Miss Universe Philippines 2014 MJ Lastimosa on Monday disproved online claims that she left the coronation night venue after Celeste Cortesi failed to enter the Top 16 of Miss Universe 2022.
The former beauty queen was among those who flew to the United States to support Celeste in her pageant bid personally.
During the preliminary competition, MJ’s live commentaries on Twitter gained buzz among Pinoy pageant fans who found it amusing.
This time, MJ was no longer amused when some accused her of supposedly leaving the pageant venue when Celeste failed to make it to the semifinals.
“Huyyy, ackla @MJ_Lastimosa, nasa party ka na daw? Pero ba’t [niyo] iniwan si Celeste? Nakakaloka kayo ha!” a Pinoy claimed on Twitter on Sunday.
“Bakit niyo naman iniwan si Celeste? So disappointing! (facepalm emoji) Naging MUPH rin naman kayo ni Shamcey! (pensive face emoji),” another online user claimed.
Some tweets were reactions to MJ’s viral post where she shared a picture of herself eating a chocolate bar while watching the pageant.
“Balik pala ko ulit, sayang ticket,” MJ tweeted. She also told a Twitter user that it was “expensive.”
MJ’s picture included an-line text that reads: “Chocolate [pangpa-happy]”
Balik pala ko ulit sayang ticket pic.twitter.com/CO7WLHpuxg
— MJ Lastimosa (@MJ_Lastimosa) January 15, 2023
“Ay, so iniwan [niyo] si Celeste after ‘di [siya] maka-place sa semis?” a Pinoy responded to her tweet.
“Not [you] confirming the iniwan niyo si Celeste allegations,” another Twitter user wrote with a weary face emoji.
MJ saw the comments and responded by posting a picture of Celeste from her perspective.
“Sobrang walang comprehension ng mga tao here huhu (smiling-with-tear emoji) Pano ko po iiwan si Celeste, [andiyan] po [siya] sa backstage till the pageant ends, wala po pwedeng umalis,” the former beauty queen said.
“And ‘di rin po ako pwede sa backstage, anong gagawin ko? Juskwa [Jusko] kayo! Ayan, zino-zoom in ko pa [siya],” MJ added.
Sobrang walang comprehension ng mga tao here huhu 🥲 pano ko po iiwan si Celeste Anjan po sya sa backstagetill the pageant ends, Wala po pwedeng umalis. And Di rin po ako Pwede sa backstage Anong gagawin ko? Juskwa kayo! Ayan zinozoom in ko pa sya. https://t.co/Mq5VIN2my3 pic.twitter.com/nmKFjI2XyI
— MJ Lastimosa (@MJ_Lastimosa) January 15, 2023
Allegations about the Philippine team leaving Celeste circulated after an unverified video of a long-haired woman being comforted was uploaded on TikTok.
The TikTok user who posted it wrote on the video with a crying face emoji: “What if totoo nga na iniwan nila si Celeste after hindi makapasok sa Top 16”
The TikToker also shared a screengrab of a Facebook Messenger conversation, where someone alleged that Shamcey Supsup, national director of Miss Universe Philippines, left the pageant after the announcement of the semifinalists.
“Kasama ni Celeste na lang ‘yung BFF niya, nanay at BF niya. Habang umiiyak sa labas. Walang kasama from the org [Miss Universe Philippines Organization],” a person in the conversation claimed.
MJ’s name was not initially mentioned. However, Twitter users started to drag her name after they saw her tweet where she said she returned because her “ticket” to the pageant was expensive.
Shamcey to Celeste
Meanwhile, Shamcey lauded Celeste for “bravely” raising the Filipino flag in the 71st Miss Universe.
“What truly matters is that you gave it your all and made your country proud. This experience is truly a lesson in humility. It is a way to remind all of us to stay grounded for we are all created equal,” the MUPH national director said in an Instagram post on Monday.
“The new era of Miss Universe cemented its thrust on breaking stereotypes and embracing diversity. Apart from the glitz and glamour, we are again reminded of the true essence of this platform,” Shamcey added.
“Our work continues, to be a venue for women to find a purpose larger than themselves and to use their collective voices to create an unstoppable force for GOOD,” she further said.
In an interview with ABS-CBN, Shamcey said that Celeste did a “great job” in her performance and admitted that “she [Shamcey] was quite surprised with the results,” referring to the semifinals.
“I told Celeste that there’s only so much you can do as a candidate, as an organization… what Miss Universe’s direction is, that’s something that we don’t have control. Ang importante is, masaya tayo sa ginawa natin,” Shamcey said.
Shamcey also said she talked to Celeste the morning after the pageant and assured the Philippine bet that the latter “did nothing wrong.”
“She should not blame herself for the results. As I’ve told her, sometimes, it’s really luck, it’s destiny. The most important thing is that the Filipino people, they’re all very proud and they all think that she deserves a spot [on] the finals night,” Shamcey added.