Proud to share with you, my dear readers, that I am now one of the contributing writers for ‘The Millennium Trumpet’ – the first weekly news magazine in Central Luzon. Maiden issue is out.
My first article (which I am reposting below)for the column #OfPageantsAndQueens is all about the entire Homecoming Week of Miss Universe Catriona Gray titled “It didn’t rain on her Homecoming Parades”
Grab a copy by sending a message to marketing and circulation director, Tets S. Capus. It’s free!
It didn’t rain on her (Homecoming) parades
by Norman Tinio
Photos by Liza Carangan
The past week and a half had been a flurry of activity for Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray who flew in from New York for her scheduled homecoming in the country. From the time she arrived – almost incognito save for the airport security personnel who gave away her presence due to the VIP treatment and escorting procedures – ahead of schedule (she was originally expected February 20) on the night of February 15, pageant fans and supporters went out of their way to know her daily whereabouts.
As it happened, our fourth Miss Universe spent the first few days on her own and away from the public eye. After all, she deserved the much-needed rest before facing another endless string of commitments for the much-awaited homecoming activities. Thankfully, she was able to squeeze in a photoshoot or two prior to her grand entrance.
Last February 20, Catriona finally made her first official appearance in a Press Conference hosted by the Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI). This enabled invited members of the quadri-media (TV, radio, print and online) to openly ask questions, conduct one-on-one interviews and take photographs in an exclusive event that saw a record number of attendees.
The first of her two homecoming parades took place last February 21. From the starting point at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in Pasay all the way to Ayala Avenue in Makati, people lined up the streets to catch a glimpse of our Queen who gamely waved, smiled, blew kisses and acknowledged the cheers of everyone for three solid hours. And just two days after, she repeated the same drill – albeit on a shorter route – around Araneta Center where she was swarmed by the public with shouts of joy and happiness. Designer Mak Tumang – who was responsible for all the evening gowns worn during Miss Universe 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand – provided her beautiful outfits once more and boy, she was truly a sight to behold.
Catriona ended the week with a well-attended tribute concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum aptly titled “Raise Your Flag For Catriona Gray”. Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Vice Ganda, Bamboo, the TNT Boys, Jed Madela, Maymay Entrata, KZ Tandigan, Morissette Amon and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra joined her in an evening of songs, laughter and an outpouring of gratitude for the country’s new Miss Universe.
Indeed. It never rained on Catriona Gray and her two parades. The heat of the afternoon sun and the genuine warmth of all Filipinos combined for the successful staging of a homecoming fit for a Queen.
While the same triumph cannot be said for Catriona’s (now non-existent) love life after admitting on national TV that she is no longer romantically involved with (now ex-boyfriend) Clint Bondad, there are far more important commitments and causes to work on as soon as she reports back for duty at the Miss Universe Organization Headquarters in New York City.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that she must seize for an entire reign. If true love does exist between the two of them, then I reckon that they will be back in each other’s arms again once the timing is right.
For now, the Universe beckons.