Fil-Scottish commercial model Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray earned the right to represent the country at the Miss World 2016 pageant after besting 24 candidates at the finals of Miss World Philippines 2016 held at the historic Manila Hotel.
The 22-year-old Gray, born in Cairns, Queensland to a Scottish father and Bicolana mother, nailed the final question-and-answer “Why should you be the next Miss World Philippines?” “To be a Miss World is to be passed a torch that burns with passion and purpose. If I am to become Miss World Philippines, I will dedicate my voice and essence to carry that torch and to set charitable causes alight, such as my personal advocacy, the Paraiso Bright Beginnings Project. And I would focus on passing on this torch to empower others because I believe together there is no darkness in this world that our light cannot overcome,” the stunning face of Ponds beauty answered.
Gray, who completed a Master Certificate online at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and aspires to be a singer-composer, almost swept all the special awards of the night, including Miss Manila Hotel, Miss Hannah, Best in Swimsuit, Best in Evening Gown and Best in Fashion Runway. She was also named Miss Talent, Miss Organique, Miss Figlia and Miss Folded & Hung at the preliminary events.
In Gray’s court of honor were First Princess Arienne Louise Calingo, Second Princess Ivanna Kamil Pacis, Third Princess Marah Muñoz and Fourth Princess Sandra Raymundo Lemonon who won the Miss Photogenic special award.
Gray finished high school studies in Australia and moved to Manila in 2012 starting her modeling career. She has helped the children of Smokey Mountain as a spokesperson through her personal advocacy, the PARAISO Bright Beginnings Project.
Hilarie Parungao, who was in the Top 10 of Miss World 2015 pageant in China, relinquished her crown to Gray assisted by CQ Global Quest directress Cory Quirino and Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, who sat as chairman of the board of judges. Actor Richard Gutierrez and former Miss World Philippines titlists Gwendoline Ruais and Queenie Rehman co-hosted the finals coronation night telecast on GMA 7.
With the presence of Teo, who was instrumental in bringing the Miss Universe 2017 in Manila, could the 2017 Miss World pageant be far behind ?
Many are saying that Gray’s chances at Miss World 2016 in Washington D.C., USA on Dec. 18 is big.
Photos: Teddy Pelaez
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