Catriona Gray was crowned as Miss Universe 2018 during the coronation night held in Bangkok, Thailand on Monday morning (Manila time).
The 24-year-old beauty queen represented the Philippine culture in the best way, from her national costume with a giant lantern, the slow motion turn during the bikini segment that went viral and eventually became her signature move, her long gown that resembles the mythical Filipino bird Adarna and finally the gorgeous red dress that represents Mayon Volcano in all its glory. All of these were designed by Filipino designer Mak Tumang.
For the final question, all the top three candidates were asked one question: "What is the most important lesson you've learned in your life and how would you apply it to your time as Miss Universe?"
And Catriona's winning answer was, "I work a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila and the life there is... it's poor and very sad. And I've always taught myself to look for the beauty of it, to look for beauty in the faces of the children and to be grateful. And I would bring this aspect as Miss Universe, to see situations with a silver lining, and to assess where I could give something, where I could provide something as a spokesperson. If I could also teach people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster, and children would have a smile on their faces. Thank you."
She bested 93 other women from across the world.
Catriona has previously represented the Philippines in Miss World 2016 but failed to bag the title and settled instead for a place in the Top 5. She did win the hearts of many fans and pageant enthusiasts alike, all of whom encouraged her to join Binibining Pilipinas 2018, where she finally earned the rights to represent the Philippines in this year's Miss Universe.
South Africa's Tamaryn Green and Venezuela's Sthefany Gutiérrez won 1st and 2nd runner-up, respectively. Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa passed the crown to Catriona.
Catriona Gray now joins Miss Universe title holders Gloria Diaz, Margie Moran, and Pia Wurtzbach who won in 1969, 1973 and 2015, respectively.