Apparently, at this point in time, it would be safe to assume that the Filipino people is one of the happiest homo sapiens this side of the global village. The reason is obvious, simple, and imperative.

Amid series of man-made and nature-induced calamities and controversies hounding the country today practically in all levels —public and private, local, national and international—we  are under state of euphoria and  on cloud 9 so to speak in view of the beauty pageant crown brought home by a Bicolana from Oas, Albay in the person of Catriona Elisa Gray.

The stunning, 6’10”, Filipina-Australian beauty, a self-confessed nerd, musician, and hold your breath, a black belter fulfilled her mother’s dream come  when she bested 93 beauty and brains candidates who vied for that much-coveted crown—2018 Miss Universe—before the Year of the Earth Dog is replaced by the Year of the Earth Pig according to the Chinese calendar.

That historic moment, eagerly witnessed by hundreds of millions worldwide, occurred at Impact Arena, Bangkok, Thailand on December 17, Monday. With that win, Gray joined the league of the former three  Miss Universe-crowned Filipinas, namely: Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran-Floreindo (1973) and Pia Wurtzbach (2015).

Their commentaries made in an interview recently were down-to-earth, inspiring, remarkable and sincere.  “She was super. Really outstanding,” Gloria Diaz said.  “She nailed it with her articulate and eloquent reply on the final question” said  Margie Moran-Floreindo.

“Her walk and the sultry look called a lot of attention. It was not easy for her, I’m sure, because there were so many beautiful women who are accomplished and successful in their careers,” she added.

Pia Wurztbach, the country’s third Miss Universe (2015) who personally watched the pageant added: She really deserved the title and left no stone unturned. Gray won the judges nod with her answer to the question in the top three segment—“What is the most important lesson you have learned and how will you apply it to your time as Miss Universe?”

Her impeccable, noteworthy, sincere, true-to-life answer catapulted her to win the crown with aplomb and admiration from her countrymen here and abroad. Significantly, Gray’s “lava walk” was accordingly inspired by the Mayon Volcano in Albay where Catriona’s mother, Normita Ragas Magnayon Gray, hails from. The “walk” symbolizes Bicolanos’ notable character– “with happy disposition, oragon, resilient,  and survivor”.

Be that as it may, let’s hope and pray that Gray’s reign and triumph would bring in a lot of goodwill and socio-economic benefits in tourists arrivals in the Bicol Region, in Catanduanes and the country in general.  Our well-known tourists spots and facilities such as the Amenia Beach Resport, Binurong Point, Puraran Beach Resort, Twin Rock, to name a few, offer amazing, breathtaking showcases of Catanduanganons Happy Island entertainment and hospitality.

Once again, Dear Readers, we wish you all a “Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year”.