“IT’S starting to really sink in now that I’m Miss Universe.”
This is what Catriona Gray could say of her media tour experience thus far in New York since moving into the city early this year to fulfill her duties as Miss Universe 2018.
Fresh from her back-to-back interviews on “Good Morning America” and “Live With Kelly and Ryan” – two of the most popular talk shows in Hollywood – the 25-year-old beauty queen recently sat down with ABS-CBN reporter Don Tagala to talk about, apart from her victorious stint, her current situation in the Big Apple, marking her first-ever Philippine media guesting as the official reigning queen.
“All the interviews were very warm. Everyone has been welcoming, telling me where to visit in New York. It’s just amazing,” adds Catriona.
As the country’s representative for Miss World back in 2016, Catriona was candid of her dismay after just nearly winning the crown, having been bested then by Stephanie Del Valle of Puerto Rico. While she didn’t go home empty-handed – she finished in the Top 5, after all – she admitted that it was a turning point in her career, leading the Filipina-Australian beauty to start questioning her fate in the pageantry world.
“It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out in the public eye like that because, of course, pageantry in the Philippines, everyone likes to take part. Everyone likes to throw their opinion at you. Everyone likes to put their definition of how far you go or how well you do,” says Catriona.
Nevertheless, with just the right push from people who never stopped believing in her – family, fans, and her team – she eventually managed to get back up and retrace her steps toward victory.
Now, she’s at the pinnacle of her career as the fourth Filipina to ever become Miss Universe, and fans could bet that she’s not stopping anytime soon.
If she were to describe her journey through a song, Catriona says that her anthem would hands down be “This Is Me”, from the musical film “The Greatest Showman”.
“I was scared to join [Miss Universe] again. I really was. I was scared to foray into that journey. Whenever anyone pursues that dream, there is that fear, there is that hesitance of — ‘Am I doing the right thing? Should I be here? Is this my time? Is this what I’m supposed to do?’
“The message of ‘This Is Me’ is, ‘This is everything that I am, this is what I believe in, this is my dream, I’m going to go after it no matter what anyone says.” (Push)