Catriona Gray: My advocacies will continue even during Miss Universe reign

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 9) — As Catriona Gray eases into her role as Miss Universe 2018, the Filipino beauty queen said she will pursue her advocacy to a wider audience.

Speaking to CNN Philippines Newsroom Wednesday, Gray said, "Now being a Miss Universe, I have this huge audience and being able to spread the messages of my advocacy, my causes, what's near to my heart, what's dear to my heart, it just gives me so much fulfillment that I've been given this platform."

Gray said she is learning "every step of the way."

She added she wanted to continue working with Young Focus Philippines and Love Yourself Philippines, while also lending her voice to other organizations around the world.

"At the core of it, education or awareness and educating people and breaking down stigma, those are just similarities in both of my causes and I feel like there's so much work to be done," she said.

Gray said she would love to visit places that have succeeded in addressing these issues and replicate best practices locally.

A dream come true

Gray described her situation as a dream realized.

Speaking to CNN Philippines anchor Ruth Cabal, Gray said, "It really feels official now. It really feels like its really sunk in that I am Miss Universe 2018."

Gray was crowned on December 17 in Thailand, besting 93 other contestants. She is the fourth Filipina to win the title.

Despite a schedule that has seen her moving from the Philippines to the U.S. where she will be based throughout her reign, Gray is thankful to those who continue to support her.

"I am so happy that I am given this amazing platform and to see all of the Filipinos, all of the fans are still supporting in the journey, they're still alsongside by me," she said.

She cited the Miss Universe Organization which has made her move to New York smooth.

READ: Catriona Gray: 'I'll forever be your Miss Philippines'

Gray also revealed she spent a "very, very quiet holiday season" with her family, adding, aoart from seeing her parents in Thailand, she had not seen her parents since March because she was busy preparing for the pageant.

"It was really nice to have that time and the Miss Universe Organization allowed me to stay in the Philippines, but I'm really looking forward to homecoming because I really haven't celebrated with the Filipinos yet," she said.