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Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray poses outside the Philippine Consulate in New York on Feb. 4, 2019.  (Photo by Troi Santos)


By L.P. PELAYO
Exclusive to the Filipino Reporter


In a spring-like afternoon in New York, our very own Miss Universe, Catriona Gray, met members of the Filipino-American media in the tri-state area at the Philippine Consulate on Feb. 4, 2019.

Dressed elegantly in a white women’s Barong Tagalog, the Filipina-Australian personally thanked Consul General Claro Cristobal, as well as the Philippine Consulate staff for being wonderfully received at the Fifth Avenue venue.

“This place holds a very special place in my heart ever since 2016 where I was being taken very good care of by the Philippine Consulate. I am very happy to be back,” said Gray, referring to her time in New York three years ago.

Also three years ago, Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach sat in the same room fielding questions from the Fil-Am media.

Prelude to her Big Apple excursion, the 5 foot 10 inch beauty attended the Super Bowl festivities last weekend in Atlanta, Georgia.

“It was my first taste of American sports, let alone the Super Bowl which is a huge deal here in the States. It was my first time learning about American football,” said Gray.

She had partaken in the NFL Honors awards show last Saturday and was surprised of the event’s acknowledgment of not only the athletic achievements on the football field but how the players contribute back to their community.

She felt truly inspired of her experience.


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Filipino-American media in the tri-state area in a group photo with Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray (seated at center), Consul General Claro Cristobal (seated at right) and Consul Arman Talbo (seated at left) during a Meet & Greet event at the Philippine Consulate in New York last Monday. Afterwards, Gray met with community leaders at Kalayaan Hall.  (Photo by Troi Santos)


Gray, 25, is now going into New York Fashion Week — attending shows, events, meetings and, perhaps, packing to go somewhere new.

When asked where she sees herself in five years, she stated that she would love to have her own business, but with a livelihood program.

“I really just have this love for our Filipino textiles. I really fall in love with our fabrics and our symbolism, so I would love to have a business that would also give back to the community,” said Gray.

“I would love to have a career in music, perhaps my own album that I toured and be able to perform and have people sing back to me my own songs.”

Gray was born in Cairns, Queensland (Australia) to a Scottish-born father, Ian Gray.

Her Filipina mother, Normita Ragas Magnayon, hails from Oas, Albay.

Gray is the fourth Filipina to capture the Miss Universe pageant after Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margarita Moran in 1973 and Wurtzbach in 2015.

She holds a master’s certificate in music theory from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

Her talents include being a model, stage actress, singer and visual artist.

Gray has 4 million followers on Instagram; 1.4 million followers on Facebook; and 459,000 followers on Twitter.


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Catriona Gray after the presser.  (Photo by Troi Santos)

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