It's no secret that Pia Wurtzbach is one of the most beloved Miss Universe winners in history. Not only did her victory in 2015 make the Philippines one to watch in the pageant world, she was also able to inspire a new breed of aspiring beauty queens—including our reigning Miss Universe Philippines, Celeste Cortesi.
"I remember in 2015, when she won, I was living in Italy," the beauty queen shared on her YouTube channel. "I remember my mom was going crazy because the Philippines won, Pia Wurtzbach won. She came in my room with this photo of Pia Wurtzbach."
This immediately sparked young Celeste's interest in pageantry. She explains, "I was just so amazed of the overall performance of Pia, and she really inspired me in joining beauty pageants." And to this day, she considers Pia her "ultimate favorite" beauty queen!
When Pia won the crown, Celeste was only 18 years old, and didn't know what career to pursue yet. But the event did inspire her to set a very specific goal: "I actually said for the first time, I wanna go to the Philippines and represent the Philippines in Miss Universe. But it was just like a random thought, and then look at me now, I am doing it," she shares.
Celeste also recalls that her sister, Monica, even laughed when she told her about her wish. "[She] was laughing because she was like, 'How are you gonna be Miss Universe you don't even know how to speak English?' And then I'm here now."
ICYDK, Celeste only learned English once she moved to the Philippines in 2018, when she joined and won Miss Philippines Earth. The beauty queen shares that learning the language for her was all about practice, and, well, a lot of Google Translate. Regardless, all that practice definitely paid off, because she's already such an eloquent speaker!
Celeste will be fulfilling her dream of representing the Philippines in Miss Universe this December 2022. Hopefully, she'll make the second part of that dream come true, too, which is to actually win the title!
We're rooting for you, Celeste!
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