MALACAÑANG hailed Monday, December 17, Miss Philippines Catriona Gray for winning the Miss Universe 2018.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Philippine government "salute and admire" Gray's victory, which "sets the bar high in empowering more Filipino women to believe in themselves and to fight for their own place in the universe."
"Ms. Gray truly made the entire Philippines proud when she sashayed on the global stage and showcased the genuine qualities defining a Filipina beauty: confidence, grace, intelligence and strength in the face of tough challenges," the Palace official said.
"In her success, Miss Philippines has shown to the world that women in our country have the ability to turn dreams into reality through passion, diligence, determination and hard work," he added.
Gray was crowned the new Miss Universe in the renowned beauty pageant held in Bangkok, Thailand, besting 93 other candidates from all over the world.
The 24-year-old Filipina-Australian beauty took the place of Miss Universe 2017 Demi Leigh Nel-Peters from South Africa.
Gray is the fourth Filipina to bring home the Miss Universe crown to the Philippines.
She succeeded erstwhile Miss Universe titleholders Pia Wurtzbach (2015), Margarita Moran (1973), and Gloria Diaz (1969).
Panelo said Catriona's success would help promote the country for its "beauty and elegance."
"Catriona’s crowning glory is placing the Philippines in the world map again for its beauty and elegance that matches the world renowned attraction of the many scenic and mesmerising islands in our country," he said. (SunStar Philippines)