Catriona Gray no regrets being ‘vocal’ in 5th crowning anniversary

Catriona Gray looks back on her Miss Universe journey in crowning anniversary

As she credits crown to her being 'stubborn, vocal' in vision
/ 05:05 PM December 18, 2023

Catriona Gray. Images: BJ Pascual via Instagram/@catriona_gray

Catriona Gray. Images: BJ Pascual via Instagram/@catriona_gray

Five years after she was crowned as Miss Universe 2018, Catriona Gray said she has no regrets in being “vocal and stubborn in [her] vision” as it led her to winning the coveted crown.

Gray looked back at her Miss Universe 2018 stint with fondness through a shoot inspired by her preliminary and final gowns on Instagram account last Sunday, Dec, 17, saying it was a time she “gave her absolute everything” despite being an “independent” candidate, meaning she was not under any of the beauty camps for management.


“I’m fond of looking back on my journey and remembering how I had to conquer so many fears because in my pursuit, I went against the grain,” she wrote. “From being an independent, non-camp trained candidate and forming my own team; to utilizing visual, storytelling in every aspect from my national costume, to my ootds, to my accessories; to creating social media strategies and campaigns.”

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A post shared by Catriona Gray (@catriona_gray)

While comparing her pageant experience to an “Ibong Adarna,” Gray described her stint as a “comeback story” as it was also a time she “rubbed [some] people” off the “wrong way” due to her “vocal” nature.

“Some people, I rubbed the wrong way because I wasn’t just a ‘yes’ girl. I was vocal, stubborn in my vision of what a representative could, and ought to bring to the universe stage. Mine is also a comeback story. One that was rooted in failure,” she said.

“That’s why the mythical folklore of Philippine mythology in the form of Ibong Adarna resonates so deeply: a phoenix that rises from the ashes. And five years ago, in Bangkok Thailand, I earned the greatest honor of bringing pride to my country as @missuniverse 2018,” she further added.

Gray is also happy that paying homage to the Mayon Volcano — in the guise of her fiery red evening gown during the finals — “resonated with so many” people, as it was meant to be a tribute to her mother’s hometown.

“But just as so much happens beneath the earth before an eruption of the volcano breaks forth, so was the unseen work, hours of dedication, love and collaborative spirit that my team poured into me, that allowed me to shine brightest on that stage, in front of the eyes of millions,” she said in a separate post.

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A post shared by Catriona Gray (@catriona_gray)

Aside from her team and loved ones, Gray also thanked God for “every opportunity and every door” she received since her reign.

“The fact that I couldn’t have even fathomed living a life such as this one that has continued to exceed even my wildest expectations, is a testament that He sees the potential that you yourself, can’t even trust to see… yet,” she added.

The former beauty queen also hoped that her Miss Universe stint would inspire her fans to “never give up on [their] vision,” as it helps them to “rise.”

“My journey in its simplest form, has and always will be, a love letter to my country of the Philippines,” she wrote. “I hope it can serve as a reminder to never give up on YOUR vision. And that no matter what the path you’re on looks like. Know that you are never denied and only redirected.”

In a separate post, she hoped that her fans would find the strength to bring their “visions [they] hold close to [their] hearts” to the “universe.”

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“Here’s to creating and bringing to life the visions we hold close to [our] hearts, hoping that one day they’ll capture the attention of the Universe,” she said. “It’s as if the words I said that night were a manifestation [of] my life — I am so incredibly grateful.”

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A post shared by Catriona Gray (@catriona_gray)

Gray was the fourth Filipina representative to be crowned as Miss Universe after Gloria Diaz (1969), Margarita Moran (1973), and Pia Wurtzbach (2015).

Prior to the global tilt, she represented the Philippines at the Miss World 2016 pageant where she finished in the Top 5.

TAGS: Catriona Gray, Miss Universe, Miss Universe 2018

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