Au revior 2016!

Au revoir 2016! A new year signifies a chance to refresh and restart, but one can’t move forward without reflecting back. 

The beginning of a journey, whether it be one of a goal, a career, a milestone or a dream is never easy. At first, everything seems so daunting, because it seems to be so far away. The people you look up to seem to have had such a big head start, unmatchable talents or skills, or a seemingly easy way up. There are so many obstacles to face before you’ve even started…but the reality is: most of your obstacles exist in your head. 2016 for me was a year of overcoming obstacles.

My dad has always told me that “the longest journey starts with a single step” and its glaringly true. 

2016 began with a very frustrated, heavy-hearted Catriona. Along with facing the usual dilemmas that young adulthood flings at you, I was single-handedly supporting my family – a responsibility that I wasn’t prepared for. To add to that I had reached a career roadblock and it seemed that every new opportunity seemed end up with the door closing in my face. I was keeping a strong front but inside I was freaking out (pacing around the room, spontaneous bursting into tears freaking out). My dreams were put on standby because I didn’t have the means to wander from my own responsibilities and the financials to take the risk. I was 22 and I didn’t know what I was doing with my life.

To break away from the pressure that I was under, I turned to charity work. It was unbelievably freeing to have my attention turned away from myself and my situation over to others. And thats when my perspective began to broaden and a path began to materialise. Being around the less fortunate made me realise just how lucky I was and how much I had to be grateful for.

In charity work, you set out to help others – but ultimately you end up helping yourself.

I resurfaced with a burning desire to give back as much as I could. Miss World offered a platform: a way to help these children that I was seeing every week in Tondo, Manila to a larger capacity. I identified with Miss World’s charitable identity and took a leap into the unknown world of Philippine Pageantry. 

What followed was an overwhelming experience of generosity, kindness and endless support. Individuals came into my life who selflessly dedicated and invested their time, resources and skills into my journey. I cried so many times when met with their support – what can I say, I’m a blubberball.

That’s not to say that all my problems went away. Challenges persisted regardless but with faith, prayer and those people offered a hand, I was able to get by and flourish despite my circumstance. Most people only see the result of the beauty pageant. But thats not all that was gained (or lost). Behind the competition was a complete journey of self-discovery, revelation, challenges and faith. 

I became a more understanding, better and a more driven human being  as a result of 2016. I realised that, even though you’re faced with so many obstacles you just need to try, take that first step and persist. Let people help you, because no-one can do it alone. And last of all, never lose faith – in yourself, your future and your purpose. 

Happy 2017 everyone. 
Here’s to being braver than the year before.

Photography: Paolo Pineda
Styling: Reynaldo Santos
MUA: Krist Bansuelo
Hair: Jan Edrosalan
Creative Styling & Editting: Catriona Gray

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  • Reply
    January 3, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Jeremiah 29:11
    for I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.
    Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.Plans to give you Hope and a Future..

    To Catriona… I admired your positivity. I admired the pureness of your heart and the sincerity of your words.. Thats why we ended up Loving you not only your physical appearance but the Whole you..
    And your journey in Miss World taught us alot of lessons. You taught us alot Cat. And thanks for that. I LOVE You. We love you.

    • Reply
      Catriona Gray
      January 3, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      One of my favourite passages! Thank you for your kind words! Much love! <3

  • Reply
    Joseph Shame Japeth Lima-lima
    January 3, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    I was never a fan of beauty pageants until Miss World. You showed the world that there is more to beauty pageants and it is very good and refreshing to have representatives like you who wholeheartedly embody the pageant’s purpose. Kudos for the 3rd Princess finish in Miss World and I can’t wait to see what’s next to my Miss World 2016. ? Love you to bits! And I’m still betting on you! ?

  • Reply
    January 3, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks Catriona for always inspiring us in everything you do. WE will always be here to support you. Godbless

  • Reply
    January 3, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    The world (please don’t mind the pun) will be a better place with more people who have your faith, positivity and kind heart. You can never go wrong with kindness. Here’s wishing all your goals and dreams will be fulfilled in 2017 and beyond. I love your blog. You’re the best xx

  • Reply
    Yvonne Wabai
    January 4, 2017 at 3:21 am

    Love, love, love! I wish you all the best Catriona. Much love from Kenya.

  • Reply
    PW Filipinas
    January 4, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    “Just when the CATerpillar thought the WORLD was over, it turned into a B(e)TTERfly! <3 <3 <3

    Keep on burning, shining and radiating positivity on everyone, my dear. We shall always be one with you in your advocacy. Just reach out, call us and we'll be there.

    We love you, and never shall we forget you and all the good things you did for your people and your country. Wishing you all the best moving forward. May this new year bring you good health, good fortune and more happiness than you ever wished for.

    Mabuhay ka, Catriona! We are immensely proud of you.

    Your fan and friend,
    Pageant Watch Philippines

  • Reply
    January 6, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Happy New Year Cat! Wish you all the best? And Happy 23rd birthday. You’re an inspiration to many, keep your torch burning.???

  • Reply
    January 30, 2017 at 10:47 am

    I love you always Catriona. . You’re such an inspiration to us. . Wish you more strength and love to inspire others abd become a torch bearer just like you. . ? You are admired, and will always be.

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