Twenty-four year old model, television personality, and seasoned beauty queen Catriona Gray from the Philippines takes the world by storm as she bested all other 92 candidates December 17 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Donning a dazzling ‘lava-like’ red outfit, Gray recalled what her mom said when she was 13, “My mom said she had a dream that I would win Miss Universe in a red dress.”
“You have made us proud” was the common response as netizens reacted to Catriona’s win with glowing enthusiasm. Even Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said in a statement, “Ms. Gray truly made the entire Philippines proud when she sashayed on the global stage and showcased the genuine qualities defining a Filipina beauty: Confidence, grace, intelligence and strength in the face of tough challenges.”
World-class singer and Broadway actress Lea Salonga tweeted: “What wonderful news to wake up to!!! Congratulations, Catriona Gray (Philippines), for winning the Miss Universe crown!!!”
Previous Ms U winners and where they are now
Catriona Gray is 4th Filipina beauty queen to be named Miss Universe in the competition’s history. Previous pageant winners were:
Gloria Diaz: 1969 Ms Universe
Gloria Diaz was the first Filipina to win Miss Universe in 1969. She was the crowd’s favorite during the competition because of her wit. During her reign, Gloria extensively travelled endorsing the causes that the Ms Universe organization advocates. Gloria went on to pursue an acting career in the Philippines where she became successful. Owing to her ageless beauty and elegant bearing, the former Ms. Universe continues to grace Philippine television up to the present.
Margarita Moran: 1973 Ms Universe
After doing some part-time modeling for fashion designer Auggie Cordero, Margarita “Margie” Moran decided to join the Binibining Pilipinas at aged 19. In that contest, she bagged the privilege of representing the country at the Miss Universe pageant in Athens, Greece and in 1973 got hold of the Miss Universe title, with the prestigious Miss Photogenic award in tow.
When her reign ended, Margie married and moved to London to take up a Masters Degree in Business. She headed several private corporations and had a brief stint in television and film. Margie hosted Margie on Mindanao and produced the multi-awarded movie, Bagong Buwan (New Moon). The former Ms U is also famous for her peace advocacy being part of the Mindanao Commission on Women Organization and recently became an ambassador-trustee of the Habitat for Humanity Philippines.
Pia Wirtzbach: 2015 Ms Universe
Pia Wirtzbach’s crowning as 2015 Ms Universe is one of the most controversial in the pageant’s history. Pia was initially announced as first runner-up, but after several seconds, host Steve Harvey admitted he made a mistake and Miss Philippines was actually the winner, removing the crown from the head of Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez.
Subsequent to her recruitment by a modeling agency at age 11, German-born Pia’s career in front of the camera commenced. Becoming a child model and television star, she also became the sole breadwinner of the family. From that time on, Pia was resolute in joining the Miss Universe beauty pageant, making numerous attempts, training for three years while also working as a lifestyle journalist. During her reign, Pia works with the Miss Universe Organization as an HIV/AIDS awareness advocate and became a guest judge on Asia’s Next Top Model. Pia at present is an endorser of countless products and continues to inspire many young Filipinas in making their dreams a reality.