Philippines’ bet Celeste Cortesi‘s advocacy for children was highlighted during the preliminary round of the 71st Miss Universe competition.
Miss Universe 2022 Harnaaz Sandhu, the host of the preliminary competition, introduced the candidates onstage as they showed off their capes that represented their advocacies and as well as the official swimwear.
Celeste was introduced as a 25-year-old model who advocates for “raising and feeding children” in poor, rural communities.
“Nothing is more important than the work she does in the poor, rural communities educating parents on how to raise and feed their children,” Harnaaz said.
The preliminary round was live-streamed via Lazada’s YouTube page.
Some Filipino pageant bloggers and pageants later shared Celeste’s moment on stage with their followers.
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Called “Imprints in my heart,” Celeste’s cape highlighted her experience when she visited the children of Marawi City in Mindanao as part of her advocacy with Save the Children Philippines.
Photos of this visit were uploaded on Miss Universe Philippines’ Facebook page.
In a statement, Celeste recalled that the mothers’ children in Marawi reminded her of her own mother who has also struggled to provide for her and her sister.
“Having talked to some of the mothers of the children beneficiaries, I was reminded of my own Mother who struggled to provide for my sister and I. Unfortunately, there are millions of children who live in poverty, amidst crisis. I hope that it inspires people to donate to Save the Children Philippines. There’s much work to be done and every single person’s help matters,” Celeste said.
The 25-year-old beauty queen thus hoped to amplify the voices of these children on the Miss Universe stage.
“In amplifying the voices of the children who need our help, I wanted to bring them with me on the Miss Universe stage. The imprints all over the cape remind me that having a title means having a purpose beyond myself,” Celeste said.
Save the Children Philippines has also previously posted its full support for Celeste’s bid for the crown.
The young model has been working with the charity organization through its different outreach programs since last year.
“Save the Children Philippines supports Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi in her journey to win the Miss Universe crown. We are grateful to have worked with her in amplifying the voices of children who need help the most,” the organization said in a statement.
Save the Children has been providing humanitarian response and other needs to children and their families in poor communities in the country for nearly 40 years.