Pasay’s Celeste Cortesi speaks up on being labelled ‘Not Filipina’

23 Mar 2022 | Camilla Suarez

Celeste Cortesi has made it to Top 50 at the Miss Universe Philippines 2022 pageant representing Pasay. Born to a Spanish-Filipina mom and an Italian Father, the former Miss Philippines Earth has created a cross-over delegation at the national pageant this year.           

In a recent interview, Cortesi shared, because of the way she looks and speaks, some people still have doubts about Cortesi's Filipina ancestry. "Some people told me that I'm not Filipina because I don't speak Tagalog, because I didn't grow up in the Philippines," she said.



In response to claims that she isn't the best Miss Universe contender for the Philippines, she added, “I would tell them that what makes me a Filipina, first of all, is my heart. It is in my blood and I am a Filipina. And what makes me a Filipina are the values that my Filipina mom always gave me throughout my journey here. She always expressed the values of Filipino people, and those values have been with me up to this day. And that's what makes me a Filipina, a real Filipina.”

Cortesi said that she had to work hard to fit the mold of what Filipinos demand from a beauty queen, especially when it came to speaking English. She also mentioned, “Many people also try to tell me that I cannot go for Miss Universe because my accent, it is not American... And you know, for a very long time, I tried to fix my accent, I tried to remove my accent. But I cannot. I'm half-Italian, I grew up in Italy, and I'm half-Filipina as well.”



“So the message I really want to give is embrace yourself, don't see those things as flaws or imperfections because these are what make you unique... Don't try to be someone that you're not," she concluded. With her experience in the national pageantry and already having represented her country at Miss Earth, she is definitely a strong contender for the national crown. Celeste Cortesi is eyeing to represent the Philippines on the international stage for the second time.