MANILA -- Catriona Gray, the newly crowned Miss Universe, is starting 2019 with a heart that’s full from experiences throughout what she referred to as “one of the craziest, rollercoaster years of my life.”
On Instagram, the Filipino beauty queen reflected on 2018 as she ushered in the new year on Tuesday, mentioning her numerous endeavors and advocacy, including her pageant stints.
“I overcame fears and joined Binibining Pilipinas, trusted in my vision and creativity, found a family and support system in my friends and Favor Church,” wrote Gray, who was tipped to win but eventually finished a finalist in the 2016 Miss World pageant.
She also recounted releasing her first single “We’re In This Together” for the non-profit Young Focus, which gives free education for children in impoverished areas in Tondo; and lending her voice to advocate for HIV awareness through Love Yourself PH.
Gray also “traveled my beloved country and raised the Philippine flag on the Miss Universe stage,” referring to her widely praised performance that eventually earned the Philippines its fourth crown from the international pageant.
“Looking back, I can see that I’ve grown so much, as a person, in revelation and in faith. I have so much to be grateful for and in bidding farewell to 2018, my heart is full,” she wrote.
Gray, who will be based in New York for the duration of her Miss Universe reign, went on: “2019 you’re bound to be one of the most unforgettable years of my life… I’m ready for you.”
“Wishing you all an amazing start to your new year!” she addressed her nearly four million Instagram followers. “Let’s make this the most amazing year yet!”