Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray | Photo courtesy of Walter De Vera
MANILA, Philippines – An Australian paper released on Tuesday (December 18) as part of their banner story congratulating crowned Miss Universe Catriona Gray not as Miss Philippines as she represented but of Queensland, crossing out the word ‘Philippines’ and claiming her as their own representative and their “crowning glory”.
The Courier Mail wrote that Catriona is an Australian even when she is the official representative of the Philippines and ran on several occasions, including Miss World, as a Filipina.
Catriona was born in Australia of a Scottish-Australian father and a Filipina mother. She attended school in Queensland until she was 18. Then she moved to the Philippines to pursue her modeling career.
She definitely speaks and sounds Filipino. She speaks fluent English but without any sound of the Australian accent.
Another Australian paper, the Daily Tribune bannered this headline: “Our” Miss universe with pictures of Catriona clearly showing her wearing the Philippine sash.
‘Hit’, a radio station in Australia, was less assuming, with the lead: “An Aussie girl has taken out the title of Miss Universe for 2018, but it wasn’t our chosen Miss Australia!”
Australia’s official candidate Miss Australia Francesca Hung was born of a Chinese-Australian father and an Irish-Australian mother. Miss Australia only made it to the Top 20 of the elimination round.
Catriona lost on a previous run for Miss World having no similar claim from the Aussies.
And just this year, she won in the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 making her the official bet of the Philippines to run in the Miss Universe pageant.
While these headlines from Australia sparked controversy among netizens – from Australians, Filipinos and other nationalities – crowned Miss universe Catriona Gray, who arrived on Wednesday (December 19) for a brief visit in the Philippines, settled disputes on who she is and where she calls home.
“Thank you so much for being here, for making my first trip home such a memorable one. It hasn’t sunk in yet that we won Miss Universe, para sa’yo, Pilipinas (It’s for you, Philippines). I’m so happy to be home. So happy to be back in the Philippines and to see all of you and to also to see my Young Focus family,” Catriona said during a brief stop upon arrival on Wednesday.
During a pre-pageant interview with UNTV News and Rescue Team in Thailand, Catriona spoke of who she really is and she’s very sure of it.
“I am proud to be a Filipino…Well, definitely. I am the only Filipina (in the pageant),” the bubbly, newly crowned Miss Universe 2018 said.
Well, the Queen has spoken! – UNTV News and Rescue