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MANILA, Philippines – Catriona Gray reminded us once again why she continues to be one of the most iconic Miss Universe queens as she marked the fifth anniversary of her crowning moment with a sentimental photoshoot.
On Sunday, December 17, the Miss Universe 2018 titleholder shared a series of snaps from a recent photoshoot with celebrity photographer BJ Pascual. Notably, these photos featured ensembles that are reminiscent of her looks from the 2018 competition.
Her first look saw the Filipino-Australian beauty queen in a light, sheer gown with orange feathers. The ensemble is a nod to her Ibong Adarna-inspired creation by Mak Tumang that Catriona wore during the pageant’s preliminary competition.
“Five years ago, I gave my absolute everything on the Miss Universe stage. And I’m fond of looking back on my journey and remembering how I had to conquer so many fears, because in my pursuit, I went against the grain,” she began her post.
Catriona then recalled the ordeals she had in her pageant journey as she was an “independent, non-camp trained candidate.”
“I was vocal, stubborn in my vision of what a representative could, and ought to bring to the universe stage,” she said.
Aside from that, Catriona also opened up about how she considered her stint a “comeback story” that was “rooted in failure.” Because of this, she said that she deeply resonated with the story of Ibong Adarna, about a phoenix that rises from the ashes.
“Five years ago in Bangkok, Thailand, I earned the greatest honor of bringing pride to my country as Miss Universe 2018,” she said.
The model-host also expressed her gratitude to her supporters, saying that they were the ones who encouraged her to never give up.
“My journey in its simplest form, has and always will be, a love letter to my country of the Philippines,” she said.
For her next photos, Catriona wore black and red ensembles that pay homage to her “Lava Gown” during the crowning ceremony.
“Five years later…still burning brighter and stronger than ever. Who knew that paying homage to Mt. Mayon volcano as an ode to my mother’s hometown would resonate with so many?” she said.
In a separate post, Catriona shared that she’s incredibly grateful that a lot of people continue to celebrate her win.
“Here’s to creating and bringing to life the visions we hold close to our hearts, hoping that one day they’ll capture the attention of the Universe,” she said.
Fellow beauty queens such as Nicole Cordoves, Hannah Arnold, Michelle Dee, and Samantha Bernardo also sent their praises and congratulatory messages for Catriona.
Catriona, 29, is the Philippines’ fourth Miss Universe titleholder after Pia Wurtzbach, Margie Moran, and Gloria Diaz.
After passing the crown to Zozibini Tunzi in 2019, Catriona has focused on her roles as a brand ambassador, advocate, host, and singer. – Rappler.com