Philippine bet Catriona Gray slayed the stage of Miss Universe 2018 in her national costume.
The event was held at the Nong Nooch International Convention Center in Pattaya, Thailand, on Monday night, December 10.
Apparently, every detail on her suit, headdress, massive backdrop, including her boots, has a meaning.
Her mentor Carlos Buendia Jr. and fashion designer Jearson Demavivas referred to it as "LuzViMinda"—which represented the three major island groups in the Philippines namely Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
It also followed the theme "Magdiwang, Lumaban, Pagyamanin."
In a series of Instagram stories, Carlos revealed how the three islands were depicted on Catriona's costume.
"The island group of Luzon is represented by the world-renowned 'PAROL/christmas lantern' from the province of Pampanga with an aluminum border (designed and made in Floridablanca, Pampanga—the home of the Pinukpuk/aluminum).
"The BORDER'S design is inspired by designs from the Philippine Baroque Churches that were declared as UNESCO Heritage Sites."
According to an Instagram post by Jearson, the Parol was made by Eric Quiwa, an artisan from Floriblanca, Pampanga.
The edge of the parol bore an inscription written in Baybayin, a Tagalog script. It lifted lines from "Lupang Hinirang," the national anthem of the Philippines.
Carlos wrote on his Instagram stories, "At the back of the PAROL is a PAINTING with INSCRIPTION of the lyrics from 'Lupang Hinirang,' the Philippines' National Anthem written in Baybayin (Ancient Filipino Alphabet) that literally translates to: 'Lupang hinirang, Duyan ka ng magiting, Sa manlulupig, Di ka pasisiil. Sa dagat at bundok, sa simoy at sa langit mong bughaw.'"
Meanwhile, Carlos and several students from the University of the Philippines painted iconic events, personalities, and locations on the back side of the parol.
Carlos further wrote, "The PAINTING also highlighted victories, festivals, events, heroes, and national icons with a style inspired by the works of Philippine National Artist Carlos 'Botong' Francisco, a native of the Art Capital of the Philippines, Angono, Rizal in Luzon."
Jearson made the Pintados-inspired body suit.
Carlos wrote, "The island group of VISAYAS is represented by a body suit with authentic 'tattoo designs' embellished with crystals derived from patterns used by the 'PINTADOS' who are indigenous people found in various islands in this part of the Philippines.
"The tattoo patterns are authentic and based from the manuscript 'BOXER CODEX' written in 1950.
"The tattoos represent an individual's journey and public testimony recounting acts of combat, bravery, and strength, the perfectly represents the courageous and resilient Filipino spirit amidst the trials we face in this day and age."
In a separate post, Jearson gave a closer look at the tattoo patterns he created.
The upper part had tambis fruit and water Lily flower, while the lower part had patterns called "binunga," which means fruit, and "tinatalaaw," which means (day and night).
The accessories worn by Catriona captured the colorful culture of Mindanao.
Her boots, which was custom-made by shoe designer Jojo Bragais, championed the region's different ethnic groups.
Carlos wrote, "The island group of MINDANAO is represented by an authentic 'HEADPIECE & BRASS ACCESSORIES' from the province of South Cotabato and the customized knee-high boots with embroidered designs by different indigenous textile patterns from the southern part of the Philippines, namely: Inaul, Yakan, Maranao, B'laan, bagobo, Tausug, and T'nalak.
"The woven textiles express a strong belief in 'ancestral and natural spirits' and 'cultural roots' of indigenous communities that remain well-preserved up to this day."