MANILA, Philippines – An emotional Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray faced the members of the media Wednesday as she expressed gratitude and excitement over the upcoming festivities in honor of her victory in the prestigious pageant.
“The feeling that I have right now, I didn’t expect to feel so emotional. But I really, really do. Why? The last time I was in this room, it was my send off in November,” Gray said during her homecoming press conference at Novotel Manila Araneta Center.
The 25-year-old beauty queen said she was excited to finally celebrate her triumph in her home country after being crowned Miss Universe last December 2018.
“This is really my first opportunity to celebrate winning Miss Universe with my whole country and the people that I love. It brings me so much pride and honor to be able to bring so much joy to my country, the Philippines,” she said.
She noted how her journey in the international pageant has always been anchored on her advocacy to give back and the Philippines.
“It is always about giving back to the community, to the country as a whole that anchored me throughout this whole process and it’s always something that I’ve drawn strength from every step of the way,” she said.
“So standing here in front of you today, I’m filled with the utmost pride and I just wanna say thank you and this is all for you,” she added.
Gray arrived in Manila last Friday, Feb. 15 for a series of activities.
Gray’s parade will make its way through major roads in Pasay City, Manila and Makati City on Thursday, Feb. 21.
The parade will start at 2 p.m. at the Hotel Sofitel Manila at the CCP complex in Pasay City and end in Ayala Avenue in the Central Business District of Makati City.
READ: MPD bares route for Catriona Gray’s homecoming parade
Another parade will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23 around Araneta Center where her quest for the Miss Universe crown started.
Gray bagged the Philippines’ fourth Miss Universe title last December 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. / gsg