Celeste Cortesi stuns as Darna in Miss Universe’s national costume segment

Few things are as quintessential as Filipinos’ love for beauty pageants, with Miss Universe the competition to rule them all.

And as 2022 Miss Universe Philippines, Celeste Cortesi certainly did not disappoint in raising Pinoys’ hopes to take back home the crown this year after she stunned in a Darna-inspired ensemble for the competition’s National Costume segment.

Social media went wild as #71stMissUniverse, #Celeste, and #Darna topped Twitter trends, with Filipino fans giving their approval over the superhero-inspired lewk.

Darna, created by comic book writer Mars Ravelo in 1947 and considered one of the Philippines’ most iconic superheroes, is a female warrior from the planet Marte who is channeled by Narda, a young Filipino woman, after she swallows a mystical white stone.

While other countries have long referenced their own pop culture for the segment, this would mark the first time the Philippines has strayed from the usual cultural couture.

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“Darna is the ultimate Filipina superhero and part of this country’s pop culture. She transforms from an ordinary woman with the help of a white stone, standing up for those who cannot defend themselves. Have no fear, because Darna is here in the Philippines,” the voiceover says as Celeste struts her stuff in an iteration of Darna’s famous red-and-gold outfit and a sun prop in the background.

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Twitter users and influencers loved Celeste’s costume.

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Celeste also earned the approval of Mars Ravelo’s family, the executors of the late illustrator’s estate.

“We are proud of Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi for championing Darna on the world stage through the 71st Miss Universe national costume competition,” the family said in a statement.

“The Ravelo family extends their full support, gratitude, and excitement for the opportunity to show Darna to a global audience through our country’s official Miss Universe representative. We hope that like our beloved Filipino superheroine, Celeste will continue to serve as a source of inspiration and empowerment for women all around the world.”

The Miss Universe finals will be held in New Orleans in the US on Saturday.