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This is day 2 of the 10 day writing challenge.

On December 17, 2018 the Philippines, represented by Catriona Gray, won the Miss Universe. This award happened just two years after Pia Wurtzbach represented the Philippines and won the same title in 2016. Overall, the Philippines in total have won four Miss Universe titles and have been runner up countless times as well as received special awards. Many people around world may think that these are very minor accomplishments; however, many people especially in the Filipino communities everywhere across the globe take great meaning which promotes pride in their country and international recognition for kindness and hard work. And so you can see how the Miss Universe Title promotes much more beyond national pride such as reverence for a country that so desperately needs economic and social improvement and puts on display life lessons that the can be taught to the rest of the world.

Catriona Gray representing the Philippines on her lava color gown as she is also known for herfamous "lava walk". Photo courtesy of Philippine Star

Indeed ever since this win, the Philippines has been a hot topic in world wide headlines and social media. In trending news, the current government is being recognized throughout the world for the steps they have taken to move the Philippines toward a more hopeful future, although not without some controversy that has captured the attention of the world. Examples of these events include killing notorious drug criminals, firing a large percentage of corrupt policemen, long term closure of tourist destinations for cleaning up and many more.

For many years, the Filipinos has been looked down by many other nations as a third-world country that would likely to do anything for any other nation to have a little change in their lives. Many Overseas Filipino Workers (also referred as OFW) in the Middle East and Southeast Asia have suffered extensive domestic violence. Due to many factors including but limited to the slavery mentality, many of these victims are not willing to stand up for themselves in fear of losing their jobs and their ability to work abroad to send money to their love ones back home. At least with a little recognition, these people who suffer can finally have a little pride and new inspiration to fight for themselves. Filipinos have to be recognized for their natural talents, improvements of the country, and what many Filipinos go through life.

For centuries, the Philippines was enslaved by different countries resulting in a country in poverty and people carrying the scars of slavery passed on through the generations. The country declared independence in 1898 which did not lead to maximal freedom because of corrupt government and all the debts that the country got into. This resulted in many people suffering from hardships in life including shortage of employment. Because of the comfort that other wealthier countries could provide, it urged many Filipinos to travel, work or migrate abroad. Eventually FIlipino communities in Canada, USA, United Kingdom and many more have grown, making the Philippines a country that has spread all over the globe.

When the Philippines was announced the winner of Miss Universe 2018, this shook the Filipino global community. The theme that Catriona answered in the contest was about an important lesson of positive attitude despite widespread poverty in the Philippines. This is the same theme that most FIlipinos have been working on, if not defeat, at least move on from the mentality of being slaves. It is now time for the Philippines and its people to amplify the improvements as a strong nation through a positive mindset.

Among these and others, there are many lessons that this event can teach us but three more lessons that stand out. First is the winning answer of Catriona about having a positive mindset in the middle of poverty. For many, Filipinos are known for having a positive outlook in life. One can describe them as people who smile and laugh a lot, even when things are hard. According to Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), the Philippines go through 20 major typhoons every year leaving about $20 million in damages. While this is a very sad reality of the Philippines, the Filipinos spirit get stronger and they stay humble. While Catriona has gone through countless rejections, this is the same lesson that we can learn from her victory. Secondly, we can also learn that she worked hard to achieve her goals and had a clear vision of what she wanted to do in life. Having a strong focus on what we want to achieve in life is very important. Thirdly, although she did not make herself to be too confident in winning, she worked with an attitude of doing her best. These are the lessons that a nation can teach the world.

In conclusion, for many Filipinos, Ms. Philippines winning the Miss Universe title for 2018 means a lot. This opens a gateway for more international recognition, improvements of the country and most importantly, the positive attitude that many Filipinos radiates around the world. I hope upon my publication of this blogpost, the world will pay more respect and learn from the Filipinos.

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