Catriona Elisa Gray from Philippines Crowned Miss Universe 2018

Catriona Elisa Gray being crowned as the Miss Universe 2018

Miss Philippines Catriona Gray was crowned Miss Universe, becoming the fourth Philippine native to win the crown. Miss Universe 2018 brought women from across 94 nations together in Bangkok for the biggest pageant in the world.

Gray was a front-runner the entire competition, but her answer to the final question all but solidified her title. The final three were all asked the same question: “What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life and how would you apply it to your time as Miss Universe?”

She talked about visiting the poorest areas in her country and realizing the need to look for the beauty in things and to find the silver lining: “If I could teach people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negatively could not grow and foster, and children will have a smile on their face.”

Catriona Gray, after winning the title

“Wow, It’s like you second-guess yourself. It’s like, ‘Did they say Philippines?’” said Gray, recalling the moment that she was proclaimed winner.

“But when you hear the crowd, of course, so many Filipinos are so passionate, they were all here. And to hear the roar of the crowd, ‘Oh, it’s me!’” she continued. “It just passed so fast. I can’t, I haven’t even wrapped my mind around it,” she added

Miss Universe 2018 – Final three: Miss Venezeula Sthefany Guterrez, Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green &  Catriona Gray

For the first time in the history of Miss Universe, a transgender compete for the title this year. Miss Spain, Angela Ponce was the first transgender woman in the competition. Although she did not make the top 20, Ponce said she was already a winner. She came for the competition after got crowned Miss Universe Spain for 2018.

South Africa’s Tamaryn Green was named the first runner-up. A medical student, her favourite quote is from Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

The second runner-up, Miss Venezeula Sthefany Guterrez is studying to be a lawyer in her home country.