MANILA, Philippines – Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray of the Philippines looked back at her “reign with a purpose” and crowned her successor, South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi as Miss Universe 2019 at the coronation night in Atlanta, Georgia Sunday evening (Monday morning in Manila).
During her final walk at the Miss Universe 2019 pageant, the 25-year-old beauty queen from Albay recalled the advocacies she underscored and helped promote during her reign.
“I wanted my year to become a reign with purpose. From advocating for quality education for all, to raising awareness for HIV/AIDS, I’ve started to use my voice for good,” Catriona said in a recorded speech played as she walked the stage donning a shimmering blue gown.
“I’ve always believed that as women, we have the power to redefine our generation. When we raise our voices together, the words ‘women empower’ become more than just a phrase. They become a movement,” she added.
Catriona’s advocacy of protecting children’s welfare and rights played a big role during the question and answer portion in last year’s competition.
The beauty queen had been active in her volunteer work for Young Focus Philippines, a non-profit organization for children, even before she joined Binibining Pilipinas.
Catriona also did volunteer work for Love Yourself Philippines, an organization dedicated to HIV/AIDS awareness, education, counseling, and testing.
“To my beloved Philippines, isa karangalan po ito. You endlessly inspire me and give me hope. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat,” Catriona said.
“Above all, thank you God. I lift everything up to glorify and honor you. As I close this chapter, I do so with a grateful heart. To everyone with a dream, know that your dreams are valid. And on your path, you are never denied and only redirected,” she added.