BORACAY ISLAND, Malay, Aklan—Newly-crowned Miss Universe Philippines Celeste Cortesi endeared herself to the public with her heartfelt answers during the competition that revolved around her love for her family, especially her mother. And for this year’s Mother’s Day celebration, she was joined by her pageant sisters in celebrating the most important women in their lives.
She said when she got her question during the coronation, the first person she thought of was her Bicolana mother Maria Luisa Rabinibin. “Everything I do, I do for her,” said the new queen during the “Uniquely Beautiful Morning” virtual media conference hosted by PLDT Home on May 6.
Being away from her Italy-based mother, Cortesi said being in touch is important this Mother’s Day. “She has been supportive of me, and she has been doing so many sacrifices for me, my sister and our family. I wanna give back to her the best way I can,” Cortesi continued.
Miss Universe Philippines-Tourism Michelle Dee said she owes everything she is now to her mother, top model, actress, and 1979 Miss International Melanie Marquez.
“I have nothing but gratitude for my mom. I hope I have become a woman she can be proud of,” she said.
Like Cortesi, Dee also recognized the sacrifices Marquez endured for the family. “Now that I’m older, I try to give back. I’m grateful that she’s within arm’s reach,” Dee shared.
For Miss Universe Philippines-Charity Pauline Amelinckx, her mother Erlinda’s “overflowing love” has been the truly remarkable trait she observed from the family matriarch.
“I’m an only child, and people expect that all the love would go to me. But even my cousins and friends feel that they’re adopted. She has so much love and care for others and has been a mother figure for other people too,” she explained.
First runner-up Annabelle McDonnell is an orphan and looks up to her uncle Reynan who has been both her mother and father.
“I’m really appreciative of it, and we will be celebrating both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day,” she shared. McDonnell also paid tribute to her mentors and professors in school who have also played the role of mother in her life.
For second runner-up Katrina Llegado, the family will celebrate her victory on Mother’s Day, “because this win is not just mine, but [my mother’s] as well.”
She said her mother Wayne has been her number one supporter in her pageant journey whose selflessness she has inherited. “She puts other people first,” she continued.
The five new queens were crowned during the 2022 Miss Universe Philippines coronation night staged at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on April 30. Cortesi will represent the country in the Miss Universe pageant, whose date and venue are yet to be released.