Catriona Gray from the Philippines beat out 93 contestants and was crowned as the new Miss Universe for 2018.

The 24-year-old has become the fourth Filipina to bring home the title at this year’s 67th Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok. As Gray took the win, she knocked Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green, who was the runner-up and Miss Venezuela Sthefany Gutierrez, who was the second runner-up, out of place.

Gray took to Facebook to explain her gratitude and excitement for her new title.

“When I was 13, my mum told me ‘Honey, I dreamt of you winning Miss Universe in a red dress.’ At that time I thought nothing of it, and today my mother’s dream came true. Where do I even begin?” she wrote. “Lord God, I lift everything up to you – to glorify and honor you. Philippines what an amazing honor it has been to carry your name across my chest and to embody you in all aspects. I may now carry the sash of Miss Universe, but I’ll forever be your Miss Philippines.”

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Gray then went on to thank her pageant team.

When I was 13, my mum told me "Honey, I dreamt of you winning Miss Universe in a red dress." At that time I thought…

Posted by Catriona Gray on Monday, December 17, 2018

Gray, who is a singer and model, grew up in Australia and earned a degree in music theory from Boston’s Berklee School of Music. Her win has been praised and recognized by Filipinos across the country, as well as, the president of the Philippines himself, Rodrigo Duterte.

“Ms. Gray truly made the entire Philippines proud when she sashayed on the global stage and showcased the genuine qualities defining a Filipina beauty: confidence, grace, intelligence and strength in the face of tough challenges,” Duterte said in a statement. “In her success, Miss Philippines has shown to the world that women in our country have the ability to turn dreams into reality through passion, diligence, determination and hard work.”

Many Filipinos have also taken to Twitter to express their joy.

“I’m a journalist, and @mariaressa of @rapplerdotcom makes me proud to call myself one. Growing up in Philippines, my introduction to the world was watching Miss Universe. Go @catrionaelisa! #Filipinas” one user wrote.

“Always Raise the Flag, @catrionaelisa! #MissUniverse,” another wrote.

 

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