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Miss Universe Catriona Gray’s Evening Gown & The Philippine Volcano That Inspired It

First of all, congratulations to Miss Catriona Gray and the Philippines for winning Miss Universe 2018! From the moment Catriona did that famous “slow-mo” turn in the preliminary round, we knew that the Philippines was in good hands. And it was proven all the more with Catriona’s opening statement in the final competition.

But enough about that.

Let’s talk about Catriona’s glaring and iconic red evening gown that lit the Miss Universe runway! No, it wasn’t inspired by the EDSA traffic as the meme jokingly suggests. It was inspired by none other than the Philippines’ Mt. Mayon! Here’s what you need to know.

explore, travel, miss universe catriona gray’s evening gown & the philippine volcano that inspired it

Image credit: Mak Tumang Facebook Profile

The gown

  • It was designed by Filipino (specifically, Kapampangan) designer, Mak Tumang.
  • The gown draws inspiration from Mt. Mayon, which is found in Albay in the Bicol region.
  • Mak Tumang stated in his Facebook post: “She is celebrating her roots – she is celebrating Albay!”  This is because Catriona’s Filipino ethnicity comes from her mother who is from Oas, Albay.
  • The gown’s red lava-like gradient is due to the fact that Mt. Mayon is the most active volcano in the Philippines.
  • According to the Facebook chat between Tumang and Catriona, posted by the designer himself, the gown is fully crystallized with Swarovski.
  • Based on the plans that Tumang posted on Facebook, the lava effect comprises of various hues such as burgundy, Indian siam, siam, hyacinth, fire opal, topaz, and golden shadow.
  • The concept proposal of the gown started as early as 26 March 2018. This coincides at the same time of the most recent Mt. Mayon eruption on 13 January to 29 March 2018.

explore, travel, miss universe catriona gray’s evening gown & the philippine volcano that inspired it

Mt. Mayon

  • Mt. Mayon is an active stratovolcano in Albay known to have the “perfect cone” because of its symmetrical shape.
  • According to legend, Mt. Mayon got its name from the Philippine mythical heroine named Daragang Magayon, which translates to “Beautiful Lady”.
  • Mt. Mayon is the most active volcano of the Philippines. Its most destructive eruption happened in 1 February 1814 when an approximate of 1,200 locals died from the incident.
  • The volcano’s longest eruption lasted for seven straight days on June 1897. The whole village of Bacacay was buried 49 feet beneath the lava as fire rained and lava flowed from the slopes.
  • In 2000, it was declared a national park and named as Mayon Volcano National Park.

Aside from Catriona’s mind-blowing and inspirational gown, we also have to talk about her ear cuff. Because boy oh boy, did it also steal the show! The golden ear cuff situated on her right ear featured three stars and a sun, which we all know to be reflective of the Philippine flag. The three stars symbolise the three main islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, while the Sun rays represent Philippine provinces.

Speaking of Philippine islands, let’s have a brief throwback to the preliminary round where Catriona represented each major island with her national costume.

Luzon was represented by Catriona’s “parol” or the Christmas lantern behind her, Visayas was represented by her bodysuit with designs similar to the tattoos of the “Pintados” warriors, and Mindanao was represented by Catriona’s headpiece and accessories called “Pagyamanin” (enrich). And what about that Ibong Adarna inspired gown? That took our breath away! Designer Mak Tumang definitely helped Catriona shine all throughout the pageant, wouldn’t you agree?

explore, travel, miss universe catriona gray’s evening gown & the philippine volcano that inspired it

Image credit: Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

What a year of talents. What a show. And what a woman! The future sure is bright for Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.

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