This is an excerpt of this month’s MEGA cover star Catriona Gray and how she’s on the way to adding “musician” to her impressive resume.
She reveals she’s “extremely terrified” because, she’s never realized how vulnerable it is to put your heart out on your sleeve in the form of music.” But words seem to be her forte, so she probably shouldn’t worry. Plus, her background is in music with a degree from Berklee College of Music, the prestigious arts school in Boston. “I really admire songwriters and how they translate their personal experiences and put them into songs,” she says, as she embarks on the journey to claim the title for herself. One songwriter that she looks up to is fellow Filipina Olivia Rodrigo, and the admiration is mutual.
In a social media video that circulated online, the “Good 4 U” singer was seen talking about the “stunning” beauty queen and how she listens to Catriona’s songs. “I swear I died when I saw that. I was so shook,” gushes Catriona, adding, “It’s just so nice to see a Filipina be so successful with her music. If I get the opportunity to meet her one day, that would be amazing.” A collaboration even more so, she says. “That would be really cool, I think I’d die.”
Over the phone, we chat about the importance of representation. On the upcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the first Asian-lead Marvel movie, Catriona muses, “I think it’s really nice that Asian diversity in general is being given that space in Hollywood and in film,” adding that it’s great that younger generations will be able to look at a screen and “feel seen” and “not have this limitation put on them.” Locally, she praises the fact that the MUP pageant recently changed its height requirements to include more body shapes and sizes. Calling it a “wonderful move forward,” she says, “Now in the arena of pageantry young girls and even boys can be represented. Hopefully we keep striding on towards inclusivity.”
She was once that person who didn’t fit the mold ‘til she joined the pageant. Now she’s part of the crusade to break it. With “vulnerable” songs on the way, she’s ready to shatter a different ceiling, one that tends to box women in singulars.
For her, that label is Miss Universe. “Now that it’s three years later, I want to evolve past that. I’m a Miss Universe but also I am…” she says, trailing off, seeming to take in the limitless possibilities she could fill that space with — more titles, more opportunities, more people to help.
She’s only just beginning, really, and her track record proves that she excels in whatever she pivots to. For now, it’s “musician.” “I am looking forward to adding “songwriter” and “performer” to that by the end of the year,” she squeals.
Photography JERICK SANCHEZ
Creative direction JANN PASCUA assisted by NICOLE ALMERO
Fashion direction and styling LYN ALUMNO assisted by CLARISSE FURIO
Beauty Direction TRINA EPILEPSIA BOUTAIN
Makeup JELLY EUGENIO
Hair BRENT SALES
Production Design TIPPING POINT COLLECTIVE
Shoot Coordination ERICA LUNA and LOUIS ESGUERRA
Special thanks to CORNERSTONE ENTERTAINMENT, ERICKSON RAYMUNDO, JEFF VADILLO, LIZ ALVAREZ
Discover the full Louis Vuitton FW21 and Capucines Collections when the LV Philippines flagship store opens in October 2021 at Greenbelt 3.