By Ellson Quismorio
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray expressed a willingness to learn from the country’s political leaders during her visit at the House of Representatives Friday afternoon.
“Thank you so so much for the very warm welcome…it’s such a wonderful opportunity to see and speak with the leaders of our country. I am very much open to having conversations with you,” the Bicolana stunner told a buzzing room of congressmen, media and fans at the Speaker’s Social Hall.
“I always want to be up to date and know where our leaders stand and their viewpoints on national issues…Thank you for having me here; I hope to be back very soon,” said Gray, who wore a purple velvet overall and matching plaid blazer.
Gray, whose mother hails from Oas, Albay, was supposed to pay a courtesy call to Speaker and former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Unfortunately, the two didn’t meet since the latter had to attend another meeting in Malacañang.
Gray’s rather humble statements came a day after Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said she may have been “misinformed” and needed to be “educated” about the proposal to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility.
Receiving the 24-year-old beauty queen during the short program was Deputy Speaker Mercedes Alvarez of Negros Occidental’s 6th district.
“Indeed our current Ms. Universe epitomizes the ideal Filipina. Strong, compassionate, kind, smart, beautiful inside and out. As legislators, let us be reminded of her story and like her, see situations with a silver lining,” Alvarez said, alluding to a winning line uttered by Gray during the pageant’s coronation night.
“Truly I am one with her, the House is one with her in her advocacy in promoting and advancing children’s welfare especially those living in disadvantaged and impoverished communities,” the House official further said.
The last 48 hours has been quite busy for Gray, who despite her constant smiling appeared somewhat tired.
But Gray’s face noticeably perked up when the emcee said the House had a “surprise” for her in the form of a resolution “commending and congratulating [her] for winning the Miss Universe pageant” last December 17 in Thailand.
“Whereas, aside from her beauty and viral Lava walk, Ms. Gray showcased her outstanding brilliance and intellect in the question and answer portions of the pageant,” the emcee read the resolution, a laminated of which was given to Gray.
The reigning Miss Universe was also commended for having “advocacies and philanthropic works wherein she has manifested her goodwill and compassion to give back to her country and inspire people to act for good causes.”
Over a dozen House members attended the program. These included former Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. of Quezon City’s 4th district; Senior Deputy Minority Leader COOP-NATCCO Party-List Rep. Anthony Bravo; and Albay 3rd district Rep. Fernando Gonzalez.
Gray, a model-slash-television host, is the fourth Filipina to take home the title of Miss Universe.