Philippines’ Catriona Gray becomes next Miss Universe

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Catriona Gray of the Philippines was named victor of the Miss Universe 2018 competition in the Thai capital Bangkok, besting contestants from 93 other countries to claim the prize.

In a statement, Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said Gray "showcased the genuine qualities defining a Filipina beauty: confidence, grace, intelligence and strength in the face of tough challenges".

Ms Gray was previously named Miss World Philippines in 2016, and is the first woman in history to have been awarded both World and Universe national titles.

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A crowd favorite since she arrived in Thailand, the 24-year-old Gray became the fourth Miss Universe from the Philippines after Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran (1973), and Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (2015). It is a sultry red gown by Mak Tumang. The ear cuff, now known as "3 Stars and a Sun", was so popular that it was copied by fans and some global candidates. "Even after preliminary, to see that much impact, I even saw myself like at a Thai TV station and Miss India came up to me and said she was like one of the Indian newspapers has even published about your walk and I was just like this is insane!" Because if you give them food, they will go hungry the next day. The design was a collaboration of Catriona with Jearson Demavivas, Jojo Bragais, and Eric Quiwa.

The new Miss Universe is an HIV/AIDS advocate at Love Yourself PH, and volunteers as a Teacher's Assistant to the students of Young Focus NGO.

Gray moved to the Philippines at the age of 18 and used money earned from her modeling career to buy her plane ticket, according to the ABS-CBN. For the videos, Catriona traveled to Pampanga, Rizal, Manila, Leyte, and South Cotabato to show the country's rich culture and heritage.

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Obsessed with Catriona's gown, too? Tessera also created another show stopping accesory - earrings called the "Pearl of the Orient".

Gray talked about her work in poor areas of her home country and how that has inspired her positive approach.

It was during this edition that Miss Universe announced their new format: two sets of question and answer segment for Top 5 and Top 3 finalists. A child once told me, "Cat, that's just not my life, and those dreams are meant for me". The 25-year-old Rincon native has made a name for herself with her extensive social work back in her country.

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The designer wrote: "Today, Catriona is coming home".

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