'The Filipina has landed,' Catriona Gray says amid Miss Universe Colombia controversy


Posted at Nov 20 2020 01:28 PM | Updated as of Nov 20 2020 04:17 PM

MANILA -- Catriona Gray delivered a message that emphasized her Filipino roots in a video from her recent photo shoot. 

The short film, which was shot by Jojo Luarca, showed scenes from Gray's space-themed shoot with photographer to the stars BJ Pascual.

The text "The Filipina has landed" can be seen at the end of the video.

Gray made the statement amid the controversy over the way she was introduced as a judge in the Miss Universe Colombia pageant early this week.

During the televised competition, she was described, in Spanish, as "Australian by birth" who "represented the Philippines" in Miss Universe 2018.

Shortly after the pageant, Gray shared a photo of her with the word "Filipina" on Instagram Stories.

The timing of her post was not lost on her fans, who criticized on Twitter what they branded as a "disrespectful" introduction.

On Thursday, Miss Universe Colombia national director Natalie Ackerman apologized to Gray, saying "there was no malice intended" in the mistakes they made. 

She hoped that the former Miss Universe "will not take this matter against us and forgive us and our management," adding that they are looking forward to visiting the Philippines soon.

Gray was born in the coastal city of Cairns in Queensland in Australia. Her father, Ian Gray, is reportedly a Scottish-born Australian, while her Filipino mother, Normita Magnayon, hails from Albay.

In 2011, at age 18, Gray moved to the Philippines to pursue a modeling career.


Gray's shoot with Pascual was also released as a 45-minute vlog on his YouTube page.

The two have agreed to give 100% of the monetization of the video to relief efforts of the Philippine Red Cross for those who have been affected by recent typhoons in the Philippines.

"We're using all of the earnings from the streaming of our episode to go towards the relief and aid drives of the Philippine Red Cross. So just by watching this, you are already doing a wonderful thing for our kababayans that are affected by the recent typhoons," said Gray, who was introduced as an ambassador of Philippine Red Cross last September. 

Aside from showing a behind-the-scenes look at Gray's shoot with Pascual, the vlog also showed the beauty queen sharing her thoughts about starting out as a model, and her experience as a beauty queen.

At one point, she was asked by Pascual if she felt "robbed" when she did not win the Miss World crown in 2016.

"I think I just had an uneasiness in my heart," Gray began. "Kasi of course, when you go to something like that, you want to expect to land where you feel your effort was."

"I really had no regrets sa journey ko doon. And if I had landed at a certain runner-up spot, I would've been happy because I can see this is where my effort landed," added Gray, who only placed in the Top 5. 

The loss eventually prompted Gray to try pageantry one more time by joining Binibining Pilipinas, and eventually Miss Universe, in 2018. 

And the rest, they say, is history. 

"Looking back, I see why it was not meant for me," she said. "I had something else better waiting for me."

Watch Gray talk about her Miss World stint starting at the 17:39 mark in the video below:

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