Catriona Gray sets record straight on Australia claim: ‘I’m Miss Philippines’

By CNN Philippines Staff

Philippines’ pride Catriona Gray finally settles the dispute after several international publications highlighted her Australian heritage following her Miss Universe win.

Gray’s parents are Scottish and Filipino. She was born and raised in Cairns, Queensland in Australia before moving to the Philippines in her teens. This prompted several Australian tabloids and websites to lay claim on her as their very own “Miss Queensland.”

The 67th Miss Universe queen said she didn’t feel weird about the Australians’ claim over her.

“I really feel like I’m Miss Philippines. I feel like a Filipina, a Filipino woman. It just so happens that when I was growing up, I was very much in Australia. I think you can be both. Because I did grow up in those two sides of the world,” she said on Wednesday, during her interview with BUILD Series in New York City.

After Australia’s claim, Filipino netizens were quick to highlight Gray’s Filipino roots. She told host Kerry Justich that she actually found the tug-of-war funny.

“It was almost a war. Like, ‘No she’s ours, she’s practically a Miss Australia.’ But I am a Miss Philippines, but I can’t blame them for being excited, so I’ll let them have that,” she said.

The 25-year-old beauty queen has embraced her Filipino roots, especially throughout the Miss Universe competition. She has continuously showcased Philippine textiles made by indigenous groups in her dresses and accessories.

During the pageant coronation on December 17, 2018, she wowed everyone with her red crystal-encrusted gown created by Kapampangan designer Mak Tumang. Her evening gown was inspired by the Mayon Volcano located in Albay, her mother’s hometown.

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