Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 September 2020

Five things you didn't know about Filipina Miss Universe winner Catriona Gray

Her new title is not the first taste of fame for the 24-year-old Filipina...

She's an artist and her win was foreseen in a dream: Miss Philippines Catriona Gray celebrates after being crowned Miss Universe 2018. Reuters
She's an artist and her win was foreseen in a dream: Miss Philippines Catriona Gray celebrates after being crowned Miss Universe 2018. Reuters

Her face was projected across the world after she won Miss Universe, making Catriona Gray a star overnight, but this isn’t the 24-year-old’s first taste of fame.

Gray represented the Philippines in beauty pageants since 2016, after moving to Manila and becoming a commercial model. Here are five things you need to know about the new Miss Universe.

1. She was actually born in Australia

Catriona spent her childhood living in Australia. She was born in Cairns in 1994 to a Scottish-Australian father, Ian Gray, and a Filipina mother Normita Ragas Magnayon. The family lived in Cairns until Catriona finished high school, and she moved to the Philippines in her late teens.

2. Her pageant days started in childhood

Catriona has been winning beauty pageants since childhood. She was crowned Little Miss Philippines in a Sydney contest back in 1999, showing her early prowess as a pageant queen. A throwback picture was shared on Instagram by one of the former pageant hosts, Joey de Leon, to mark her Miss Universe win.

3. Music is her first love

As well as modelling, Catriona is also a singer, and even has a music video on YouTube. She enrolled in a certificate programme through Berlee Online, studying music theory, ear training, and harmony, and received her Masters qualification. According to her Miss Universe biography, Catriona is known to spontaneously burst into song at any given moment, and regularly speaks of her great love of music.

4. She's an artist, too

Catriona also loves to draw and paint, and regularly shares her creations with her 2.6 million Instagram followers. In the past, she auctioned off her works to raise vital funds for local charities, including Paraiso: The Bright Beginnings Project, which raises money for nurseries in Manila.

5. Her Miss Universe win was foreseen in a dream

Catriona revealed after her win that her mother had foreseen it all. Sharing on Instagram, she told her followers that when she was just 13, her mother told her: "Honey, I dreamt of you winning Miss Universe in a red dress."

She added: "At that time I thought nothing of it, and today my mother's dream came true."


Read more:

Pia Wurtzbach: 'I want to tell the story of Filipino diaspora'

From Miss Philippines to Miss Universe: the previous Filipina winners and where they are now

Miss Universe 2018: The two contestants from the Arab world vying for the crown

Pinoy pride: the story behind Miss Philippines’ winning Miss Universe dress

Australian tabloid claims Aussie 'ownership' of Filipina Miss Universe Catriona Gray


Updated: December 21, 2018 11:31 AM

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