, Aziza Mondoñedo, Phoemela Baranda, CJ Jaravata and Joven.

Juancho Robles and wife Pinky Tobiano, Alice Dixson, Maricel Laxa, Ruffa Gutierrez and Anthony Pangilinan.

Pinky and Juancho prepared a special Russian Beluga Caviar Bar especially for Ruffa and a beautiful cake by dear friend Christian Mark. As giveaways, Ruffa prepared special personalized glam pillows.

Throughout the party, Ruffa appeared happy in her newly-found single-blessedness.

(For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

CATRIONA GRAY MISS UNIVERSE PHILIPPINES
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