Catriona Gray, this year's bet for the Miss Universe crown, proudly showcased our country's heritage during the pageant's national costume competition last night! Cat put together elements from all three major islands of the Philippines and incorporated them in her costume through a gigantic parol backpiece from Luzon, a nude bodysuit with Pintados patterns from Visayas, and handmade brass accessories and a T'boli headdress from Mindanao.
Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach tweeted this photo a few hours before the competition aired, teasing us with Cat's national costume:
A fan account also posted a prediction of her ensemble early last night:
And finally, Catriona herself tweeted photos of her costume, which is called "LuzViMinda."
The whole ensemble was designed by Jearson Demavivas in collaboration with Carlos Buendia and Jojo Bragais. During an interview with ABS-CBN, Cat said, "We researched it. It was really important to me to make sure na lahat ng aspects ng national costume were authentic. We researched talaga. We consulted historians."
Needless to say, pageant fans on Twitter were completely here for it! While some expressed disappointment because Catriona looks to have struggled wearing the costume down the runway, many were quick to point out that what's important is that the costume was inclusive and represented the entire nation.
Catriona even took to Instagram Live to explain. “I know it would have been nicer if I could have walked better, but I really fell in love with the concept of the parol, and we really wanted it to be authentic, so it was made with every consideration and we used fiber glass…
“It was handmade in Pampanga. And that was the lightest we could get it and I still couldn’t carry it, and that is why we had wheels and that’s what happened.” Check her full explanation on PEP.ph.
Meanwhile, here's what netizens loved about Cat's costume:
The fact that she literally brought the whole PH with her:
Those Baybayin inscriptions!
They translate to: "Lupang hinirang, duyan ka ng magiting/ Sa manlulupig, di ka pasisiil/ Sa dagat at budok, sa simoy at sa langit mong bughaw."
The historical events painted on her parol backpiece:
Graduates from the University of Santo Tomas—Renee Avila, Marina Ceriola, and Kim Fababair—worked on the paintings!
The intricate details on her Pintados bodysuit:
Her stage presence! That costume must have been really heavy.
The Miss Universe coronation night will be held on December 17 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
With additional reporting by the FemaleNetwork.com editors.
This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.