All The Best Surprises At Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray's "Raise Your Flag" Homecoming Concert
Welcome home, Queen Cat!
The universe's most beautiful woman is now back on Philippine shores, recently completing her three-day homecoming extravaganza and ending the anticipated event with a bang of a variety show and concert all in one.
Prepared to delight Filipino fans with a specially rehearsed program, little did Catriona Gray expect that it would be her on the receiving end of pleasant surprises!
Walking onstage at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in a hot pink ensemble to kick off the "Raise Your Flag" concert organized in her honor, Catriona was caught mid-wave by none other than her parents, Filipina mom Normita Magnayon and Scotsman dad, Ian Gray.
Her reaction to their appearance was a hundred percent genuine; the pair had gotten her to believe that they would be in Canada during the event, cheering on their daughter from oceans away. When the shock subsided, Catriona unhesitatingly gave her ever-supportive mom a tearful hug while her proud dad smiled on.
Everything that followed took its cue from the adorable moment, continuing to send out positive vibrations to the event's attendees.
Energy remained high after an opening number by singers Morissette Amon, Jed Madela, and the TNT Boys, amplified only by hosting by Boy Abunda and an extremely rare event: a get-together of the country's top beauty queen finalists and titleholders who participated in an all-red fashion show.
The fiery color was a tribute to Catriona's Mayon Volcano-inspired gown that wowed when she claimed the crown, the iconic dress making a reappearance when Catriona changed into the Mak Tumang creation and reenacted her famous lava walk for the Big Dome's audience.
Beauty queens who walked the runway that night included Catriona's predecessor, Miss Universe 2015 and now Metro Channel host Pia Wurtzbach, and pageant top finishers Shamcey Supsup-Lee, Venus Raj, MJ Lastimosa, Ariella Arida, Rachel Peters, and Maxine Medina.
An already pumped-up audience was roused to even louder cheering when an unexpected face walked the runway: Maymay Entrata, who also modeled a dark-hued Mak Tumang number meant to be the "princess" version of Catriona's queen-worthy gown.
The svelte actress and model's participation in the event was not due to a simple vote of popularity, however. Catriona has previously voiced her preference in having the Pinoy Big Brother champ to play her in a Maalaala Mo Kaya episode, should the show run an episode of her journey to pageant superstardom. (Whether this is confirmation of Catriona's wish, we'll just have to wait and see!).
?Hanggang ngayon nag uumapaw ang aking kasiyahan! Di makapaniwala na maging parte ng fashion show with our beloved beauty queens ! Lalo na kay Ms. @catriona_gray ngayon lang ako ulit mag salita pero di ko na mapigilan ang pag hanga at bait nya! Glory to God!! ???? . . Ps. Abangan po sa @iwantasap nandun po lahat ang mga pangyayari sa backstage at kung panu namin ginawan ng paraan ang makapag picture lang kay Ms. Cat pero sad to say wala juy chance ??pero alam kong may next time pa?? sapat na sakin ang makita sya ???? Salamat po at naging bahagi ako ng napaka gandang gabing ito. ?? . . Sobrang thank you po sa nagpaganda at mala prinsesang gown Designer: Sir @maktumang Make up Sir @makeupartbyowen Hair by Sir @jayweehair #MaymayWalksForCatriona?
Finally, with the stage to herself, Catriona sat down (on an actual throne-like chair, no less) for a one-on-one interview with talk show host Vice Ganda who had everyone in stitches within minutes.
To steer the show in a different direction, a youth group from NGO Young Focus Philippines greeted Catriona onstage in a show of thanks for her years of support for them. The charity that works towards accessible education for young Filipinos has her as its patron.
Ending the evening with lots of heart, Catriona changed into a blue gown appropriately named the Perla Oriente (a stunning piece still by Mak Tumang) to get her ready for her closing number. Joined by singer KZ Tandingan and Bamboo, the similarly musically talented Catriona debuted another song called "Raise Your Flag," a composition meant to inspire nationalism and pride.
It was certainly a full weekend for this beauty queen, but one we're sure she'll never forget!
Photos from @jearsantos @piawurtzbach