Miss Philippines Catriona Gray crowned as Miss Universe 20018, Manita from Nepal stood till Top Ten

Miss Philippines Catriona Gray crowned Miss Universe 2018 in Bangkok. image source: edition.cnn.com | Fox/Getty Images

The Olympics of Pageantry named as Miss Universe has completed its 67th season in a grand way and among the 94 global beauties Miss Nepal Universe 2018 Manita Devkota had proudly completed the event being till in the semifinal phase of the competition and stood as one of the top ten semi-finalists.

This is only the second appearance from Nepal at Miss Universe after Nagma Shrestha made debut in the event in the year 2017. With this successful journey accomplished by Manita Devkota in Miss Universe pageant, this now can be termed as a historic achievement in the very second appearance from Nepalese lass at the pageant.

The grand coronation of 67th edition of Miss Universe pageant was showcased at IMPACT Arena, Exhibition and Convention Center, located in Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi Province, a northern suburb of Bangkok, Thailand. Among the 94 global beauties, the race for the search of a confidently beautiful lady with a heart beautifully came to the end after Catriona Gray from Philippines was been crowned as the new queen for the pageant.

The journey of Miss Universe 2018 moved with several cuts from all 94 global beauties. The first one was the top twenty selections. The top twenty were chosen through a closed-door interview and a preliminary competition held prior to the finale.

Miss Universe contestants (L-R) Sophida Kanchanarin of Thailand, H’Hen Nie of Vietnam, Manita Devkota of Nepal, Catriona Gray of Philippines and Tamaryn Green of South Africa stand together after being selected as top 20 candidates. image source: edition.cnn.com | LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images

The continental format having five from Europe, five from the Americas, five from Africa and Asia-Pacific, and five wild card entrants proceeded to Top 20. Among them beauties Curacao, Costa Rica, Canada, Puerto Rico and Jamaica made to Top 20 from the Americas while from Europe ladies from Poland, Belgium, Great Britain, Hungary and Ireland made to Top 20.

Likewise, from Asia Pacific and Africa including Manita Devkota from Nepal and beauties from South Africa, Philippines, Nepal, Vietnam and Thailand were spotted at Top 20. The wildcard entrants in the round were from USA, Venezuala, Indonesia, Brazil and Australia.

The top 20 were asked to share a 15 second statement about themselves. This statement included the words what they wanted the World know about them. This is what Manita said: ‘I see myself as a pioneer. I’m a first-generation immigrant and college graduate. That fact alone has made me value my dreams and feel empowered. I now work to empower the girls in my community who face menstrual health challenges by providing them health training, solutions, and health education.’

After the performances from Top 20, the second cut of Miss Universe 2018 came up and the number of ladies combating for the prestigious title award decreased to ten. The top ten for Miss Universe 2018 were Tamaryn Green from South Africa, H’Hen Nie from Vietnam, Sthefany Gutierrez from Venezuela, Catriona Gray from Philippines, Natalia Carvajal from Costa Rica, Akisha Albert Curacao, Manita Devkota from Nepal, Marta Magdalena Stepien from Canada, Sophida Kanchanarin from Thailand and Kiara Ortega from Puerto Rico. The ten semi finalists then performed in both the swimsuit and evening gown portions of the competition and then judges picked up the top five.

The Top five finalists competed in the Q & A portion where the top five answered separate questions on socially relevant topics, from press freedom, to marijuana legalization, to feminism, Me Too movement, to Refugees. From this, the final cut came where top 3 ladies were announced, Catriona Gray from Philippines, Tamaryn Green from South Africa and Sthefany Gutierrez from Venezuela shared their final words before deciding the new queen for Miss Universe. The top 3 each were asked the same question, as the other two finalists were asked to wear noise-canceling headphones during.

Among the top 3 finalists the words from Catriona Gray from Philippines impressed the most and she earned the crown of 67th edition of Miss Universe. Tamaryn Gray from South Africa was positioned as first runner-up while Sthefany Gutierrez from Venezuela completed as second runner-up.

The final question been asked was:
Question: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life, and how would you apply it to your time as Miss Universe?
The answer that made Catriona Gray (Philippines) as Miss Universe 2018: ‘I work a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila, and the life there is very poor and very sad. I’ve always taught myself to look for the beauty in it, to look for the beauty in the faces of the children, and to be grateful. I would bring this aspect as a Miss Universe to see situations with a silver lining, and to assess where I could give something, where I could provide something as a spokesperson. If I could teach also people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster, and children would have a smile on their face. Thank you.’

Catriona Gray of the Philippines waves to the audience after being crowned during the final round of the 67th Miss Universe competition in Bangkok. image source: washingtonpost.com | Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP

Manita Devkota who made a historic achievement at Miss Universe 2018 is 23 years of age and stands five feet eight inches tall. Born in Gorkha where she spent most of her childhood and then migrated to North Carolina to pursue her higher studies. Devkota is been living in North Carolina, United States.

Manita has completed her Public Health Degree from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina where was been on the Dean’s list for seven semesters straight. She is an Ambassador of Women’s Health at Days for Girls International. She is been working to change the stigmas and obstacles that women and girls in face during their menstruation.

In her leisure, Manita loves cooking Asian cuisines, travelling, hiking and reading novels. She aspires to be an attorney to help women in regards to health and women’s rights.

Earlier in Miss Universe 2018 during one of the occasions of Manita Devkota has been successful to raise the highest money during charity auction. She raised the highest money worth 310.000 Baht approximately 9,500 dollars. In the charity auction Manita presented Buddhist shadow box that was been designed by Kayo Studio and Swarna Maharaja.

Other than her performances on preliminary sessions of swim suit and evening gown Manita’s national costume was also successful to create the buzz.

The costume was themed from the ensemble of Goddess Avalokitesvara. It is believed that Goddess Avalokitesvara is the perfect picture of grace, calm, forgiveness and power.

She guards the world in the interval between the departure of the historical Buddha and the appearance of the future Buddha. The costume was been designed by Nepamode, the head gear and accessories by Royal Vitaya.

::: written by Rojin Shakya, recipient of best entrepreneur in multi task personality of the year award 2018 at International Prestige Brand awards :::