Miss Philippines Catriona Gray made history by winning Miss Universe 2018, bringing home the fourth crown for the country.
She now joins Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran (1973) and Pia Wurtzbach (2015).
The 24-year-old Filipina-Australian was crowned Monday at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand besting 93 other beauties from across the globe.
As in every Miss Universe pageant, the top five contestants were asked individual questions to determine who would make it to the Final 3. The final three beauties were then asked a standard question to find out who will bring home the title.
The top five contestants were Gray, Miss Puerto Rico Kiara Ortega, Miss Vietnam H’Hen Nie, Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green and Miss Venezuela Sthefany Gutierrez.
The Philippines, South Africa and Venezuela made the cut for the final three.
In her final words, Catriona said her experience working in the slums of Tondo, Manila taught her to “look in the beauty of the children” and be grateful.
Earlier during the first round of the question and answer portion, Gray made a brief but sharp statement that she is in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical use, but not for recreational use.
Below is the full transcript of the Miss Universe 2018 question and answer portion.
Question: Canada recently joined Uruguay as the second nation in the world to make marijuana legal. What is your opinion on the regularization of marijuana?
Answer: I’m for it being used for medical use, but not so for recreational use. Because I think if people will argue then what about alcohol and cigarettes? Everything is good but in moderation.
Question: What would you say to someone who believes that pageants are archaic and against the feminist movement?
Answer: Nowadays, we live in an era which we have advanced greatly. Beauty pageants are not just about beauty, they’re about sensitivity and having a heart. And in beauty pageants, we can show that women like me can achieve any dream that we may have in the world.
Question: Do you think countries should limit the number of refugees allowed across their borders?
Answer: I think that every country should have their own rules and regulations but for a thriving society and for all of us to stand together, we have to understand that we are all human. We should be open to loving, accepting each other.
Question: Why is freedom of the press important?
Answer: The press is there to inform us, their job is to give us news of what’s happening in the world right now. They should have a total freedom to be able to report exactly what’s happening. Without forgetting that they have to sympathy because there are a lot of people suffering in the world.
Question: The #MeToo movement has sparked a global conversation. In response, some have said the world has become too politically correct? Do you think the #MeToo movement has gone too far?
Answer: I don’t think that it has gone too far. Protecting women and women’s right are the right things to do. Women need protections and rights.
Miss Universe 2018 Q&A with top 5, final 3
Standard question: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned and how will you apply it to your time as Miss Universe?
I work a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila and the life there is poor and very sad. And I’ve always taught to myself to look for the beauty of it and look in the beauty of the faces of the children and to be grateful. And I will 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 can teach people to be grateful, we can have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster and children will have smile on their faces.
I grew up in a family filled with women and each one of them taught me something very important. But what I always remember is by working hard and chasing dreams and by having courage and strength and willingness to achieve these dreams, we can achieve anything we want in this lifetime.
Throughout my life, I’ve been exposed to both those who are privileged and underprivileged and what I learned is we are all human. We all want to be loved, we all want to belong, and we all want to be seen so we should treat each other that way.