Celeste Cortesi says representing the PH in 71st Miss Universe was her ‘greatest honor’

Celeste Cortesi speaks for first time after failed Miss Universe bid: ‘Forever your Miss Philippines’

/ 02:29 PM January 24, 2023
Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi. Image: Tracy Nguyễn via Instagram/@MissUniverse

Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi. Image: Tracy Nguyễn via Instagram/@MissUniverse

Celeste Cortesi kept her “burning passion” for the Philippines alive as she spoke about her heartbreaking early finish in the 71st Miss Universe for the first time since its coronation night.

Cortesi took to her personal Instagram account on Monday night, Jan. 23, to share that representing the Philippines was her “greatest honor.”

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“I’m finally back home. [Philippine flag emoji],” she began. “The entire year has been the most challenging, and yet most exciting time of my life. To represent my country, The Philippines, is my greatest honor.”

Cortesi might have failed to win the Philippines’ fifth Miss Universe crown, but she will continue to pursue her “Filipina identity” and keep her “burning passion” alive.

“I’ve always had the burning passion for my country, I was always very curious about The Philippines with its islands, people and culture, and I will continue the pursuit of my Filipina identity. I challenged myself and stepped out of my comfort zone by flying here alone as a very young woman,” she added.

The beauty queen also shared that she’s searching for her purpose that “goes beyond my self ambitions,” noting that she’s “immensely grateful” to represent her countrymen.

“There are NO limits in what you can achieve as long as you are committed to the vision and your intentions are pure, as I have done by pushing myself beyond my limits in the services of my advocacies, training, and learning,” she said. “I am discovering purposes that [go] beyond my self ambitions and I am immensely grateful to have had the chance to represent all Filipinos and all the sweet fans of pageantry around the world.”

Cortesi also thanked her pageant team, fans, family, and loved ones for their support. She also expressed her love for her late father who “guided me up to this day.”

“To my country, I stand PROUD to be a Filipina. To my father, you guided me up to this day, you still are and will always do. I feel your protection. If you are redirecting me to a different path, to what is truly meant for me, I trust you and I know I still am in the right place at the right time,” she said.

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Cortesi’s boyfriend, football player Matthew Custodio, as well as her pageant camp The Camp showed their love for the beauty queen in the comments.

“OUR MISS EL TOCUYO. [emojis] YOU WON ALL OUR HEARTS. [heart emoji] you deserved the top 16 and we ALL know it!! Forever our Miss Philippines,” Custodio said.

“We love you @celeste_cortesi! We are so proud of you! The future looks so bright and beautiful! Thank you so much for representing the Philippines magnificently! On to our next adventure,” The Camp’s comment read.

Image: Screengrab from Instagram/@celeste_cortesi

Image: Screengrab from Instagram/@celeste_cortesi

Filipina beauty queens, including Katrina Dimaranan, Gazini Ganados, Hannah Arnold, Maureen Wroblewitz, MJ Lastimosa, and Michelle Dee, as well as actresses Franki Russel and Chie Filomeno expressed their support.

Cortesi’s fellow Miss Universe representatives Manita Hang of Cambodia and María Fernanda Aristizabal of Colombia also posted heartfelt messages.

Image: Screengrab from Instagram/@celeste_cortesi

Image: Screengrab from Instagram/@celeste_cortesi

Image: Screengrab from Instagram/@celeste_cortesi

Image: Screengrab from Instagram/@celeste_cortesi

Cortesi had an early finish in the 71st edition of the global tilt after failing to advance to the Top 16, thus breaking the Philippines’ 12-year streak of semi final placements in Miss Universe. R’Bonney Gabriel of the United States brought home the Miss Universe title and was the ninth American beauty queen to bag the coveted crown.

Since its birth in 1952, the Philippines has produced four Miss Universe titleholders namely Gloria Diaz (1969), Margarita Moran (1973), Pia Wurtzbach (2015), and Catriona Gray (2018). EDV

RELATED STORIES:

Celeste Cortesi posts about ‘happiness’ after early Miss Universe finish

Celeste Cortesi wins support of ex-beauty queens; Catriona Gray says ‘we always have next year’

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TAGS: 71st Miss Universe, Celeste Cortesi, Miss Universe 2022
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