MANILA, Philippines – Miss Universe Philippines Celeste Cortesi turned heads as she strutted down the runway for the 71st Miss Universe preliminary competition held in New Orleans on Thursday, January 12 (Manila time).
Cortesi looked stunning and beautiful, and nearly all of the outfits and costumes were inspired by heartwarming stories and Pinoy symbolism. During the swimsuit competition, the country’s bet was bright in her hot pink swimsuit. Even better, she wore a cape that had the handprints of children from Marawi, where she participated in the Save the Children Philippines outreach program.
|Philippine bet Celeste Cortesi wore a cape with handprints of kids from Marawi | Photo courtesy: Facebook/ Miss Universe PH|
According to Miss Universe Philippines, Celeste wanted to amplify the voices of the children in need. “I wanted to bring them with me on the Miss Universe stage. The imprints all over the cape remind me that having a title means having a purpose beyond myself,” Celeste stated.
For her national costume, the beauty queen showed power and strength as she donned the costume of the iconic Filipina heroine, Darna. She had a huge headpiece that looked like a big ray of sunlight. The Darna costume was made by Oliver Tolentino, while the intricate headpiece and other metalwork accessories were made by Jerome Navarro.
|Celeste Cortesi as Darna on 71st Miss Universe | Screengrab: Miss Universe via Lazada|
As she confidently walked down the runway, Darna was described as the “ultimate Filipina superhero and part of this country’s pop culture.” Meanwhile, Miss Universe Philippines stated that Celeste wanted to embody “a cultural icon that symbolizes kindness, empathy, and empowerment.” Even the Ravelo family, the creators behind Darna, expressed their support for Celeste.
Celeste glistened like a sparkling gem for the evening gown competition in a sky-blue long gown with a bodice that highlighted her curves. Oliver Tolentino made the dress as well, and he posted videos of its intricate beadwork, stones, and other embellishments on Facebook.
|Celeste Cortesi wore a sparkly sky blue gown by Oliver Tolentino for the evening gown competition | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Miss Universe PH|
Filipino pageant fans are now betting for the country’s 5th Miss Universe crown after Celeste’s impressive performance. The 71st Miss Universe coronation night will happen on January 15 (Manila time) live from the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
— Sally, The Summit Express