All roads indeed led to the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City as Miss Universe Philippines crowns its newest queen in this year's staging of prestigious local beauty pageant held on Saturday, April 30, succeeding Beatrice Luigi Gomez.
OPM rock icon Bamboo commenced the grand spectacle by serenading the 31 gorgeous candidates, who sashayed in shimmering and colorful two-piece ensemble paired with bright-colored wings. Miss Benguet Shawntel Cruz wasn't able to compete as she was reportedly under the weather.
Former Miss Universe titleholders Pia Wurtzbach (2015), Iris Mittenaere (2016), and Demi-Leigh Tebow (2017) served as the coronation night’s hosts, while beauty queens Bianca Guidotti and Carla Lizardo, together with KUMU Coronation Night Co-host Campaign winner and Miss Universe PH 2021 contestant Ayn Bernos, were the KUMU Lounge correspondents.
Assessing the performances of this year's candidates were US-based attorney & philanthropist Francis Padua Papica, Aqua Boracay Resort chief operating officer Tonee Co See, Philippine Models Association of the Philippines Vice President Margarita Gutierrez, architect and LCS Group of Companies vice president Richelle Singson-Michael, Miss Universe 2021 Haarnaz Kaur Sandhu, FrontRow International executives Sam Verzosa and RS Francisco, Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2006 Lia Andrea Ramos-Moss, pediatric health and nutrition expert Dr. Jennifer Olay, and Spanish model Joshua Sorentino.
Miss Ilocos Sur Jewel Alexandria Palacat was named Miss Friendship, Miss Pasay City Celeste Cortesi was declared Miss Photogenic, while Miss Albay Julia Calleja Saubier bagged the Best in National Costume award.
Making it to the Top 16 were Miss Nueva Vizcaya Gillian Katherine De Mesa, Miss Taguig City Ma. Katrina Llegado, Miss Cebu City Chantal Elise Schmidt, Miss Aklan Jona Sweet, Miss Makati City Michelle Dee, Miss Albay Julia Calleja Saubier, Miss Palawan Angelica Lopez, Miss Iloilo Province Vanessa Ann Caro, Miss Baguio City Ghenesis Latugat, Miss Cebu Province Lou Dominique Piczon, Miss Misamis Oriental Annabelle MacDonelle, Miss Bohol Pauline Cucharo Amelinckx, Miss Ilocos Sur Jewel Alexandra Palacat, Miss Laguna Sonja Jeyn Tanyag, Miss Pasay City Celeste Cortesi, and Miss Iloilo City Dorothy Gemillan.
Kapamilya singer Sam Concepcion performed his song "Dalisay" as the 16 aspirants exhibited their captivating sexiness and pasarelas in their dark blue bikinis. Miss Pasay City Celeste Cortesi was hailed the Best in Swimsuit.
Prior to passing the crown to her successor, Miss Universe Philippines 2021 Beatrice Luigi Gomez reminisced about her remarkable journey and had her final walk. However, instead of wearing a gown, she made a statement by donning a suit and a pair of neon pink shoes.
Advancing to the Evening Gown competition were the representatives of Makati City, Pasay City, Baguio City, Taguig City, Misamis Oriental, Cebu Province, Bohol, Cebu City, Albay, and Iloilo Province, who went on to mesmerize us in their fabulous gowns.
The Top 10 candidates were serenaded by Filipino American Idol Season 18 finalist Francisco Martin as they walked on the stage. It was Miss Makati City who was announced the Best in Evening Gown.
Aside from showing their poise as they paraded onstage in their dazzling and elegant gowns, the 10 candidates were also able to impress everyone with their wit and grace under pressure in the Question & Answer portion.
They were eventually cut down to five, with Miss Misamis Oriental, Miss Makati City, Miss Taguig City, Miss Pasay City, and Bohol making it to the Top 5.
Popular Pinoy singers Ez Mil, JM Bales, Sam Concepcion, and Arthur Nery entertained the audiences with their upbeat and moving performances.
Miss Universe Philippines 2022 candidates, past Miss Universe titleholders, Miss Universe Philippines 2021 titlists, and reigning Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu then stunned us in their gorgeous gowns as singer Morissette Amon belted out "I Am A Woman."
In the end, Miss Taguig City Ma. Katrina Llegado and Miss Misamis Oriental Annabelle MacDonelle were named 2nd runner-up and 1st runner-up, respectively. Miss Bohol Pauline Cucharo Amelinckx is Miss Universe Philippines - Charity, while Miss Makati City Michelle Dee is Miss Universe Philippines - Tourism.
It was Miss Pasay City Celeste Cortesi who was bestowed the luxurious La Mer En Majeste crown after being declared Miss Universe Philippines 2022.
During the Question & Answer portion, she was asked, "If you could stop time for a day, how would you spend it?"
She heartfully responded, "If I could stop time, I would spend it with my family, especially mother. It's been two years since I haven't spent time with my family because they live in Italy, and I came here in the Philippines just by myself. If I had a chance to spend one day, I would definitely be with my mom, and I would just tell her how much I love her and I miss her."
Congratulations to the new Miss Universe Philippines queens!