14 Mar – Former Miss World Philippines and current competitor of the Binibining Pilipinas pageant, Catriona Gray recently defended Miss International Philippines Mariel de Leon following criticisms the latter received for her comments on Gray.
As reported on Inquirer, the backlash sparked recently after de Leon was seen in a clip from "The Road to the Crown" commenting about Gray's interview, in which the pageant contestant talked about being an empath.
In a clip of de Leon commenting on Gray's performance, the beauty queen can be heard saying, "I really love your confidence and the way you speak, but sometimes it seems just a tiny bit scripted."
Her comment sparked criticism from many, with some questioning de Leon's own authority in the matter especially since she failed to place at the previous Miss International 2017.
On 13 March, Gray took to Facebook to defend de Leon, saying, "Hey beautiful people! I know a lot of you watched ["Road To The Crown"] last night shot in the very beautiful Las Casas, Bataan. My sisters and I had so much fun!
"However, I've also noticed that a lot of you have taken a comment given to me during the show in a negative way. Firstly, any advice from our queens is valuable to us Binibinis and I took all of those given to me, in a very constructive way! I always have something to learn and improve on, that's why one of my greatest passions is education!
"Secondly, everyone is entitled to their opinion and although at times you may not favour it, it doesn't give a good reason to turn around and try to hurt others through bullying or bashing.
"Be passionate, but be mindful. Let's cultivate an environment, not just in beauty pageants but in society in general, where we argue like we're right but listen like we're wrong. Debate is healthy, bashing is not. Let's spread love!"
de Leon, who saw the post, responded on her own social media account, saying, "Spectators talk more than the players. See, even she knew it was edited wrong just to stir the pot. That wasn't all that was said. Case closed. All love and positivity from now on."
She later posted another message, saying that the comment was meant to help and uplift, not put anyone down.
(Photo Source: Catriona Gray Instagram)