Miss Universe Philippines national director Shamcey Supsup has come out to set the record straight after it was alleged that their team walked out on Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi after she failed to enter the semi-final round of the 71st edition of the annual international beauty pageant.
In an interview with Dyan Castillejo, Shamcey reiterated: "No, not true at all. I watched until the end. That's why I am really saddened and a bit angry to hear malicious rumors saying that."
Shamcey noted that her co-national directors, specifically Singapore's Valerie Lim and Mexico's Lupita Jones, were also with her to watch the entirety of the show.
"I know it is not the result that I would have wanted but as a national director, myself, I knew that everybody in that section worked really hard into helping their candidates prepare for the pageant. And so, I felt like as a respect to these people - who also are my friends as well - I stayed in support to all the national directors with me and the candidates who made the cut."
The Miss Universe 2011 third runner-up admitted she is unaware as to how and where the rumors started.
"Even though Celeste didn't make it... she also can't leave. She has to finish the entire show as well. So I went back in and I finished, I watched the show... There's no walkout."
In terms of her not being with Celeste after the pageant, Shamcey shared that this was simply because she wanted to give the Filipina beauty queen some "space."
She explained, "I was staying in the same hotel as they're staying so I went ahead. Usually, that's where we will see the girls, in the hotel after the show. But then, when I got there, I found out that she didn't go back to her hotel because she wanted to spend time with her family -- her mom, her boyfriend, and her friends. And for me, I understand completely how she's feeling. At that moment, she needed to be with her family. So we gave her that time and space."
But she pointed out that their team was with Celeste the very next day.
"So I just want to erase that notion that she (Celeste) was abandoned, she was left on her own. It is not true," Shamcey maintained.
Shamcey also shared how they all came together to talk to Celeste.
"To comfort her, to tell her that it's devastating but to still have that support and that belief from many people that she deserves to be in, it's something to be proud of."
"I'm just a bit... I'm saddened kasi I know the fans are hurting and they're trying to find someone to blame. But if you guys are hurting, we are also hurting. And instead of uniting us in these difficult times, they're trying to break us."
In any case, Shamcey hopes pageant fans should be more cognizant and simply respect the judges' decision.
"I know it's hard to accept things when they don't go our way, but I believe it's time that we start respecting the results of the judges, the national directors, all the candidates, whether they win or not. And to recognize everybody's hard work to make this event possible."
Prior, Shamcey comforted Celeste via an online post.
On Instagram, she noted how the 25-year-old fought bravely to raise the Filipino flag on the international stage.
"And what truly matters is that you gave it your all and made your country proud," she assured Celeste.
Shamcey related the experience is a lesson in humility.
"It is a way to remind all of us to stay grounded for we are all created equal," she added. "The new era of Miss Universe cemented its thrust on breaking stereotypes and embracing diversity. Apart from the glitz and glamour, we are again reminded of the true essence of this platform."
She ended: "Our work continues, to be a venue for women to find a purpose larger than themselves and to use their collective voices to create an unstoppable force for GOOD."
Note that Celeste's non-placement has become controversial as it ended the Philippines’ 12-year semis streak.