Catriona on marrying Sam: We talk about it

Gray with NCCA Chair Victorino Manalo (center) and Commissioner Arvin Manuel Villalon (left) STORY: Catriona on marrying Sam: We talk about it

Gray with NCCA Chair Victorino Manalo (center) and Commissioner Arvin Manuel Villalon (left)

To read online articles saying Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray has finally tied the knot with her boyfriend, actor Sam Milby, is shocking even to the beauty queen-turned-TV host herself.

“I was surprised to read about me getting married just when the 71st Miss Universe pageant was taking place,” said Catriona, who participated in the pageant as one of its backstage commentators. “I guess there will always be rumors, but what I was really happy about was to have had the chance to be part of the pageant—not as a contestant, a reigning queen or as someone who’s finally giving away her title—but as a backstage correspondent. It was a great experience. I was super happy that they considered me for that role.”

Catriona, however, admitted that she and Sam have had discussions on the possibility of finally settling down soon. The two publicly confirmed they were dating in May 2020. “We’ve been together long enough that we definitely talk about it, so let’s see,” she told reporters during the recent launch of this year’s National Arts Month (NAM2023) celebration organized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

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Catriona has been the agency’s ambassador since 2020.

The event, which carries the theme “Ani ng Sining, Bunga ng Galing,” was also attended by newly elected NCCA Chair Victorino Manalo and Subcommission on the Arts Commissioner Arvin Manuel Villalon, as well as other NCCA officials and heads of the seven national committees.

NCCA ambassador Catriona Gray at Manila Metropolitan Theater

“I was thinking about what the National Arts Month means to me since this is the third time I’m involved as an ambassador. The arts were really among the pathways that led me to become more in love with my country,” Catriona said in her welcome address. “You know that February is also known as the love month, so I was thinking of the correlation between the two. Of course, during love month — if you have a significant other — you’re thinking of ways to show them how much you care about them. So, if you want to bring your date to an event, why not to our National Arts Month events, to experience what Philippine arts have to offer.”

‘Prove my worth’

Asked which NAM2023 events she plans to take Sam to, Catriona said: “Sam has a really busy schedule this month. I would love to go to one of those workshops with him. I think it’s cool that they have acting workshops as one of their activities. I don’t know anything about acting, but Sam does, so that would be very interesting.”

Speaking of acting, Catriona admitted there have been offers for her to work on film and TV projects, “but there’s nothing that’s been the right fit. I think it’s also a space that I would need to train in because I don’t consider myself an actress,” she pointed out. “Am I open to the opportunity? Absolutely, but I know that I would have to prove my worth in being there and not just bank on my being a former Miss Universe.”

The NAM2023 opening ceremony will be held on Feb. 12 at the Rizal Park open-air auditorium, showcasing various performances, workshops, poem and story reading, and film excerpts. Performances from Joey Ayala and Kalinga Music, among others, will start at 6 p.m.


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