MANILA -- Catriona Gray has released the first chapter of her "Raise Your Flag" series, where she promotes the handicrafts of provinces across the Philippines.
The former Miss Universe featured Laguna in her first video, visiting artisans in municipalities such as Pila, the pioneer of the water hyacinth industry in the country; Lumban, dubbed as the Philippines' embroidery capital; and Liliw, which is popular for its handcrafted footwear.
Gray also dropped by San Pablo, the hometown of her mother.
"Sana next time magkasama tayo," she told her mother via video call as she showed one of the lakes of San Pablo as her backdrop.
The episode also served as an opportunity for Gray to practice her Filipino speaking skills as she spoke in Tagalog in many parts of the video, where she also served as creative director.
She said she is honored to see a different side of Laguna, and hopes that "more Filipinos and even people from around the world will get to see and get to know."
Addressing Laguna, Gray said: "You've taught me not only about the connection with my own blood heritage through my mother, but you've also shown me stories of families who bond over the craft and the art that they create."
"You've showed me stories of resilience, and hope, and ingenuity in times of turbulence and trouble. It is what makes them a Filipino. I hope that it won't just be me who gets to hear these stories. I hope that other people will be inspired by the things that you have to share," she added.
Watch her "Raise Your Flag" video featuring Laguna below:
Gray's "Raise Your Flag" series is part of her projects for the One Town, One Product (OTOP) initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
She was named OTOP ambassador last July as part of the DTI's efforts to promote local weaving.
The new stint came after Gray drew wide praise during her Miss Universe campaign in 2018 for her patriotic wardrobe.