A few months ago I watched with amusement at the resulting celebrations rising from the announcement that the Philippines had yet again won Miss Universe. Putting my book down for a few moments – a struggle such as that was – I joined the party because it meant a chance of free food!
A couple of things of late have reminded me about Catriona Gray, firstly Ren’s post on Filipino films, especially Buy Bust which is set in Tondo, and secondly, the below music video, again set in Tondo, where Miss U does a lot of charity work. It gives an insight into one of the areas so often glossed over when people talk about the Philippines.
The last question posed on finals night was, What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life and how will you apply it to your time as Miss Universe? Her answer:
I work a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila and the life there is very… it’s 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. And 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 also teach people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster, and children will have a smile on their faces.