The Miss Universe 2018 Pageant took place last 17th of December at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand and Miss Philippines, Catriona Gray brought home the prestigious title for her country.
Catriona stood out amongst 94 women who competed in the event. With her beauty, wit, and confidence, she caught not just the Miss Universe judges’ attention but the world’s. However, unbeknown to the world, before Catriona stepped onto the Miss Universe stage, she passionately prepared in every way.
According to pep.ph, when she was asked how prepared she was for the competition on a scale of one to ten, Catriona said that she was “9.9” ready, explaining that she had done everything she could to prepare for the contest. She even made the effort of choosing her own core team during the 9-month preparation and initiated her own creativity and style with the team.
After winning Binibining Pilipinas 2018 on March, the pageant that qualifies the winner to enter Miss Universe, Catriona gave thanks to Jesus in her Instagram post and testified God’s goodness quoting verses from the Bible in Romans 8:31 and Jeremiah 29:11.
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Above all, thank you Jesus. Throughout all the heartbreaks and closed doors, you were there to comfort me. I lifted all my burdens up to you. At times, I thought I knew better, I was impatient – you told me to wait and to trust in you. You brought wonderful people into my life, you sent your angels to protect me. You shielded me from weapons and stones thrown by others. This achievement was made possible by you. This is all for you Lord God, I lift everything up to honor you. I love you and I trust you. To God be the Glory. 🙏✨ "What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?" Romans 8:31 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Catriona also admitted there was great pressure in representing the Philippines sash. Nevertheless, her response for accepting the challenge in representing the country reveals not just a brave and amazing lady but a woman who truly has a heart for God and serving people.
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“Here's my Catriona story. I met Catriona, about 2 years ago at the Young Focus student center in Tondo Manila. Young Focus does a lot of work with the communities that live in and around the Smokey Mountain landfill. What was also striking about Cat's time with Young Focus was that it was clear she knew everyone. She knew the kids, their names, the dreams, she also had a special relationship with the staff of Young Focus. You see, staff members, the teachers and social workers who work so hard and give of themselves are often overlooked, Cat knew them and hung out with them, she saw them. Just recently, we figured the problem of smokey mountain is that people think is that it belongs in the past, and we wanted to call attention to it. Immediately Cat volunteered, she had a platform, and influence and spared no time using it for good. This long post, is to convey first hand that her heart has always been to help. For us at Young Focus, together with the staff and kids, this something we have always known. Now, for those who may have jumped the gun, who may have not understood "the beauty in poverty" idea from the final question. From what I've seen, and from the friends I've made who have devoted their lives in working to help the poor, they would say, Absolutely 100% there is no beauty in poverty. As a matter of fact, when you do visit, you see the evil underbelly of the system the deliberately keeps things unequal. So the beauty Cat speaks of, isn't from general point of view that romanticises poverty. The beauty she speaks of is comes from what she has discovered in the stories of the kids, the families, and the people who have devoted their lives in serving others. They come from knowing actual names, hearing actual dreams. And her response has always been to cheer people on, and when she could, she lent lent her resources. She gave a voice to those we have long forgotten. We are so proud of her and the works she's done." – Bebo Bharwani (Board Member, Young Focus Philippines) Video by @altaniameen ✨ Footage from #WereInThisTogether music video, link in bio 🧡 @youngfocusph
Catriona’s inspiration for the pageant is her faith in God and her love for her fellow Filipino countrymen. She wants to showcase the beauty of her country in front of millions.
What’s even more surprising is that she revealed how her mother dreamed of this victory when Catriona was just 13-years-old. Catriona began thanking God above all for the triumph saying, “Where do I even begin? Lord God, I lift everything up to you – to glorify and honour you. 🙏”
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When I was 13, my mum told me "Honey, I dreamt of you winning @missuniverse in a red dress." At that time I thought nothing of it, and today my mother's dream came true. ✨ Where do I even begin? Lord God, I lift everything up to you – to glorify and honour you. 🙏 Philippines 🇵🇭 what an amazing honor it has been to carry your name across my chest and to embody you in all aspects. I may now carry the sash of Miss Universe, but I'll forever be your Miss Philippines. ❤️💙💛 To my team @carlosbuendiajr @bragaisjojo @mitagray @binibiningnicolecordoves @jololuarca @justine.aliman19 @ton_lao @vheecostyle @francischee_ @styledbypatrickhenry @visionerickson @ardelpresentacion @mackycombe @harleybarleyyy @jellyeugenio @hairbybrentsales @memayfrancisco @mimsqiu @momoisupe @tesserajewelry @maktumang @jearsond @theaiveeclinic @empiredentallounge @jed_jimenez I wouldn't have been able to do any of this with all your time, effort and love 💛 #MissUniverse @missuniverse
This article was written by Christel Berns Villariza.