We still can't get over Catriona Gray's well-deserved win as Miss Universe Philippines 2018 during the Binibining Pilipinas pageant last Sunday night, March 18, at the Araneta Coliseum.
Aside from the title, Catriona bagged three of the most-coveted special awards during the grand coronation night. Catriona was hailed Best in Swimsuit and also bagged the Pitoy Moreno Best in National Costume for her singkil princess garb designed by Jearson Demavivas.
The 24-year-old model-youth advocate also made a stunning performance during the long gown competition wearing Mak Tumang's creation. Eventually, she bagged the award for Best in Long Gown.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) learned more about Catriona's gorgeous evening gown in an interview with Mak via text messaging on Monday, March 19.
Mak has been dressing up Catriona since she first joined the Miss World Philippines pageant in 2016.
He recalled, "I came to know Catriona Gray in 2016 through her fashion stylist. I have established a good rapport with Catriona and her team.
"I made several gowns for her activities at Miss World 2016 quest. Our collaboration has yielded to a positive result."
This time, the designer and his muse collaborated once again for the latter's Binibining Pilipians 2018 stint.
Mak said Catriona basically told him what she wanted to wear on the pageant night which he brought to life using gold paillettes and 10,000 Swarovski crystals.
The designer told PEP.ph, "For the Binibining Pilipinas 2018, we started conceptualizing the gown since December 2017.
"The inspiration of the gown is a result of my collaboration with Catriona’s vision of what she wants in a gown including silhouette, color and texture.
"I was given the upper hand to apply my gown construction techniques and attention to details especially at the back which is inspired by the splatter of the waves.
"It is made of muted gold minute paillettes, encrusted with more than 10,000 swarovski crystals."
When asked how he felt when Catriona won Best in Long Gown, he answered, "It felt surreal and at the same time overwhelmed with happiness that my hard work has paid off. It actually took time to sink in.
"I was literally jumping with joy the moment she won the Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2018, knowing that I have contributed a part in her victory.
Will we see his creations on Catriona at the Miss Universe 2018 pageant?
Mak is also hopeful to dress up Catriona at the pageant and said, "I want to believe that it is safe to say that I will still be her designer for the Miss Universe 2018, based on the pronouncement of Catriona team.
"Moreso, Catriona and her team trusted me and had worked with me comfortably during her Bb. Pilipinas 2018 stint."