MANILA, Philippines — Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray has returned home.
The newly-crowned queen, wearing an all-white ensemble, a pair of pearl earrings – and long hair down, one side ear-tucked, arrived in the country on Wednesday afternoon after besting 93 other beauties from around the world last Monday in Thailand.
The private jet carrying 24-year-old Gray landed around 3:30 p.m. at Platinum Skies Aviation, Inc. in Pasay City.
Some of the kids she has helped through the Tondo-based non-government organization Young Focus Philippines greeted Gray, as she walked towards the VIP lounge. Fans and members of the media also lined up to welcome her back.
Gray gave a brief message at the lounge shortly after her arrival. She is set to pay President Rodrigo Duterte a courtesy call tomorrow, Thursday. A homecoming event, to be highlighted by a traditional parade, this month is still in the works. She will formally start her duties with the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) in January.
Among her companions in the 3-hour flight from Bangkok to Manila were the owner of the Gulfstream jet Chavit Singson; his daughter Architect Richelle Louise Singson-Michael, who also served as a judge in the recently concluded international pageant; members of the MUO; and other media personalities, who covered the prestigious contest.
Gray’s win brought the fourth Miss Universe crown to the Philippines after Pia Wurtzbach in 2015, Margie Moran in 1973, and Gloria Diaz in 1969.
Gray succeeded Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa. /kga