The universe has found its new queen in Catriona Gray.
On her way to becoming Miss Universe 2018, Catriona took the route via Miss World 2016, her first international pageant stint.
Then 22, the Filipino-Australian model was crowned Miss World Philippines 2016 on October 2, 2016.
She joined the competition partly to increase awareness of her personal advocacy, Paraiso: The Bright Beginnings Project.
The project was a fundraising effort, which aimed to help build a preschool for the underprivileged children living in Smokey Mountain, Tondo, Manila.
Catriona represented the Philippines in Miss World 2016 that was held in Oxon Hill, Maryland, USA.
She made it up to Top 5, and the crown went to Miss Puerto Rico Stephanie Del Valle.
But Catriona did not fret about her third runner-up finish.
A few days after the Miss World 2016 pageant wrapped up on December 18 at MGM National Harbor inn, Catriona revealed that the experience motivated her to do better as an individual.
"Miss World was never just a beauty contest to me," she began.
"The crown represented a journey, one that grew from being an independent endeavor to one that became more than me.
"A journey that rallied the support and love of my countrymen.
"A journey that forced me to look into myself and discover what I was made of.
"A journey that found its heart in the children in one of the poorest slums of my country.
"Yes, the crown represented a journey...until I realized that the journey could continue and exist without it.
"I truly believe that God always knows what's best and I trust in his plan and perfect timing..."
Catriona bequeathed her Miss World Philippines crown in September 2017.
NEXT, THE UNIVERSE
A few months after the end of her reign as Miss World Philippines, Catriona prepared herself for a "bigger journey ahead."
The Bicolana beauty officially joined Binibining Pilipinas on January 8, 2018.
She announced on her Instagram, "Today marks the reveal of an evolution of self that has been quietly happening away from the public's eye for a little while now.
"It was in no way planned, but sometimes the stars align to make things happen."
Catriona entered the competition as an independent candidate.
Since then, she was among the top picks to win Binibining Pilipinas.
She did not disappoint and emerged as Miss Universe-Philippines 2018.
FOR THE CHILDREN
Catriona's Miss Universe campaign, which she planned with people she personally handpicked, was also her tribute to the Philippines.
From her social media posts to her national costume, evening gowns, OOTDs, and accessories, every aspect was designed to highlight the beauty of the country's culture, arts, and people.
Her personal advocacy remains the same: the underprivileged children.
Before she was crowned Miss Universe 2018, Catriona's final word focused on helping these children have a better way of living.
The 24-year-old beauty queen said, "I worked a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila, and the life there is very... it's poor and it's very sad.
"And I've always taught myself to look for the beauty in it, to look in the beauty in the faces of the children, and to be grateful.
"And I would bring this aspect as a Miss Universe to see situations with a silver lining and to assess where I could give something, where I could provide something as a spokesperson.
"And this, I think, if I could teach also people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster, and children would have a smile on their faces."
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