Pageant critics believe that since winning the Miss Universe crown in 2018, Catriona Gray has become the inspiration of pageant title wannabes “copying” her stage performance from her trending slow-mo turn to her sultry walk, and from her hairstyle to her lava gown.
But Catriona sees it differently, or should we say, sees it “with a silver lining.”
In a virtual event held early this week, Catriona was asked by vlogger Albert Abelido of Chikkaness Ave. to give a reaction to pageant contestants who are tagged by pageant fans as “copycats.”
“I understand the resemblance perhaps with my brand because I was very consistent — the ear cuff, the turn, the slit in the dress — from my national pageant to Miss Universe. I understand the resemblance maybe in silhouette but I don't think I can take ownership of the side part, the dress, and the ear cuff,” Catriona, who is promoting her single “R.Y.F.,” said.
“In your journey in representing your country in pageantry, it is all about the girl wanting to feel her most beautiful and her most empowered. So, if that’s the style that makes you feel that way, then own it. It doesn't necessarily put them at a disadvantage. People may have the recall but each girl has her own journey and how they wish to portray themselves,” she added.
In speaking of her own journey, Catriona revealed that her “R.Y.F.” single speaks of her coming full circle in her journey as a beauty queen-turned-recording artist as well as her ‘call to action’ towards uplifting lives.
“’R.Y.F.’ is an anthem for me. The song is very much a reflection of my journey. There is no better way to kick off my career in music than by singing this song,” shared Catriona.
“In a way, the role of lending my voice to ‘R.Y.F’ is very similar to being Miss Universe because the song has a message that I believe in,” she added.
Catriona explained that “R.Y.F” goes beyond its message of patriotism towards standing up for someone or something and advocating causes that matter amid challenging times.
“It’s about raising your voice for something you believe in,” she said. “I know that it’s very trying for us because there are so many surmounting challenges, so it really is just trying to see how you can be of help to someone even in the smallest of ways.”
The new “Raise Your Flag” rendition, with lyrics tweaked by Catriona herself, is a collaboration of ABS-CBN’s Star Music and CS Music. It was released on May 28 and has been included in Spotify’s New Music Friday Philippines playlist.
The empowering single was originally written by Trisha Denise and ABS-CBN Music creative director Jonathan Manalo inspired by the beauty queen’s memorable statements from her Miss Universe journey. First recorded by singer KZ Tandingan and rapper Kritiko, the song is meant to raise awareness, advocate social movements, and bring inspiration.