Catriona Gray Wins Miss Universe 2018 Crown, Brands Post Witty Congratulatory Messages on Social Media

At around 10 AM today - December 17, 2018 - in Bangkok, Thailand, Bicol-native Catriona Gray bested the competition to become the 4th Filipina to win the prized and prestigious Miss Universe crown.

Although Catriona pretty much aced the preliminary rounds of the pageant with her slow-mo turn and Ibong-Adarna-inspired long gown, her road to this landmark victory wasn't particularly a smooth or easy one.

In 2016, she suffered a painful and controversial loss in Miss World and had to go back to step one by competing in Binibining Pilipinas earlier this year to be able to represent the Philippines in Miss Universe 2018. During the Binibing Pilipinas coronation night, Catriona was ridiculed and bullied online by those who thought that she looked too fat during the swimsuit competition.

Catriona Gray Miss Universe 2018

But all of those challenging experiences are behind Catriona now as she wears the shining diamond-and-pearl-encrusted Phoenix Mikimoto Miss Universe crown on her head; A crown that she truly deserved not only because of her beauty, pose, and intelligence but also because of her deep national pride and her dedication to her advocacy, which is to empower children though education.

Catriona's love and concern for young Filipinos and the less fortunate became clear and apparent in her answer to Steve Harvey during the final question round where she was asked what's the most important lesson she's learned in her life.

Wearing a Magma-Red Mount-Mayon-inspired gown made by Mak Tumang, Catriona answered in a confident yet warm voice, "I work a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila and the life there is very poor and it’s very sad. And I've always taught myself to look for the beauty in it. To look in the beauty in the faces of the children and to be grateful."

She added, "I would bring this aspect as a Miss Universe to see situations with a silver lining and to assess where I could give something, where I could provide something as a spokesperson. And this I think, if I could teach people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster and children could have a smile on their faces."

This deep and meaningful answer was the cherry on top of Catriona's already incredible Miss Universe 2018 Finals performance, which was enough to convince the judges that she is indeed worthy of the title along with its responsibilities.

As soon as 2017 Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters placed the crown upon our candidate's head, multiple related topics about Miss Philippines in Miss Universe 2018 quickly became top trending topics on Twitter as tens of thousands of Filipinos congratulated Catriona Gray for bringing pride to our country.

On Facebook, many big companies and major brands here in the Philippines also congratulated Catriona for her win.

Some are very formal like this one from Smart Communications:

...while some are more fun like this message from Globe Telecom:

Other companies had more witty takes on their congratulatory messages, which also effectively associated their brands with Catriona's remarkable win and putting a smile on the faces of their followers.

Jollibee posted this video of one of their iconic mascots, Twirlie, with the note "The universe loves your Twirl", alluding to Catriona's epic slow-mo turn during the preliminary competition that became popular the world over.

McDonald's Philippines, on the other hand, uploaded a photo of Cat's McDo Party Hat with the caption "This calls for a celebration!"

Meanwhile, transport network vehicle service (TNVS) company Angkas posted this funny meme of the crowning moment - comparing Catriona to a rider who doesn't know how to wear a helmet - that made many Pinoys chuckle.

Coco-Cola Philippines was delighted that "The Crown has come home!" and noted that it's time to celebrate this big win with the entire nation -- kaya "Ilabas na ang paborito n'yong handa at ice-cold COCA-COLA! #ForeverBagay sa kahit anong celebration".

In line with the brand's #KlaroAngDiskate thematic ads, Sprite's message for Catriona goes like this: "Maraming salamat, Catriona! Panalo ang diskarte mo! Refreshing beauty at klarong diskarte? Panalong panalo 'yan sa buong universe! You made us proud, Catriona!"

But my most favorite congratulatory post for Catriona Gray would have to be this one from San Mig Light, "Undoubtedly, you're the Light of the Universe. From the way you walk to the way you talk --truly a shining example to all 104 million Filipinos out there!" I agree! And look, they even have this beautiful sketch of Cat's silhouette wearing a her 'Three Stars and a Sun' ear cuff as well as the Miss Universe Mikimoto Crown.

Even before she won the title, Catriona Gray had already dedicated her journey to the Miss Universe crown to the Filipino people. She said in an interview, "Mahal kita, Philippines. Para sayo 'to! [...] Philippines, you have endlessly inspired me, given me strength and support. I want nothing more than to bring pride to you and give my all to give the best Christmas gift ever to my country."

Thank you for making us proud, Catriona! Well done! God bless you and congratulations!

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