A new Miss Universe has just been crowned in Bangkok, Thailand where the pageant took place and it is none other than 24-year-old stunner Catriona Gray from the Philippines. The 2018 instalment of the global pageant had numerous strong contenders (like our Malaysian sweetheart Jane Teoh!), and Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green was named the first runner-up while Miss Venezuela SthefanyΒ GutiΓ©rrez was the second runner-up.

In honour of her glorious win, here are five things to know about your new Miss Universe, Catriona Gray.

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IBONG ADARNA πŸ§‘πŸ‡΅πŸ‡­ The Blazing Siren by @maktumang My preliminary gown was inspired by the 'Ibong Adarna': a prominent Filipino folklore that is a mythologicalnous bird. Story goes, the Ibong Adarna's enchanting voice can enable complete healing to anyone who hears it. Some artists liken it to the mythological Phoenix where it recurrently regenerates itself by arising amidst a spectacle of flames and candescence. This makes it a fitting symbol of resilience, rising and rebirth. πŸ‡΅πŸ‡­πŸ”₯ My earrings were designed by me and executed by @tesserajewelry as another ode to the Philippines with the Philippine sun and golden South sea pearls, our national gem. πŸ‡΅πŸ‡­ Thank you to @maktumang for his amazing craftsmanship and exquisite execution of this gown, to @justine.aliman19 and @ton_lao for styling in @bragaisjojo heels and @tesserajewelry. Thank you to mamang @hairbybrentsales and @jellyeugenio for teaching me to slay my hair and makeup! And to @carlosbuendiajr, the man behind my walk πŸŒ‹ I love you all!!!

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1. Catriona is half-Scottish and half-Filipino. During the pageant, she mentioned being very close to her parents – Scottish father Ian Gray and Filipino mother Normita Magnayon. Though originally born in Cairns, Australia, she reportedly moved to the Philippines at the age of 18 to begin her modelling career. It’s safe to say that it has all paid off!

2. Like many Pinoys, her love for music is undeniable. Not only did she go to school at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and has a degree in Music Theory, she is also a passionate singer and has said on multiple occasions that music is “fulfilling”. PS: Below is her cover of Adele’s “Set Fire To The Rain”!

3. Not only is she great at modelling, the multi-skilled beauty also enjoys cooking. On top of snapping photos of her homemade treats, she posts recipes up on her blogΒ just in case you want to learn how to make her Blueberry-nana Muffins or her Cauliflower Burrito Bowl.

4. She’s also an avid traveller. On the travel section on her blog Cat’elle, she writes extensively about her journeys across the United States, Vietnam, China and the Philippines. If you’re wondering who her consistent travel buddy is, it is no one else but her German-Filipino actor boyfriend Clint Bondad.

5. She captivated the hearts of many with her signature runway move during the swimsuit portion of the Miss Universe pageant. Her graceful yet statement-making signature twirl, which is called the “slow-mo twirl” has even made headlines everywhere around the globe.

6. Her beauty is also purposeful as she is dedicated to ending poverty in the Philippines. She has always been very vocal about the issue and has a project called Paraiso: The Bright Beginnings Project whereby she works to raise money to build a preschool in hopes of educating young children to ease poverty.

Congratulations again, Ms. Gray! Watch the crowning moment here:

[Source 1, 2, 3]

Carmen Chong
YouTube-obsessed and a beauty junkie at heart. Find her on Instagram: @carthemen