LEGAZPI CITY, Albay: Miss World Philippines 2016 Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray went home for the first time after winning the crown on an invitation from Rep. Joey Salceda who tendered a homecoming cum victory celebration for her.
Gray’s mother, Normita Ragas Magnayon, comes from a respected clan of musicians from Ilaor Oas town here.
Cory Quirino, who holds the Miss World franchise in the Philippines, predicted that Gray will bring home the Miss World crown when she competes in the pageant in Washington, D.C. in December.
Quirino flew to Legazpi City with Gray on Friday before the Civil Aeronautics Administration of the Philippines suspended flights to and from Legazpi City as Tropical Storm Karen brought heavy rains to the Bicol Region.
Several events were prepared by Salceda in the 2nd District and in the 3rd District by Rep. Fernando Gonzalez.
Gray made a courtesy call on Gov. Al Francis Bichara, Mayor Noel Rosal of Legazpi before heading to her hometown in Oas, Albay.
She was expected to return to Manila on Monday.
Quirino said the talented Gray is the early favorite among the Miss World candidates and is the best representative the country can send to Miss World, the oldest and biggest beauty pageant in the world with 120 countries participating.
The pageant was established in London in 1951, one year ahead of Miss Universe.
“Look at Catriona, she is going to be Miss World 2016. Within four hours of her winning the Miss World Philippines title, while the country was still sleeping, her photo was uploaded on the social media account of Miss World and it says that she is one of the early favorites to win the crown that’s why we’re so excited. We’re grateful and we need Congressman Joey Salceda because he’s number one on social media and in helping Catriona. We need the support of the Filipinos around the world to like and vote for her,” Quirino said.
She also called on overseas Filipinos to support Gray.
“We’re calling on our kababayan [compatriots]in the US, Canada and all over the world to go to Washington, D.C., to be part of the Philippine contingent to support Catriona in the upcoming pageant.”
Gray said, “We have postcard-worthy destinations. We have a beautiful country and Filipinos are loving and very welcoming. I’ll show them how much economic power we have gained right now in Southeast Asia. I’ll encourage them to explore our country, sample our cuisine as our food is so good.”
When asked to comment on President Rodrigo Duterte’s rejection of the Paris climate agreement, she replied that climate change needs long-term action and the President as a leader needs to focus on more pressing issues right now.
Gray explained that protecting the environment should involve every Filipino.
“We can walk the talk to fight climate change through reduction of our carbon footprints, save water and throw our garbage in proper waste disposal bins,” she said.
Gray talked about her advocacy for poor schoolchildren.
“I am helping to raise funds to build a school in Tondo [Manila] to allow the children [there]to have access to education.”