Featured image credit: Mak Tumang
Today on 9 December 2019, Filipinos from all over the world tuned in to Miss Universe 2019 as we rooted for our gorgeous candidate, Gazini Ganados, and of course, Catriona Gray who reigned supreme as Miss Universe 2018! While Gazini’s journey ended with her in the Top 20, all of us waited with bated breaths until we witnessed Catriona’s final walk and message as Miss Universe 2018. Like a true queen, Catriona Gray gracefully bowed out in a stunning and sparkling cerulean gown!
Her long-time Filipino designer, Mak Tumang, took to Instagram to explain the inspiration for the gown he calls Reflection.
View this post on Instagram
“REFLECTION” (Philippine Eagle mirrors itself on the SEA) The creation’s inspiration stems from the vision of the Philippine Eagle flying over the flawless turquoise seas embracing our archipelago. Despite its mighty ability to soar up high far beyond the clouds, it could still manage to look down until the point of reflecting itself on the shiny waters. This display of both might & humility is the call each of us heeds. As a nation, we are to have a steadfast spirit yet we also take a moment to journey within ourselves. By doing so, we could be able to mirror the beauty that is within us, to mirror what is true and just and to mirror the light which illuminates our path. Silay; to mirror, Pagbubulay; to introspect – the Filipino nation’s moment of reflection!
What inspired the gown
Allow me to break down Mak Tumang’s post. Reflection was inspired by two things: the Philippine Eagle and the turquoise seas of the Philippine archipelago.
The Philippine Eagle is a monkey-eating eagle, hence one of the largest and most powerful raptors in the world. Magnificent as our national eagle is, it has sadly become an endangered species, which makes a Philippine Eagle sighting all the more precious. On the other hand, the turquoise seas of the Philippines need no introduction (see Boracay and Palawan!).
What the gown symbolises
When it came to Catriona’s blue studded gown, Tumang envisioned the Philippine Eagle flying close to the Philippine sea. Close enough, in fact, to be able to see its own reflection despite its ability to fly higher than the clouds. The moment Catriona came out wearing Reflection likewise symbolised every Filipino’s moment of introspection in spite of his or her strength.
Catriona’s victory a year ago was a call to humility, and it was only fitting that she wore a gown which mirrored this Filipino value as she passed the crown to Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa!
As always, the creative tandem of Catriona Gray and Mak Tumang never disappoints! During Catriona’s campaign as Miss Universe, they both came up with the best pageant gowns, each one of them telling the story of the Filipino people in the most creative and enchanting ways!
Congratulations to Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa for being crowned Miss Universe 2019! We can’t wait to discover her fashion sensibilities too!