Catriona Gray on pageant jitters: I just had fun

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 20) — Newly-crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray shared the secret to her stellar performance at the Binibining Pilipinas pageant Sunday night.

In an instagram post on Monday, the beauty queen revealed despite the high-pressure environment onstage, she never got nervous and just had fun with the competition.

"After months of preparation and guidance and prayers, I kept waiting for a wave of nerves to hit me but it never came. Maybe it was God's gift to me that night, or maybe I just knew I had done everything to be ready, now it was just time for me to enjoy and have fun," she said.

Catriona, an early crowd favorite, bagged the coveted Miss Universe Philippines 2018 title at the Binibining Pilipinas pageant, in addition to a slew of other special prizes.

Fresh from her win, the new Miss Universe Philippines shared how thrilled she is to represent her country.

"Just to think that Im going to be able to say Catriona Gray… PHILIPPINES gives me the chills all over again," she said.

Gray, however, also acknowledged she couldn't have made it on her own.

From her pageant team to her co-candidates, Gray thanked all those who dedicated their time to helping her achieve the "once in a lifetime opportunity."

"How do I begin to thank all of the beautiful souls who have been so generous and kind with their time, effort and resources? Truly, I would not have been able to realise this dream without you all," she said.

After months of preparation and guidance and prayers, I kept waiting for a wave of nerves to hit me but it never came. Maybe it was God's gift to me that night, or maybe I just knew I had done everything to be ready, now it was just time for me to enjoy and have fun. Just to think that Im going to be able to say Catriona Gray,,,PHILIPPINES gives me the chills all over again. How do I begin to thank all of the beautiful souls who have been so generous and kind with their time, effort and resources? Truly, I would not have been able to realise this dream without you all. To Madam SMA and BPCI executive committee thank you for this once in a lifetime oppertunity. To Sir Gines, Ms Liliana, Ate Jems, Kuya Jun and the rest of the black boys of BBP, thank you for an amazing experience over these last few weeks and for looking after me and all of my sisters! To my angels who have dedicated their passion to training me but wish to be anonymous, you have transformed my stage performance. Thank you to the moon and back for all of your time, effort and especially friendship. To kuya @ton_lao, @harleybarleyy and @bragaisjojo for taking me under your wing. To be surrounded by amazing people like you through the craziness that has been this competition has been both reassuring and uplifting. To mamang @hairbybrentsales, @jellyeugenio @memayfrancisco, @momoisupe and @mimsqiu for making me glow throughout the competition. To @jearsond and @maktumang what an amazing experience it is to collaborate with such talented artists!!! Thank you for your amazing talent and making me feel like a queen. To my family, my love @clintbondad and my friends for always being there to support me and give me strength. Special shout out to my sister @sandralemonon who kept me sane throughout. Lastly to my #Catrionians what an amazing journey we've been on. Through the highs and lows you've never left my side. For your love, dedication and ceaseless support...I'm am forever grateful that you've chosen me as your queen. This is all for you. Let's do this. Love your Miss Universe Philippines, 2018. (Ayyyy,) #CatrionaGrayMUP2018

A post shared by Catriona Gray (@catriona_gray) on

Gray was also full of thanks for her fans, the Catrionans, for being with her throughout the "amazing journey."

"Through the highs and lows you've never left my side. For your love, dedication and ceaseless support...I'm am forever grateful that you've chosen me as your queen," she said.

Prior to winning Miss Universe Philippines, the 24-year-old stunner was also crowned Miss World Philippines in 2016.

She finished in the top 5 of the Miss World competition.