The country’s representative Catriona Gray, set the stage on fire as she walked gracefully during the Miss Universe 2018 preliminary swimsuit and long gown competition on Thursday night.
Fans cheered and waved their flags in front the contestants who competed in the swimsuit and evening gown categories for two hours which was streamed live on the pageant’s website.
The pre-pageant activity selected the Top 20 candidates who would have the chance to become the next Miss Universe. The Top 20 will be announced during the broadcast finale on Monday, Dec. 17. For the first time in 67 years, an all-women selecting committee will choose the winner.
Gray was one of the most applauded girls in the prelims. Other candidates who were cheered by pageant fans were delegates from Thailand, Spain and some of the contestants from Latin America.
Gray wore a hot-pink one-piece swimsuit by Sirivannavari Bangkok during the pageant’s preliminary swimsuit competition held at Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
Meanwhile, during the evening gown competition, the 24-year-old beauty queen wore a custom-made gown called “Ibong Adarna: The Blazing Siren” which was designed by Mak Tumang, a Filipino fashion designer.
Tumang described the “Ibong Adarna” as a mythological pulchritudinous bird that could change in several fascinating guises and that its enchanting voice can enable complete healing to anyone who hears it.”
“Some artists liken it to the mythological Phoenix where it recurrently regenerates itself by arising amidst a spectacle of flames and candescence. This makes it a fitting symbol of resilience, rising and rebirth,” the fashion designer said.
“Catriona has a resilient, tenacious and unwavering spirit. Her voice is truly captivating literally and figuratively. She uses it to influence, advance her timely causes that both melt and heal hearts. Her will-power and burning passion drive her to make every Filipino proud in whatever she does. She is the blazing Adarna! Watch her rise in glory along with our hopes and dreams for our beloved country: the Philippines!” Tumang added.
Judges will determine their Top 20 among the 94 candidates. The chosen semi-finalists will be revealed on the coronation day, December 17.
Watch the preliminary competition below: