One cannot talk about Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi and her “uniquely beautiful” journey without mentioning her supportive family.
At a young age and more so now as she steps on to the bigger stage, Celeste looked to her family for strength and inspiration. In her most nerve-wracking moments, the Filipino-Italian beauty queen would just have to hark back to her youth when her father used to read her and her sister nighttime poems. In her most downhearted, she would draw encouragement from her mother — who had managed to raise two children as a single mother in a foreign country, following the passing of Celeste’s father.
“My family truly is my anchor and lodestone. Without them, I will not find the strength or the confidence to pursue my dreams. With them, I am able to do better and be my uniquely beautiful self,” Celeste said.
For Celeste, no dream is too big, and no step is too small to start off the journey.
Born in Pasay City, The Philippines’ Miss Universe bet moved to Italy with her family at 11. In Rome, she shuffled different jobs and modeling. She bravely moved back to Manila alone to pursue her pageant dreams.
“Celeste’s relationship with her family is very inspiring and so is her drive and willingness to work hard not only as a beauty queen but also as an advocate for indigenous people and women empowerment,” said PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, who met with the beauty queen and other PLDT executives at an exclusive gathering last June 30.
“Celeste’s values truly coincide with what PLDT Home stands for — that families, with the help of the brand’s fastest broadband connections, can pursue their passions better and dream bigger. Her unassuming attitude and laser-focus determination make her an excellent PLDT Home ambassador.”
Presently, the 24-year-old Celeste is studying real estate management at the Lyceum of Alabang in pursuit of a Philippine real estate license. She also keeps busy advocating for indigenous people and their land rights, hoping to use her Miss Universe platform to further bring attention to their plight.
Prior to the pageant, Celeste used her time locked down at home to learn, study, and work toward achieving her pageant dreams. Before the MUP coronation night, 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 for 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,” Celeste shared.
“PLDT Home was instrumental in that regard because having that connection allowed me to learn and improve myself — and it made all the difference during the coronation.”
Braving the bigger stage with PLDT Home
With the fastest broadband connections provided by PLDT Home, Celeste was able to not only further her advocacies and reach more communities. She was also able to connect deeper with her Filipino roots.
The journey obviously is just the tip of the iceberg for Celeste, set to take on the biggest competition of her life this December. Her formula toward success, however, shall remain the same: Heart, hard work, and a loving home supporting her through and through.