Miss Universe, Catriona Gray and What It Means for Us, Filipinos

Every single year, millions of people tune in to find out who gets to live their dream and become the new Miss Universe.

More than just a competition and expression of femininity, Miss Universe has transcended virtually everything; it’s like a sport but in the form of a beauty pageant, an awareness campaign serving as platform for advocacy.

But aside from that, Miss Universe becomes more meaningful each year. After Pia Wurtzbach was crowned in 2015, we had yearned for a repeat since then. Of course, that was far from the breakthrough that Venus Raj had breached in 2010. Back then, we were hungry for just a spot in the semis. Finally, the dark days were over.

Now, Miss Universe has become a celebration – it unites us from even the tiniest part of the society. It has become a union for families, an annual must-watch show where we analyze who’s in and who’s not and spend time with our loved ones. It has become a gathering for friends who share the same passion and interest. Year after year, we see viewing party videos, reaction clips and different creative ways to show our support to our candidate as we hope they make it to each level of the competition.

But this year is different – more than anything, we are rallying behind a full-package contestant, who comes just once in a blue moon. Catriona Gray will carve her mark in the history of Filipino pageant lore. A folk heroine waiting to be crowned, Catriona Gray has made this year’s pageant something to look forward to despite all the negativity happening in our country today.

Her performance in the Miss Universe 2018 Preliminary Competition showed how beautiful our country is. Like what she has been saying for the past years, she carries the torch that lights up the world. And she has done it for the Philippines, with every smart, creative and carefully-calculated appearances and presentation – from her T’nalak outfit to the LuzViMinda national costume, and her iconic slow-mo twirl in the Swimsuit competition, and that fierce reverse twirl in the Evening Gown competition.

She gave us something to be happy about, despite our country not having anything to be joyful with for the past years. With the country suffering from stench of too much politicking, corruption, violence and poverty – you’ve lifted our spirits up and gave us something to smile about.

She gave us that inspiration to fulfill what we desire, dream and make every step worth it for what we want to achieve. In all of the preparations, the events leading to the Final night – she gave us that extra motivation to do well because if Catriona can, we can, too!

And now, she’s waited for this moment all her life. And we’re here to witness one performance that would definitely take our breath away. We’re hours from the competition – sitting, waiting, nervous but patiently waiting for the time that Catriona Gray would grace our silverscreens and entertain us with her excellent performance. Our jaws will drop. We’ll scream our lungs out. Today, we are one community, for the Philippines, rallying behind a once-in-a-blue-moon representative.

Catriona Gray, crown or not, you deserve our admiration and support, for fighting for the Philippines with all your heart and soul. You won’t even know how much you’ve given us just by heeding the call to take a chance and compete for the national crown. You’ll never now how much pride we have right now with you representing the blue, red and white in all your glory.

All we want is for you to enjoy… savor every moment of this pageant night. And hopefully, at the end of it, we’ll get that coveted crown.

So, as early as now, congratulations, Catriona.
You are one-of-a-kind. You will represent the Philippines with pride and glory, and we thank you for that.

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