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Fil-Aussie beauty leaves for US to compete in Ms. World contest

MISS Philippines Catriona Elisa Gray made a pitch for local tourism as she left yesterday to compete at the 66th Miss World beauty pageant in Washington, D.C., USA on Dec. 20.

“We have so much to offer here in the Philippines. As a traveller, I really enjoyed going around to different sights, seeing different cultures, the festivals, especially the food. I think in that prospective, our tourism industry should not be left out in one’s bucket list,” said Gray, during her send-off in Greenhills, San Juan for the Miss World 2016 beauty pageant in Washington, D.C., USA.

The Filipino-Australian beauty queen said that she is excited to meet the Filipinos in the US especially those who will watch her in the beauty contest.

“I’m very excited and when I get there, I will hear them and that would be an amazing feeling. I just can’t imagine when I get there, I will be completely overwhelmed,” Gray said.

She also said that she is thrilled to meet the 118 other contestants competing for the crown.

“They are very high caliber and very empowered women. I’m very excited to meet them all and learn from each one of them,” said Gray, who also won Miss Manila Hotel special award when she was crowned Miss World Philippines 2016 in October.

Despite the short period of time to prepare for the longest-running pageant in history, Gray said that she is ready for the contest.

“It would have been nicer if I prepared longer. But it keeps me on my toes. I really pushed myself to give it all,” she added.

An only child, Gray went to college at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts where she earned a master certificate in music theory.

“As an only child, I’m very close to my parents. Not only are they my role models, they are my best friends. I’m blessed that they are so supportive of my every endeavor,” she said.

Gray is into sketching, painting, travel, writing, photography, music, and cooking. She’s also a Black Belt in Choi Kwang Do, loves outdoor recreation and outdoor sports. She has a boyfriend.

Gray, who stands 5’9 1/2, is a woman of many interests. She grew up in Australia where she developed a deep appreciation for nature, an active lifestyle and an easy laid back attitude of “no worries.”

In her late teens, Gray moved to Asia and has become one of the most sought-after commercial models, appearing in regional and global campaigns along with gracing various magazine covers. She is also a budding songwriter and singer, an owner of her own business and an artist.