Make way for the queen: Catriona Gray charms in Q&As
MANILA, Philippines – One month after winning Miss Universe Philippines 2018, Catriona Gray admits the win still overwhelms her.
"I'm just so happy, I feel so grateful for the opportunity and it's exciting really to get back into training and to give it all that I've got," Catriona told Rappler at the H&M event last April 19.
Catriona is no newbie to the title of "queen" or the pageant scene, having competed in Miss World Philippines 2016. But what endears the pageant fans and non-fans to the Filipino-Australian beauty how remained humble and approachable to everyone. (READ: From Miss World Philippines 2016 to Miss Universe Philippines 2018: The journey of Catriona Gray)
It's not just her beauty that captured everyone's attention, but the way she answers questions and the occassional controversy with grace and poise.
As she prepares for her biggest pageantry challenge yet, Rappler compiles Catriona's best statements and answers she made during the pageant and media interviews after.
On March 18, US ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim asked: After the devastating war, Marawi is now on its way to recovery. What is your message to the young women of Marawi?"
"My answer and message to the women [of Marawi] is to be strong. As women, we are the head of the household. And, we have amazing influence not only [on] our own families – as mothers, sisters, and friends – but also [on] 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, once the rebuilding is complete, the morale of the community will stay strong and high."
Swimsuit award controversy and Mariel de Leon : After winning the Best in Swimsuit award, former titleholders Maggie Wilson and Bea Rose Santiago expressed their opinion that other candidates were more deserving of the award. The two were heavily criticized by Catriona's fans, with some dragging Maggie's mom, husband, and son into the issue. (READ: Pageants are fun but...)
On her Instagram stories, Catriona told her fans to stop the hate.
"As I've said before, debating and stating your own opinion is okay but let's not retaliate with negativity."
Catriona also spoke up when fans lashed out at Bb Pilipinas International 2017 Mariel de Leon over comments the latter made in critiquing the former in a speech workshop.
"As a Binibini, I very much look up to our queens and Mariel is one of them! Please show them love later at the show because they've all done such amazing jobs representing our country on the world stage.
"This is [a] reminder not to use tonight's celebration to do anything negative! Please just cheer, show all your love!! We need it!" said Catriona.
Philippine Star interview: Miss Universe title or nothing
In her interview with the Supreme section of the Philippine Star, Catriona admitted that it was a big risk for her to compete again. After bagging the Miss World Philippines crown, she knew that the next title she had to get was Miss Universe.
"The main pressure was that I only wanted one crown,” she said. “And it’s scary going into Binibini ‘cause there’s 6 (crowns) and you don’t get to say, like, ‘Okay just put me in this one and if I don’t, just make me a runner-up or something.’ So that was the pressure. I really wanted (Miss Universe) or nothing and I went with that mindset. So I just worked really, really hard.”
The Bottomline with Boy Abunda
In an April 14 episode for The Bottomline with Boy Abunda, Catriona and her fellow Bb Pilipinas queens took turns answering questions that had been asked during the pageant. Here are Catriona's answers:
Q: Do you agree that a third restroom should be built for transgers? Why or why not?
Catriona: "I do not agree. I believe that if you're a transgender, you're identify as that gender. So I feel that we should accept them and allow them to use a restroom in which they identify with, which would be either the men or women bathroom. And I think that it promotes inclusitivity and it allows them to understand what they want as a transgender, and that's to be accepted by us and not just tolerate."
Q: How should a beauty queen respond to ruthless criticism?
Catriona: "I think as beauty queens, [we] are put in such discerning arena where we are subject to so much feedback, whether it be negative or positive. And I think that it's an individual choice just to listen to the people you trust around you, who know will give you constructive feedback, who they know your preparation, [the] whole details that they can accurately give constructive criticism that can really help you."
When you go for a tv show guesting but end up learning so much from the amazing Boy Abunda @thebottomlineph so many moments where I was pinching myself that I didn't have a notebook to take notes! Haha, so happy to have finally met you tito Boy! Keep an eye of out for this episode of Bottom Line, coming . #CatrionaGrayMUP2018 #BbPilipinas2018 #StyledByTonLao
At the H&M Concscious Exclusive launch, Rappler asked Catriona's involvement in environmental causes. Aside from supporting H&M, she will also be part of a jewelry company's marine conservation campaign.
Deeply inspired by these amazing superwomen who dedicate their journey to making the world a better place for everyone. #HMconsciousExclusive #CORAxHM #HMconscious . We are all wearing the H&M Conscious Exclusive 2018 Collection made from #ECONYL - 100% regenerated fiber from discarded fishing nets recovered from the world’s oceans! Amazing!! @econylbrand . #MissUniverse is from Earth. There is no Planet B. #NoBlueNoGreen . The Conscious Exclusive 2018 collection launched today and is now available in selected stores worldwide and online at hm.com! _______ @PlanetCORA | @WeAreCORA . C.O.R.A. (Communities Organized for Resource Allocation) _______ @TheGlobalGoals | @UNenvironment | @UNDP Philippines | @denrofficial . #CleanSeasPilipinas #CleanSeas #BeatPlasticPollution #GLOBALGOALS _______ #WeAreCORA #PlanetCORA #EarthDay #EarthDay2018 #GhostFishing #fishingnet #SaveOurOcean #ClimateChange #Recycle #ZeroWaste #coraltriangle #coral #reef #biodiversity #biodiversityph #ocean #OceanAction #IYOR2018 #IYOR2018PH
"I think it's something that we should be calling a lot of the public's attention to. It's not just really to get board on a train that's happening, but I mean, I'm given a platform now as Miss Universe Philippines 2018... to be able to actively contribute to looking after our environment. So that's what I'm trying to do in the little ways that I can," she said. – Rappler.com