‘Philippines’ crossed out in Aussie newspaper’s Catriona Gray headline

December 19, 2018 - 2:03 PM
Miss Philippines Catriona Gray is crowned Miss Universe during the final round of the Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok, Thailand, December 17, 2018. (Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha)

Some media outlets in Australia shared the credit with the Philippines on the win of Miss Universe Catriona Gray.

Hit, an Australia-based radio network published a story titled “An Australian Girl Just Won Miss Universe But She Wasn’t Miss Australia” after the coronation night of the Miss Universe pageant on December 17.

From Hit Network Australia
(Screenshot from Hit Network)

“So while she is most definitely Filipino, she’s also Australian!” part of the post said.

It also congratulated Francesca Hung, Australia’s own representative, for making it to the top 20 finalists of the pageant.

“We’re so proud of our Aussie girls!” Hit Network said.

The Courier Mail, a tabloid newspaper, made a stronger claim when it playfully crossed out the name of the Philippines and replaced it with “Queensland” in the headline on its front page.

Catriona Gray on the Courier Mail's front page
Catriona Gray on the Courier Mail’s front page on Dec. 18, 2018. (Courier Mail via Newseum)

Screenshots of both articles were shared in a collage photo on the entertainment Facebook page of PGAG Philippines.

Some Australian publications want a piece of the Ms. Universe win? What do you think?To be fair, Catriona Gray grew up in Australia.#MissUniverse #MissPhilippines

Posted by PGAG on Monday, December 17, 2018


In the photo, the page said: “And they say Filipinos love claiming things.” It refers to the practice of Filipinos and Philippines-based media outlets of tracing the local roots of individuals with success stories.

Some Filipinos reacted negatively to the Courier Mail for crossing out the country’s name completely.

Comment on PGAG post of Catriona Gray
(Screenshot from PGAG’s post)

An entertainment website called 9Honey Celebrity also wrote a story about Gray’s win, saying that Australians have the “reason to celebrate” given that the 24-year-old was born in the country.

Catriona Gray’s Australian-born but Filipino in spirit

Like the Philippines, Australia abides by the jus sanguinis or right of blood principle. This means that a person is a citizen of Australia if he or she is born there and at least one of his or her parents is Australian.

Gray is born in the city of Cairns in the state of Queensland in Australia on January 6, 1994. Her father is Scottish-Australian Ian Gray while her mother is Filipino Normita Magnayon Gray from Albay.

In terms of citizenship, Gray is a citizen of both Australia and the Philippines.

She and her parents lived in the Oceanian nation until she finished high school at Trinity Anglican School in Cairns. She then received a certificate in Music Theory from the Berklee College Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

Even if she spent her childhood in Australia, she identified herself as a Filipino.

In 1999, she represented the country in a small children’s pageant in Sydney and won the title Little Miss Philippines. She was only five years old then.

At 18, Gray moved to the Philippines to start her modeling and singing career. She modeled for various brands and sang covers of popular songs on YouTube.

Her first single came out last November titled “We’re in This Together” dedicated to help the children from the slums of Tondo district in Manila fulfill their dreams.