Four years since she competed in Miss Earth 2018, Filipino-Italian beauty Celeste Cortesi is back, this time as the country’s representative in the Miss Universe 2022 pageant scheduled end of the year.
In a tight competition between her, Miss World Philippines 2019 Michelle Dee, Miss Universe Philippines 2020 3rd runner-up Pauline Amelinckx, heavy favorite Annabelle McDonnell, and Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas Katrina Llegado, Celeste proved to the Filipinos that she deserves a second chance to represent the country on the international stage.
Celeste Cortesi: I am ready for it
The moment she announced that she was joining Miss Universe Philippines, Celeste created a stir among pageant fans. She was without a doubt one of the faces of this year’s batch, but people questioned whether her attitude has changed, a factor that was allegedly an issue with her stint as a Miss Earth Philippines titleholder.
During the informal press presentation in March, Celeste was asked what has changed since she took a step back from pageantry. She said that, unlike the first time she competed, she can speak both English and Filipino, two languages she struggled with having grown up in Italy all her life.
“I am ready for it now. When I came here, I was joining another pageant. I was still adapting to the culture of the Filipinos, the mindset, and also the language. I wasn’t able to speak English. But I am here today because I am ready for it. I am ready to commit to a new crown. And I think people will really be surprised I prepared a lot. I really trained, ” she said.
In her two interviews with the Qrown Philippines, Celeste showed the improvement she mentioned. It was clear that there was so much wisdom and maturity. Her experience as a real estate broker helped.
Check out the interviews below.
Celeste was ready to show the improvement in the most crucial parts of the competition; the preliminary interview and competition.
Acing the most important parts of the competition
At the preliminary competition, it was clear that Celeste was not just about beauty. She was a performer thanks to her Miss Philippines Earth experience. She sashayed the stage at The Cove in a swimsuit that screamed sexy and classy and the white Val Taguba gown was classic.
But the interview was where she showed her improvement in personality. Despite technical problems, she went on answering questions thrown to her by MUPH Communications Director Voltaire Tayag, which can be heard in the clip below.
Rocking Mall of Asia Arena
During the finals on Saturday, April 30, the pendulum at one point kept on swaying in different directions. Celeste was favorite to win by many pageant fans, bloggers, and even the media for her prelim performance. She even won the Best in Swimsuit Award. But when Michelle Dee won the Best in Evening Gown and the all-important Q and A came, some people wondered if the tides have changed.
But despite this, Celeste rocked MOA. Representing Pasay was an advantage since the arena was in the city she represents and a lot of her fans were present. When she came out during the opening, it was like she was destined to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel.
After being called as part of the Top 16, Celeste wasted no time and showed why she was on fire, walking in a dark blue swimsuit and her gown by Val Taguba.
Celeste would make it to the Top 10, where she was interviewed by Pia Wurtzbach, and would later make it to the Top 5. It was one last round.
The question that sealed her destiny
During the final question, Celeste was asked What if time stopped, what would she do. She answered that she would like to visit her family back in Italy.
“If I could stop time, I would spend it with my family, especially my mother. It’s been two years that I [haven’t seen] my family because they live in Italy and I just came to the Philippines just by myself. So if I had a chance to spend one day, I would definitely be with my mom and I would just tell her how much I love her and miss her.”
And minutes before May 1, Silvia Celeste Cortesi was crowned as the new Miss Universe Philippines, succeeding Beatrice Luigi Gomez.
Celeste will be busy with various interviews and preparations to snatch the 5th Miss Universe crown for the country. It’s a daunting task but now, not only has she redeemed herself to Filipino fans but emerged as one of the girls to watch out for on the international stage in the next few months.
Photos by Jonathan Santos, Alecs Ongcal, and Miss Universe Philippines