MANILA -- Filipino-Italian beauty Celeste Cortesi has always been vocal about her love for her family that she even mentioned this during the final question-and-answer round of this year’s Miss Universe Philippines pageant.
At a young age and more so now as she steps onto the bigger stage as the reigning Miss Universe Philippines, Cortesi looked to her family for strength and inspiration.
She’s especially in awe of her mom, who had managed to raise her and her sister as a single mother in a foreign country, following her father’s passing.
“My family truly is my anchor and lodestone,” said Cortesi, who also won Miss PLDT Home at the pageant, during a gathering with the telco’s executives last June 30.
“Without them, I will not find the strength nor the confidence to pursue my dreams. With them, I am able to do better and be my uniquely beautiful self,” she added.
According to PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, Cortesi’s unassuming attitude and laser-focus determination make her an excellent ambassador of their brand.
Born in Pasay, Cortesi moved to Italy with her family at 11. She bravely moved back to Manila alone to pursue her pageant dreams.
Prior to winning Miss Universe Philippines, Cortesi used her time locked down at home to learn, study, and work toward achieving her pageant dreams.
She would train every day for the Q&A portion, reading up on global and local news and political and environmental situations around the world to be ready at anything the judges might throw at her.
A go-getter, she would even have mock-up Q&A sessions with her trainer during the weeks leading to the pageant.
“The lockdowns limited how much time I spent face-to-face with my team preparing for the pageant, but I knew that by having a good internet I could brush up on my knowledge and still keep up with what’s happening with the world. Because that’s what a beauty queen is — someone who uses their talent and voice to further their causes and advocacies,” she said.
Moving forward, Cortesi is determined to maintain her formula toward success, that is her “heart, hard work, and a loving home supporting her through and through.”
Cortesi will compete in the Miss Universe pageant as the Philippine representative later this year.