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Fil-Italian model wins Miss Universe Philippines 2022, hopes to inspire with feat

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
Fil-Italian model wins Miss Universe Philippines 2022, hopes to inspire with feat
Filipino-Italian beauty Celeste Cortesi of Pasay City is crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2022 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. —Photos from Miss Universe Philippines Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — Clad in powder blue evening gown, Filipino-Italian beauty Celeste Cortesi of Pasay City was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2022 on Saturday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. She will be representing the Philippines on the global stage in December.

The crowd at the venue went wild when her name was called as the new queen and she bested 31 other candidates.

She was an early fan favorite and consistently included in the top picks by various pageant websites.

The 24-year-old stunner is a model who previously represented the Philippines in the Miss Earth 2018 where she finished in the Top 8.

Cortesi also bagged major awards during the coronation night, including Best in Swimsuit and Miss Photogenic.

Prior to this, she received the Miss Havana and Miss Aqua awards at the preliminary competition.

Her predecessor, Beatrice Luigi Gomez, who placed Top 5 at the Miss Universe 2021 finals, passed the crown to her in suit, a first for the national pageant.

One of the hosts, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, asked Cortesi during the question and answer portion, “If you could stop time for a day, how would you spend it?”

“If I could stop time, I would spend it with my family, especially my mother. It’s been two years since I spent time with my family in Italy and I just came here by myself. So, if I have a chance to spend one day, I would be with my mom and tell her how much I love her and miss her,” she replied.

In a separate statement, Cortesi further shared that while she was on stage, she was only thinking of her parents.

“The strength I got from them is indescribable. I’ve worked so hard for this, I’ve prepared. And I let God do the rest in knowing that whatever is meant for me will never pass me by.

“I’ve grown so much since I came to the Philippines five years ago and I really promised myself that I would only join a pageant if ready to take the responsibility of a crown, and I am now.

“Yesterday, I received my second chance and I am beyond honored and grateful to be able to represent my country in the Miss Universe stage.

“I hope that with my story I can inspire so many to never give up on their dreams because (through) hard work, perseverance and faith you can achieve anything you want,” she added.

Meanwhile, completing the list of Top 5 winners were: Michelle Dee of Makati City (Miss Universe Philippines - Tourism), Pauline Amelinckx of Bohol (Miss Universe Philippines – Charity), Annabelle Mae McDonnell of Misamis Oriental (first runner-up), and Ma. Katrina Llegado of Taguig (second runner-up).

Ilocos Sur’s Jewel Alexandria Pacat was named Miss Friendship while Haliya –inspired costume worn by Albay’s Julia Calleja Saubier was Best in National Costume.

Also a crowd favorite and the daughter of Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez, Dee snagged the Best in Evening Gown award and got the most special awards during the preliminary competition, including Miss Kumuniverse, Miss Creamsilk, Face of Essentials by Belo, Miss Jojo Bragais, Miss Savepoint, and Miss The Medical City.

Earlier, Amelinckx was awarded Frontrow Choice Queen and Special MG Miss Extraordinary Award while Llegado received the Miss Philippine Airlines and Miss CAD awards.

On the other hand, here is the list of other special awards during the preliminaries: Ivylou Borbon of Pangasinan (Luxxeslim Fitness Queen); Angelica Lopez of Palawan (Queen Majestic); Danielle Arielle Camcam of San Juan (Miss Coins.PH); Isabel Luche of Mandaue (Miss Jewel8mer); Gillian De Mesa of Nueva Vizcaya (Miss Smile Apparel); Chantal Schmidt of Cebu City (Miss Cavaso); and Lou Piczon of Cebu Province (Miss Okada).

Rounding up the Top 16 were: De Mesa, Lopez, Pacat, Piczon, Saubier, Schmidt, Jona Sweett of Aklan, Vanessa Ann Caro of Iloilo Province, Ghenesis Latugat of Baguio City, Dorothy Gemillan of Iloilo City, and Sonja Jeyn Tanyag of Laguna.

Aside from Wurtzbach, the other hosts were Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere and Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Tebow.

The artists who performed during the coronation night included: Morissette Amon, Jim Bales, Bamboo, Sam Concepcion, Francisco Martin, EZ Mil, and Arthur Nery.

Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu was also among the judges.

MISS UNIVERSE PHILIPPINES

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