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Mak Tumang, the designer behind Miss Universe Catriona Gray’s stunning gowns, shared the inspiration behind the farewell gown Gray wore at the Binibining Pilipinas 2019 coronation night.

In an Instagram post, Tumang revealed that the gown was inspired by the rare Philippine orchid, Waling-Waling.  He said that it’s a perfect symbol for Catriona because the flower is known as the “Queen of Philippine Flowers.”

“The Waling-waling is a paragon of unmitigated beauty. Many regard it as the rarest, most beautiful and the most expensive among all the flora our country has,” he wrote. “Moreover, even the native Bagobos revered it as a “diwata” (fairy) because of its unparalleled and captivating beauty. This representation fits perfectly to what our Miss Universe Catriona Gray is.”

“This flower, like Catriona, continues to be on treetops and aspires for greater heights. The Queen of the Filipinos’ hearts bids farewell to her reign here. Yet, she will incessantly reach and touch the bright sun, making her justly symbolic of the Filipino’s unceasing hope and tenacity.”

Catriona also wore a yellow halter strap dress also made by Tumang.


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Apart from the beautiful gowns, Catriona Gray expressed her gratitude for all the support and love she received throughout her journey as she bid the Binibining Pilipinas stage farewell.

“My heart is overflowing with gratitude, because here, on this exact stage, I was given the chance to pursue this dream. This journey has been made even more meaningful, because every single step of the way I felt each and every one of you right there with me,” Gray said.

“Inside each and every one of us is a king or queen with the ability to conquer the universe, whatever that may be for you. But we must first conquer ourselves, conquer what others perceive of us, and finally, conquer with a purpose. To conquer our dreams. Philippines, I will forever our raise our flag. Thank you for choosing me as your queen. Forever a Miss Philippines, forever a Binibini.”

Talisay City, Cebu’s Gazini Christiana Ganados was crowned as Miss Universe Philippines 2019. The other winners were Bea Patricia Magtanong, Bb Pilipinas International 2019; Emma Mary Tiglao, Bb Pilipinas Intercontinental 2019; Leren Mae Bautista, Laguna, Bb Pilipinas Globe 2019; Samantha Ashley Lo, Bb Pilipinas Grand International 2019; and Resham Ramirez Saeed, Bb Pilipinas Supranational 2019.

Photos by Mak Tumang


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