Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met up with newly crowned Miss Universe 2018, Catriona Magnayon Gray, to celebrate his recent victory, comparing his success to that of boxing legend Manny Pacquiao.
The two met at Villamor Air Force Base in Pasay City on Dec. 20, after Gray's victory in the beauty contest held three days earlier in Bangkok, Thailand, where the 24-year-old Filipino-Australian won 93 other candidates from around the world world to win the crown.
"They exchanged kindness. He thanked her for bringing the crown. He said everyone is euphoric about their victory. " a presidential spokesman said.
"He told her that she made all Filipinos proud."
Duterte compared Gray's victory to the boxing matches of Senator Manny Pacquiao in the Philippines, saying that the pair inspired "The intense and robust support of millions of Filipinos."
Gray is the fourth Filipino to win the contest title, alongside Gloria Diaz, Margarita Moran and Pia Wurtzbach, who won in 1969, 1973 and 2015, respectively.
"It was really all joke. The president gave some jokes, with which Gray also only joked. They barely even realized the time " a source at the meeting told The Star.
"It was a very jovial meeting. They were laughing a lot.
The two parted as Duterte left for a Christmas party he had arranged for the wounded soldiers in action. Gray's official return has not yet been announced.
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