It’s official! Miss Philippines has been named as the 2018 winner of the Miss Universe competition held in Bangkok, Thailand on Sunday, Dec. 16.
Now that she’s been crowned, here are five things you should know about Catriona Gray, a model, singer, and TV host from the Albay province:
1. She’s the fourth Philippine national to become Miss Universe.
Prior to the competition, she was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2018 and Miss World Philippines 2016. She made it to the top 5 in the Miss World 2016 pageant.
2. She’s working to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and end poverty.
According to the Miss Universe website, Gray is an advocate for LoveYourself, an organization that promotes HIV/AIDS prevention, testing and education. She’s also a volunteer teacher’s assistant for Young Focus which works with young people in poverty.
3. She’s an avid traveler.
Catriona loves traveling around the world and writes about her explorations all over her blog, Cat’elle. She has written extensively about her travels across the Philippines, China, the United States, and Vietnam. Catriona also seems to do a lot of journeying with her German-Filipino actor boyfriend Clint Bondad.
4. She has a song in her heart.
Gray “is known to spontaneously burst into song,” according to the Miss Universe website. It makes sense considering she has a major love for the arts and earned her Master Certificate in Music Theory at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. She was also the lead singer of her school’s jazz band and starred in local productions of Miss Saigon.
5. She loves food and cooking.
Gray is “openly passionate about her love for Filipino dishes, including adobo, balut (boiled bird embryo), and the sweetest mangoes in the world,” the Miss Universe website says.
6. She grew up in Australia.
Gray, whose father is Scottish and mother is Filipina, was born in Cairns, Queensland, where she attended Trinity Anglican School. At age 18, she reportedly used modeling money to buy a plane ticket from Australia to the Philippines to begin a career there and the rest is history.