Catriona, a native of Albay, bested 93 other candidates at the beauty pageant that was televised live around the world from Bangkok, Thailand.
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This was the fourth Miss Universe crown for the Philippines. The last Filipina to win the crown was Pia Wurtzbach in 2015.
“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,” Malacanang said in a statement.
“In her success, Miss Philippines has shown the world that women in our country have the ability to turn dreams into reality through passion, diligence, determination, and hard work,” it added.
The Miss World organization also congratulated Catriona, who did not win the crown when she joined their competition in 2016.
“Well done Catriona! Congratulations from all of us at Miss World to Catriona Gray on being elected Miss Universe 2018!!,” said a statement on the Miss World Facebook page.
It noted that Catriona was a Miss World Top 5 finalist and Beauty With A Purpose Winner in Miss World 2016.
“We are delighted to see her win the Miss Universe crown! Catriona’s brilliant Smokey Mountain Beauty With A purpose project captured all our hearts as it revealed her dedicated vision to support the most vulnerable in our society,” the statement said.
“Miss Universe organisation you have a great winner!” it added.
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