Who’s who: The trainers, makers behind Catriona Gray’s Miss Universe journey

Rosette Adel (philstar.com) –

BANGKOK, Thailand — Miss Universe Catriona Gray received widespread praise for her performance at the pageant but the new titleholder always credits her team for her success.

Prior to the final competition, Gray has been making buzz for her social media presence. Her team released a three-part tourism video titled “This is the Philippines” promoting Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The video also explains her national costume which represented the entire Philippines.

Gray also reaped praises when she walked the runway during the preliminary competition. It made her “Lava walk” and slow-motion turn a social media conversation, sparking memes and impressions.

Through all her success, the 24-year-old Filipina beauty continued to acknowledge her glam and training team.

Meet the trainers, makers behind Gray’s Miss Universe journey in no particular order:

  • Carlos  Buendia Jr. – An architect by profession and choreographer who served as Gray’s mentor as well as creative and concept consultant. He choreographed the famous “Lava” walk.
  • Nicole Cordoves – Miss Grand International 2016 first-runner up who helped train Gray for her question and answer segments as well as her walk.
  • Jojo Bragais– A shoe designer with self-titled label worn by Gray during the final competition. He also designed the knee-high boots with Mindanaoan textile patterns at the national costume competition. Bragais also produced the “This is Philippines” three-part video.
  • Jearson Demavivas – A fashion designer who made Gray’s 16th century Pintado warrior body suit, T’boli accessories and parol pattern design.
  • Mak Tumang– The man behind her iconic evening gowns “Ibong Adarna” and “Mayon” worn during the preliminary and final competitions.
  • Ton Lao, Brent Sales, Jelly Eugenio, Memay Francisco, Jed Jimenez– Styled Gray’s hair and make-up during her Miss Universe journey.
  • Justine Aliman– Stylist who handled overall styling of Gray in her video shoot for “This is the Philippines.”
  • Jojo Luarca  III – The videographer behind “This is the Philippines.”
  • Francis Chee, Vhee Co, Patrick Henry– Fashion and celebrity stylists who helped Gray during her shoots and events.
  • Macky Combe – Designed Gray’s accessories.
  • Ardel Presentacion– Designed the textile pattern of Gray’s national costume.
  • Harley Tan– A talent manager who help handles Gray during shoots.
  • Mimi Reyes– Gray’s nail artist.
  • Momoi Supe – Beautifies Gray’s eyebrows
  • Tessera Jewelry – Co-designer of Gray’s patriotic ear cuff called “Alab and Dangal”
  • Erickson Raymundo – Talent manager and producer from Cornerstone Entertainment, Spring films and Palaya farm, helped Gray in the release of her single “Where in this together.”
  • Empire Dental Lounge– Official dentist clinic of Gray during her Miss Universe competition journey
  • The Aivee Clinic– Helps take care of Gray’s skin
  • Eric Quiwa– Parol or Christmas Lantern Maker for Gray’s national costume
  • Rhyann Andrade– LED Lighting Designer and Installer for Gray’s national costume
  • Xiao Chua– historical and cultural consultant for Gray’s national costume
  • Kim Fababair, Marina Ceriola, Renee Avila – Helped in the Carlos “Botong” Francisco Mural inspired painting for Gray’s national costume
  • Tomas Ramirez– Helped in the Philippine Baroque Church Design Inspired Border Design (made and designed from Apalit, Pampanga- coordinated by Mak Tumang) for Gray’s national costume

In 2016, Gray was mentored by Jonas Gaffud of Aces and Queens for her Miss World stint, where she finished in the top 5 spot.

Gaffud was also the mentor of Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.