Ever since Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray settled down in the Miss Universe Organization main office in New York City to begin the business of her reign, it has been a hectic series of media appearances and interviews here and there. Through it all however, the half-Australian Filipina beauty queen carried herself with awesome poise and spoke with approachable eloquence on every subject asked of her. This allowed her to speak up on both her recent activities in the Philippines before flying to the Big Apple, as well as her stance on the tug-of-war between her Filipino and Australian fandoms.
First was the matter of the little social media conflict between Catriona Gray’s fans from the Philippines and Australia. On Wednesday, January 9, during an interview on “BUILD” Series NYC, the Miss Universe 2018 finally got to say her two cents on the matter. As CNN Philippines tells it, Catriona says that while she did not feel strange from Aussie insistence that she was only a Miss Australia winning the pageant, “I really feel like I’m Miss Philippines. I feel like a Filipina, a Filipino woman. It just so happens that when I was growing up, I was very much in Australia. I think you can be both. Because I did grow up in those two sides of the world.”
Catriona, to be recalled, has an Australian father who actually moved there from Scotland in the UK, and a Filipina mother from Oas, Albay. She was born in Cairns, Queensland and did not start residing in the Philippines until 2011. “It was almost a war,” she recalled the online friction between fans from her two homes. “Like, ‘No she’s ours, she’s practically a Miss Australia.’ But I am a Miss Philippines, but I can’t blame them for being excited, so I’ll let them have that,”
Next on the list of things Catriona Gray elaborated on in her recent interviews was regarding how she had put off flying to New York after winning the 2018 Miss Universe pageant in Thailand. In a later interview with Fox News, she mentioned that while she went back to the Philippines from Thailand to attend a charity event, she was actually expected to stay only overnight before flying to MUO office, NYC. Instead she stayed in the Philippines for 15 days, all through the rest of the Holiday season, avoiding media interviews and spending time with her parents and relatives.
“I always take a hiatus, and take quiet time during moments like those, like Christmas and New Year,” Catriona says. “Because as I said, it’s really a time for family for me. But my family is so proud of me. Especially my mom and dad, being so close to me.” She notes that the last time she saw her parents in person until the pageant itself and afterwards was in March 2018 (she being in the Philippines and them in Australia). “And they’re incredibly, incredibly thrilled,” she adds. “I am so blessed to say that they supported me since day one. And for them to be there on the coronation night was very, very special.”
Image courtesy of Manila Bulletin