TACLOBAN CITY -- Typhoon Yolanda survivors lauded Miss Philippines Catriona Gray for using the Pintados pattern during the Miss Universe 2018 national costume show in Pattaya, Thailand Monday night.
In her Facebook post Tuesday, Gray said she picked the pattern of tattoo or Pintados in her costume as it “represents an individual’s journey” arising from life’s challenges.
“The tattoos represent an individual’s journey and a public testimony recounting acts of combat, bravery, and strength that perfectly represents the courageous and resilient Filipino spirit amidst trials we face in this day and age,” Gray said in her video post that attracted over 75,000 viewers with nearly 3,000 shares as of Tuesday morning.
Pintados is the term used by Spanish colonists to describe the tattooed indigenous Visayan people.
Every June, Leyte province celebrates the Pintados Festival, a cultural-religious celebration based on the body-painting traditions of the ancient tattooed pintados warriors.
With the aim of representing the country’s diverse cultures, the Philippines’ bet to Miss Universe put together elements identified with the country’s three groups of islands such as a gigantic parol backpiece (Luzon), a nude bodysuit with intricate Pintados pattern (Visayas), and handmade brass accessories and T’boli headdress (Mindanao).
“After learning of a survivor’s story when I walked around the streets of Tacloban, I saw everyone in the new light and that they are not just ordinary people but survivors. I wondered to myself how is it that they could lose so much but still find the reason to keep going. How is it like they could be dealt such an unfair hand in life but still forward to tomorrow?” Gray asked on her video.
“So maybe I thought the answer could lie in the history of Leyte. In giving the chance to represent the culture of the Philippines internationally, authenticity is really important thing to me. We consulted different historians and also we were able to have conversation with local tattoo artist Dante Enage,” she added.
Netizen Francis Tolibas thanked the beauty queen for featuring the resilience of the people of Tacloban and the rich Pintados tradition of the Visayas.
“You could have chosen to highlight the Sinulog, Ati-Atihan or any other equally interesting facet of Visayan history and culture, but you have chosen the most compelling story of Yolanda survivors to showcase the courage, grit and will to live of people of Tacloban and Visayas,” Tolibas said.
Magazine editor Aaron Almadro thanked Gray for honoring the victims of the country’s strongest typhoon that flattened Tacloban and Leyte province on Nov. 8, 2013.
“Thank you Catriona Gray for mentioning and acknowledging about the 20,000 plus loved ones that Yolanda took away from us, including both my parents. We are with you on your fight!” Almadro said.
The coronation of Miss Universe 2018, the 67th edition of the pageant, will be held at Impact, Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok, Thailand on Dec. 17. (PNA)
Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Philstar