Filipina mixed martial artist Rome “The Rebel” Trinidad has a newfound inspiration in Catriona Gray, who was crowned Miss Universe 2018 last Monday, 17 December in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 24-year-old Filipina beauty queen bested 93 other candidates from all over the world, standing out for her signature “lava” catwalk, which made headlines in the news around the globe and trended on social media.
“Catriona is truly an inspiration for us women. She is a living proof that anything is possible through hard work,” Trinidad said.
A familiar face in the Philippine modelling world, Gray is also a martial artist, singer, and advocate of free education and HIV/AIDS awareness.
Touted by both casual and long-time pageant followers as a shoo-in for the crown, she represented the Philippines in the Miss World 2016 pageant but failed to bag the crown, settling for Top Five.
Two years later, Gray won the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 trinket, making her the country’s delegate to Miss Universe 2018.
Gray’s impact to women is undeniable as it motivates the likes of Trinidad to go the extra mile when it comes to chasing her dream.
“She didn’t give up on her dream. Failures didn’t stop her to reach for her ultimate goal. It is empowering to have a fellow Filipina like Catriona Gray,” she stated.
“We belong to a totally different kind of fields, but seeing her succeed boosts my morale and inspires me to pursue my dreams just like her.”
2018 has been a big year for the Philippines, especially in the world of combat sports, where six of its celebrated athletes copped gold on the international stage.
Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao claimed the WBA Welterweight World Championship, stopping Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in the seventh round last July.
Meanwhile, the Philippines established the unprecedented record of most mixed martial arts world title wins in the history of ONE Championship this 2018, courtesy of Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio, Joshua Pacio and Brandon Vera.
Trinidad, a professional model before she ventured into the mixed martial arts scene, is more motivated now than ever after witnessing how far the Philippines has gone in 2018.
She believes that hard work is in a Filipino’s DNA, commending her countrymen for the tremendous amount of effort and dedication that they exerted in their respective fields.
“Seeing the Philippines excel in the worlds of boxing, mixed martial arts and beauty pageant is a big motivation,” Trinidad shared.
“Our boxing hero Manny Pacquiao became a world champion again this year. In mixed martial arts, the country ended the year with five ONE World Champions. To top it off, Catriona Gray was crowned Miss Universe 2018.”
Trinidad was last seen in action this past May when she took on Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol ONE: GRIT & GLORY, yielding to the Indonesian hometown hero by way of first-round submission.
Although her 2018 did not turn out the way she wanted it to be, the nation’s banner year in combat sports and beauty pageant fuels Trinidad to strive even harder as she aims to carve her own success story next year.
“2018 proved to be a year of success for the Philippines. I am drawing inspiration from that success as I open a new chapter in 2019. Like them, I am not giving up. I will be back stronger than ever,” she vowed.