New MUPH Celeste Cortesi: ‘All the hard work paid off’

Newly crowned Miss Universe Philippines Celeste Cortesi of Pasay City

It was the grandest national pageant in history, with the presence of four Miss Universe winners, three of whom flew from other parts of the world.

They were all there to witness the crowning of Miss Universe Philippines 2022 – a much-coveted title won by Silvia Celeste Cortesi who represented Pasay City last Saturday night.

Michelle Marquez Dee (Makati)

Cortesi was a pageant favorite from the start and previously held the national title Miss Earth Philippines 2018. She is 24 years old and stands 177 cm tall. She grew up in Italy to a Filipino mother and an Italian father, but for the past few years, she has been based in the Philippines where she works as a model.

Celeste nailed her win with an answer to the question from host Pia Wurtzbach: "If you could stop time for a day, how would you spend it?”

Pauline Amelinckx (Bohol)

She answered: “If I could stop time, I would spend it with my family, especially my mother. It’s been two years since I haven’t spent time with my family because they live in Italy, and I came here to the Philippines just by myself. 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 I miss her.”

In an interview after her crowning, the new queen from Pasay City said: “I gave my best tonight and all the hard work has paid off. Am excited for what’s next. I cannot wait to start my training, I cannot wait to work with the organization. This is what I wanted for a long, long time.”

Annabelle Mae McDonnell (Misamis Oriental)

Cortesi also won Best in Swimsuit during the event, while Michelle Dee followed closely with Best in Long Gown and the title Miss Universe Philippines Tourism 2022. Pauline Amelinckx of Bohol was named Miss Universe Philippines Charity 2022. First runner-up was Annabelle Mae McDonnell and Ma. Katrina llegado of Taguig was adjudged 2nd runner-up.

Miss Universe Philippines 2022 will wear a crown specially handcrafted by Jewelmer called La Mer en Majesté or “The Sea in Majesty” adorned with golden South Sea Pearls.

Ma. Katrina Llegado (Taguig)

Wearing a figure-hugging Francis Libiran sheath gown, Miss Universe Philippines 2021 Beatrice Luigi Gomez handed over her crown to Cortesi. During the program, Gomez talked about how her whole Miss Universe experience made her grow as a person. She said she is looking forward to going back to school after her reign and growing professionally as an emcee while cooperating on other projects with the Miss Universe Organization.

Earlier, Gomez surprised the crowd by doing a farewell walk in a black and white tuxedo suit over bright pink shoes by Jojo Bragais.

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

Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu sat on the Board of Judges. The other judges were Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2006 Lia Andrea Moss, Richelle Singson-Michael of LCS Group, Frontrow’s RS Francisco and Sam Verzosa, Dr. Jennifer Olay, Tonee Co-See of Aqua Boracay lawyer Francis Padua-Papica, model Joshua Sorrentino and lawyer Margarita Gutierrez.

Entertainment numbers for MUPH 2022 were provided by Bamboo, Sam Concepcion, Francisco Martin of American Idol fame, JM Bales, Arthur Nery, EZ Mil and Morissette.