By Ben Rosario and Hannah Torregoza
Former President and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Monday lauded newly-crowned Miss Universe Catriona Gray for serving as an inspiration for Filipinas to “reach for their dreams.”
“You’ve made us all proud, Catriona Gray! Congrats on your much-deserved win as #MissUniverse2018,” said Arroyo in a press statement.
Arroyo, the second woman to become president and first to be elected speaker, was awed by Gray’s feat as the fourth Filipina to be adjudged the most beautiful in the world as Miss Universe.
“The intelligent, hardworking, and compassionate Filipina is truly world-class,” Arroyo said.
Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers joined the chorus of well-wishers for the new Miss Universe, saying her victory is an inspiration to all Filipinos amid the difficult times.
“Catriona Gray’s success is truly a victory for all Filipinos,” said Barbers, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs.
“Her sacrifices and triumph inspire Filipinos to continue fighting on amidst the challenges and difficulties. Her victory is our victory. This is such an amazing Christmas gift to the country,” said the Mindanao lawmaker.
Gray “embodies the Filipino spirit of resiliency and determination,” Barbers said.
“[She] is indeed an inspiration to the youth and the millions of Filipinos,” added the House leader.
At the Upper Chamber, senators expressed their gratitude to Gray for winning this year’s Miss Universe crown.
Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said Gray just gave the Filipino people a reason to rejoice more this Christmas season.
“Thank you for bringing pride, glory, and honor to the country by clinching the fourth Miss Universe crown for the Philippines. Your well-deserved win is surely a source of great inspiration and happiness for the millions of Filipinos all over the world, the universe rather,” Angara said in a statement.
“You just gave all your kababayan another reason to be merry this Christmas. Mabuhay angPilipinas!” the senator added.
For Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Gray is now the color of Miss Universe.
“My heartfelt greetings and congratulations to the newly-crowned Miss Universe 2018 Ms. Catriona Gray… you are the epitome of the intelligence, talent, and beauty of a Filipina. Thank you for making us proud!” Ejercito said.
Sen. Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV also commended Gray for showcasing the beauty and culture of the Philippines during the pageant.
“Thank you for showing the world that Filipino beauty is intelligent, creative, and full of heart,” said Aquino.
The 24-year-old beauty queen from Albay bested Miss South Africa and Miss Venezuela in the Top 3, as well as candidates from 91 other countries.