Pageant mentors, friends cheer on Catriona Gray after Miss World Top 5 finish
MANILA, Philippines – Many Filipino fans voiced out support for the Philippines' Catriona Gray, after she didn't win the Miss World 2016 crown, and among the messages were from Catriona's friends in the pageant industry.
Catriona was a favorite to win, and was among the Top 5 finalists in the pageant.
Instead, Miss Puerto Rico's Stephanie del Valle was crowned Miss World 2016 on Monday, December 19. In second place was Dominican Republic's Yaritza Miguelina Reyes Ramírez, and in 3rd was Indonesia's Natasha Mannuela.
Miss World Philippines 2014 Valerie Weigmann posted a heartwarming message for her best friend Catriona.
She said: "To those who know their mission – no affirmation is required. To those who believe in you and in what you strive to achieve – no reward, sash, or crown is necessary.
"For those whom you work for – the people at the heart of your advocacy – all that is needed is for you to keep going.
"Your journey has inspired us but it is far from over. Just keep going... Love you [Catriona Gray]! You have made us all proud!""
To those who know their mission - no affirmation is required. To those who believe in you and in what you strive to achieve - no reward, sash, or crown is necessary. For those whom you work for - the people at the heart of your advocacy - all that is needed is for you to keep going. Your journey has inspired us but it is far from over. Just keep going... Love you @catriona_gray! You have made us all proud! #parasapilipinas by: @iam_dencio
On social media, Aces and Queens' Jonas Gaffud, he was proud of Catriona. He also asked Filipino fans not to post any negative comments about Catriona's loss. Aces and Queens is the beauty queen training camp that trained Catriona.
Jonas said: "Hey c'mon Philippines. If we won, no hatred on Facebook right? But we did not. Let's be proud as Filipinos and pageant fans of our girl Catriona Gray. For us she will be always our Miss World. But there are other families, friends and fans who root for their girls as well."
He added that at the pageant, he met Stephanie's father, who was very proud of his daughter.
"I was touched by how happy he was for his daughter. Remember this: We are not alone in this world. There are others," wrote Jonas.
He also posted on Instagram, saying he was proud of Catriona.
Arnold Mercado, another Aces and Queens mentor posted on Instagram: "Thank you for making us ACES and Queens and the whole Philippines proud! You deserve to be a queen!"
Designer Bessie Besana, also with Aces and Queens, congratulated Catriona and Stephanie, and gave similar message as Jonas.
"I hope we Filipinos respect the outcome of the competition. It was heartbreaking as we saw how hard Cat fought and did her best. But unfortunately, it was not her fate. Let us all remember to be gracious to each other and show the world that we are grateful for the blessing it has bestowed upon us.
"Mabuhay ka Cat! And I am excited to see your career prosper more, I hope as a singer because you are one helluva talent!"