Catriona Gray is the reigning Miss Universe. The beauty queen from the Philippines won her crown in the Miss Universe pageant held in Thailand on December 17, 2018. Ms. Gray is also an actress, singer, and model.
Real Name –> Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray
Nickname –> Cat (Luk Maew – Her Thai nickname)
Birthdate –> 6 January 1994
Birthplace –> Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Father –> Ian Gray from Scotland
Mother –> Normita Ragas Magnayon from Oas, Albay, Philippines
Height –> 5 ft 10.5 in (1.79 m)
School –> Trinity Anglican School
College –> Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachussetts
Course –> Master’s Certificate in Music Theory
Family and Childhood
Catriona is the only child of Ian Gray and Normita Magnayon. In 2011, She graduated from Trinity Anglican School in Cairns where she was a lead singer in a jazz band, a house captain, and a school chorister.
The Road to Miss Universe
At the age of five, Catriona won Little Miss Philippines in Sydney. When she was 13, her mother, Normita dreamt that her only child would someday win the Miss Universe contest in a red dress. That dream was literally fulfilled the night Catriona was proclaimed Miss Universe. She was then wearing a Mayon Volcano inspired red gown designed by Mak Tumang.
After graduation from Trinity School in Cairns, she came to the Philippines to start a career in modelling.
In 2016, She joined Miss world Philippines and won the right to represent the country in the Miss World pageant held in the United States. She landed as one of the Top 5 finalists. Undaunted, Catriona went on quietly to transform herself for another shot at an international pageant.
In 2018, Catriona competed in the Binibining Pilipinas along with two other former Miss World contestants namely, Sarah Margarette Joson and Sandra Raymundo Lemonon. On 18 March 2018, she was crowned as Miss Universe Philippines 2018 by the outgoing titleholder Rachel Peters. She proceeded to Thailand in November that year for the Miss Universe 2018 beauty pageant.
During the national Costume competition, Catriona wore a beaded tribal suit together with an oversized and somewhat heavy parol painted Christmas lantern. For the swimwear contest, she wore a pink swimsuit and performed a “lava walk”, a kind of slow-motion act which elicited praise from many observers.
In the first question and answer portion, Steve Harvey, the host, asked her, “What is your opinion on the legalization of marijuana?”. She answered thus, “I’m for it being used for medical use, but not so for recreational use. Because I think if people were to argue: Then what about alcohol and cigarettes? Well, everything is good but in moderation.”
The final question for the Top 5 finalists was, “What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life and how will you apply it to your time as Miss Universe?”. Catriona responded by saying, “I work a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila and the life there is very… it’s poor and it’s very sad. And I’ve always taught myself to look for the beauty in it; to look in the beauty in the faces of the children, and to be grateful. And I would bring this aspect as a Miss Universe to see situations with a silver lining, and to assess where I could give something, where I could provide something as a spokesperson. And this I think if I could also teach people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster, and children will have a smile on their faces.”
Eventually, Catriona was crowned Miss Universe 2018 by her predecessor Miss Universe Demi Leigh Nel Peters from South Africa. She won over other 93 contestants including Miss South Africa who won first runner-up and Miss Venezuela who placed second runner-up. Read: Catriona Gray Wins…
On a televised interview in February, 2019, Catriona revealed that she is single. That means she just broke up with her Filipino-German boyfriend Clint Bondad.
In 2018, Catriona released her first single entitled “We’re in This Together”. Go here to see lyrics and watch and listen to the music video.
In 2016, Catriona became active with Young Focus Philippines, a non-government organization that provides free and accessible education to Filipino children. Now she is doing her own project called “Paraiso: The Bright Beginnings Project” with the aim of raising funds for children in the Smokey Mountain in Tondo, Manila.