'Thank you for making us proud to be Filipino': Philippines Vice President tells Catriona Gray

Catriona has been enjoying an official homecoming in the Philippines

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray of the Philippines (C) waves to fans as she arrives for a press conference in Manila on February 20, 2019. A parade in Gray's honour will be held in Manila on February 21. / AFP / Ted ALJIBE
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Miss Universe Catriona Gray has been enjoying a triumphant homecoming in the Philippines, and on Tuesday, the beauty queen was welcomed by the country’s Vice President.

Gray met with Leni Robredo at the Office of the Vice President in Quezon City, where she was congratulated on her win in person. The 25-year-old took the Miss Universe crown in the December competition, after previously winning the title of Miss Philippines.

During the meeting, Gray was greeted with a performance from the Lipa Youth Orchestra, as well as being presented with a custom-made yellow malong.

“This is our opportunity to tell you how proud you make all of us, not only because you won the crown, but also because you presented the best of the Filipino,” Robredo told Gray. “We want to thank you for giving us this honour. And we want to thank you for giving us this opportunity to thank you in person, for making us proud to be Filipinos. For giving us a reason to be united again.”

The beauty queen has been residing in New York with the Miss Universe Organisation as she carries out her charity and campaign work around the globe, but this week she returned to her native Philippines for her official victory parade.

She won the competition, held in Bangkok, Thailand, two months ago. Gray became the fourth Filipina to take the title at the Miss Universe competition, which is watched by almost every household in the country.

The model beat off 92 competitors to take the title, and says she will use her year-long reign to continue her work as an advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness, and volunteer as a teacher's assistant to the students of Young Focus NGO.