Catriona Gray is currently representing the Philippines for Miss Universe 2018 and recently participated in the national costume competition.
She wanted her costume to represent the different regions of the country, but how far did she go to really understand the culture she’s about to represent? In a series of videos we see Catriona as she travels to Pampanga in Luzon, Leyte in Visayas, and South Cotabato in Mindanao.
Catriona made sure to get to know the people and the craft that inspired her costume and it gave her so much insight. It also made her proud (excited, to say the least) to show the world what Filipinos are made of.
Each region had their own video. Catriona talks about the arts and celebration in Luzon. She says both come together during Christmas time when people start putting up decorations and lights. She traveled to Pampanga to learn more about the process of creating Christmas lanterns or parols. You even see her dig in a boodle fight with her friends.
What does it mean to be resilient and strong? Catriona visited Tacloban, Leyte five years after Typhoon Yolanda hit. She met a young woman named Caitlyn, a survivor whose parents died in the calamity. Then Catriona wondered how the people of Tacloban are always so hopeful no matter what hand they are dealt—and a part of it lies in the history. Their ancestors were warriors and it’s definitely in their blood that they can fight through anything!
Finally, Catriona visited Southern Cotabato. She’s never been to Mindanao and she wanted to experience the culture first-hand. She met the women of T’Boli and the way they weave T’nalak, Catriona even tried to learn how to weave which you will see in the video.
It’s a great way to help the world get to know our country. We’re rooting for you, Catriona!