Catriona Gray Bids Farewell To Her Miss Universe Title With An Inspiring Message
Our very own Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray gives a touching message to her fans as she ends her reign
We all witnessed once again an empowered group of women in this year’s Miss Universe pageant. As Philippines' Catriona Gray bids farewell to an eventful reign as Miss Universe 2018, she shared an inspiring message to her fellow beauty queens and gave a glimpse on her journey as an advocate of education as well as HIV/AIDS awareness.
Beauty queens from 9o countries participated to win the coveted title of Miss Universe. While these lovely, talented, and smart ladies gave their best efforts to make their respective countries proud, one stood out for her voice and beauty. South Africa's Zozibini Tunzi was named Miss Universe 2019, with Catriona awarding her with the "Power of Unity" crown by Mouawad.
In a video-taped interview with the Miss Universe 2018 titleholder, Catriona said that her reign and Miss Universe journey had been “unforgettable, life-changing, and purposeful.”
Catriona expressed her gratitude to her fans who supported her in her journey as Miss Universe, saying, “We’re given this amazing platform to voice the things that we’re passionate about, the things that we care about. Being a volunteer at the slums of Manila really changed my life and gave me purpose. I saw how education have a potential to change the lives of the children and also, to change the life of a family, and therefore the community.
"I would ask these kids, 'What do you wanna be when you grow up?' So many said, 'You know what Cat, I wanna be a teacher.' And that really did make such an impact on me because they wanted to be the change that they were seeing, and I thought that was so magical. I’ve definitely grown so much this year. I always had a voice but Miss Universe allowed me to amplify it.”
As she dazzled in her brown strapless "LuzViMinda" gown by Mak Tumang and had a quick chat with host Steve Harvey onstage, she also left an important advice to the candidates: “We don’t come out here with our names across our chests, we come here representing our whole country. And I want them to feel them with pride and allow them to hold their head high when they come out here and give it their best tonight.”
For her final walk, before she crowned the next Miss Universe, she changed into the blue "Reflections" gown by Mak Tumang and walked across the Miss Universe stage with this message: “I’ve always believed that us women, we have the power to redefine our generation. When we raise our voices together, the words ‘women power’ become more than just a phrase—they become a movement. I wanted my year to be a reign with purpose, from advocating for quality education for all to raising awareness for HIV and AIDS. I've strived to use my voice for good. Thank you to mom and dad for always believing in me, Paula and Esther for your mentorship, the Miss Universe organization, and to Team Catriona, thank you from the bottom of my heart. And to my beloved Philippines, isang karalangan [sic] po ito. You endlessly inspire me and give me hope. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat. Above all, thank you God. I lift everything up to glorify and honor you. As I close this chapter, I do so with a grateful heart. To everyone with a dream, know that your dreams are valid. And on your path, you are never denied and only redirected.”
Her stunning gown, as the designer described it, was inspired by the "vision of the Philippine Eagle flying over the flawless turquoise seas embracing our archipelago."
View this post on Instagram
Forever grateful for every single person who has taken part of this journey with me. I believe life is made up of moments. Moments of growth, realization and insight. And then there are those magical moments where you feel that you're walking out your purpose. This year as Miss Universe, in meeting inspiring people and working with amazing organizations, I've had so many of those moments that have made me feel that I'm where I'm meant to be. 🤍 It has been such an honour. Thank you. 🙏 #MissUniverse @missuniverse
See more photos of Catriona Gray's final walk below: