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MANILA, Philippines – Celeste Cortesi took to social media to reflect on her Miss Universe stint, saying that she’s “immensely grateful to have had the chance to represent all Filipinos.”
In an Instagram post on Monday, January 23, the Filipino-Italian beauty queen updated fans that she’s finally back in the Philippines after competing for the 71st Miss Universe pageant. The post came with an artwork of herself in her Darna national costume.
“The entire year has been the most challenging, and yet most exciting, time of my life,” she said. “To represent my country, the Philippines, is my greatest honor.”
Celeste shared that she has always had a “burning passion” for the Philippines and that she plans to continue pursuing her identity as a Filipina.
“I challenged myself and stepped out of my comfort zone by flying here alone as a very young woman. I’ve always known by heart that there are no limits to 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.
She added that she is still discovering purposes that go “beyond [her] self-ambitions.” “I am immensely grateful to have had the chance to represent all Filipinos and all the sweet fans of pageantry around the world,” she said.
Celeste then proceeded to express her gratitude to her team, whom she referred to as her “safe place,” as well as her fans, family, and loved ones.
“I now believe that my purpose is to inspire, and I will never stop inspiring and motivating all of you, with or without the Universe Crown. I am committed,” she said.
“To my country, I stand proud to be a Filipina.”
She also remembered her late father, whom she called her “guardian angel.” “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.
Celeste then concluded her post with the signature, “Forever your Miss Philippines.”
Celeste failed to advance to the top 16 of the competition during the coronation night held in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA on January 14 – marking the end of the Philippines’ 12-year streak of entering the pageant’s semifinals round. USA’s R’Bonney Gabriel won the crown. – Rappler.com