After Mariel de Leon's critique of Catriona Gray's 'scripted' answer, the beauty queens settle the matter
Miss International Philippines 2017 Mariel de Leon is known for her unabashed and unapologetic way of speaking out about issues close to her heart, whether it’s about the war on drugs under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, or her disappointment over Mocha Uson’s appointment as President Communications Operations Office (PCOO) assistant secretary.
Recently, however, de Leon received flak for her comments about Catriona Gray, one of the hopefuls this Binibining Pilipinas 2018. Gray has represented the country back in 2016 as Miss World Philippines in 2016, finishing third runner-up in the prestigious pageant, thus propelling her to take a shot at another crown — this time, in Binibining Pilipinas.
In the Bininibing Pilipinas shoot of “The Road to the Crown” in Las Casas, Bataan, Sunday, the candidates were subjected to an interview by a selected panel which de Leon sat in. Gray was found saying in the interview that her strength is being an empath, as shown in an Instagram video uploaded a day ago by missSphilippines (@misssphilippines), an fan account of the Binibining Pilipinas.
“My strength is that I’m an empath,” said Gray in the interview. “I feel everything very strongly and I find that when I sing through music it helps me connect to people.”
Meanwhile, de Leon commented on Gray’s answer, saying, “I really love your confidence and the way you speak, but sometimes it seems just a tiny bit scripted.”
Apparently, de Leon’s “scripted” comment about Gray’s way of speaking did not go well, as the clip went viral on social media and de Leon was subjected to criticism and bashing online.
She took to her Twitter account last March 11 and said, “If you’re not open to constructive criticism, then you’re not open to truly growing as a person. And yes, there is a difference between constructive criticism (to help someone grow) and bashing.”
She then followed it with another tweet yesterday, saying, “I believe what fans say or do to others are a reflection of the person they admire/are rooting for. Remember that.”
The unfortunate incident compelled Gray to take to social media last night to explain her side.
“Hey beautiful people! I know a lot of you watched #RoadToTheCrown last night shot in the very beautiful Las Casas, Bataan. My sisters and I had so much fun,” wrote Gray on her official Facebook account.
“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!”
Image: Facebook/Catriona Gray
Gray further wrote that she always has something to learn and improve on, and that’s why one of her greatest passions is education. She also reminded her fans that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and although at times these may not be favored, it doesn’t give anyone a reason to turn around and 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!” she wrote.
De Leon also acknowledged on her Twitter last night, too, that the video was edited wrong just to stir the pot: “Spectators talk more than the players. See, even she knew it was edited wrong just to stir the pot. That’s wasn’t all that was said. Case closed. All love & positivity from now on.”
To put an end to the misunderstanding, de Leon addressed the issue via her Instagram page at midnight, expressing it was unfortunate people misconstrued her statement as something negative when she was coming from a good place with good intentions: “It was meant to help and uplift, not put anyone down.”
Katarina Rodriguez, Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental 2017 and first runner-up in Miss Intercontinental 2017, also took to Twitter last night to her friend de Leon.
“She is my friend and I will defend her. You don’t need to like her but at least respect her. Yung intentions niya hindi naman masama (She had good intentions),” wrote Rodriguez. “Mariel wanted to help Catriona, is all.” JB