'Patuloy na lalaban': Celeste Cortesi grateful for surprise 'Darna' appearance

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
'Patuloy na lalaban': Celeste Cortesi grateful for surprise 'Darna' appearance
Miss Universe 2022 Celeste Cortesi as the Queen of Marte in the finale episode of "Darna" on February 10, 2023.
Screengrab from Kapamilya Online Live

MANILA, Philippines — Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi caught people by surprise with her unexpected appearance in the series finale of the superhero show "Darna."

Cortesi appeared on the show as Kevnar, The Queen of Marte, and it comes a month after her participation at the Miss Universe 2022 pageant.

The beauty queen wore her own version of the Darna costume for the National Costume segment of the pageant.

"Darna is the ultimate Filipina superhero and part of this country's pop culture. She transforms from an ordinary woman with the help of a white stone, standing up for those who cannot defend themselves," the voiceover said during Cortesi's portion at the time.

Cortesi, however, did not qualify for the Top 16, marking the first time in 12 years that the Philippines did not progress to the Miss Universe semifinals; Filipino-American R'Bonney Gabriel was crowned the winner.

In the "Darna" finale, Cortesi's Kevnar appeared before the show's titular character, played by Jane de Leon, to thank her for her heroism and protection of the planet.

"Nagtagumpay ka sa misyon mo. Tunay kang anak ng magiting na mandirigmang si Zorra, matapang at maaasahan. Nararapat kang maging protektor," Cortesi's character said. "Maraming salamat sa mga sakripisyo mo. Dahil sa ginawa mo, nailigtas mo hindi lang ang mundo, kundi ang buong kalawakan."

Later in an Instagram post, Cortesi reflected on the "new experience and challenge" of participating in "Darna" where — like the heroine herself — she fought and will continue to fight.

"Just like any other challenge, I take it as an opportunity to learn and to grow. It is true that when one door closes, another one opens, it’s all about seizing the moment and being grateful for the chance to work hard and to learn more about myself," said the beauty queen. "Here is to new beginnings and to new adventures."

Now that "Darna" has ended, its timeslot will now be taken over by "FPJ's Batang Quiapo," starring Coco Martin, beginning on Monday, February 13.

RELATED: Celeste Cortesi flies as Darna in Miss Universe 2022 national costume

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