Silvia Celeste Cortesi, a 20-year-old half-Italian model from the Filipino Community of Rome, captured the Miss Earth Philippines 2018 title in SM Mall of Asia Arena on May 19. She was crowned by the reigning Miss Earth, Karen Ibasco, and will now shoot for another back-to-back win (and fifth crown) for the country later this year. This is the first edition of the pageant under its altered moniker. It was previously known as “Miss Philippines Earth” and even simply “Miss Philippines” in its earlier years.
As per recent tradition, the elemental titles are of equal bearing, which means the winners are considered co-titleholders and not mere runners-up. Crowned Miss Philippines Air 2018 was Las Piñas City‘s Zahra Bianca Saldua, whom most may remember as Megan Young‘s 2nd Runner-Up in Miss World Philippines 2013. A practicing Muslim, Zahra once again went for a modest swimsuit presentation just like in her previous stint. She wore a robe over her one-piece. Miss Philippines Water 2018 is Berjayneth Chee representing Balingasag, Misamis Oriental and Miss Philippines Fire 2018 is Jean Nicole de Jesus representing San Rafael, Bulacan. Rounding up the elemental court is half-Ghanian Halimatu Yushawu, representing Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay. An aspiring singer, Halimatu was also briefly a contestant in Showtime‘s Tawag ng Tanghalan segment late last year.
Heavy favorite Marla Alforque from Cebu City had to settle for a Top 10 placement, together with Nathalie Louise Reyes of Dumaguete City, Lovely Lamptey of Taguig City, Theressa Mariano from the Filipino Community of Queensland, Australia, and Brazzirie Yanson from the Filipino Community of Vienna, Austria.
Rounding up the Top 18, the largest placement roster in the history of this pageant so far, were: Trixie Dadula of Tagum City, Ma. Divine Angela Veranga of Parañaque City, We’am R. Ahmed of Davao City, Gabrielle Camille Basiano of Tacloban City, Naomie Hannah White from the Filipino Community of Sydney, Australia, Noelle Uy-Tuazon (another Miss World Philippines alum) of Tangalan, Aklan, Marra Cristy Dianne Silvosa of Cateel, Davao Oriental, and Joanna Krystel Cabrezos of Zamboanga City.
Additionally, three more “diyosas” appear to have been close shots, based on their placements in various preliminary categories. Princess Faye Fernandez of Laak, Compostella Valley placed in the Top 10 of the Beauty of Face and Poise category, while Liz Mabao of Mandaluyong City and Lea Macapagal of Dinalupihan, Bataan placed in Beauty of Figure and Form. Another non-placer who earned significant recognition for receiving multiple awards was Leandra Gabrielle Batingan of San Jose del Monte City who won Darling of the Press and Miss Hannah’s Beach Resort.
It’s been ten years since this pageant began identifying its entrants by geographic location and not just by contestant number, a move that seemed to be a positive omen for the country, since it started winning the international tilt since then. Curiously, these four Filipina winners either represented Cebu City or the City of Manila in their respective local stints. Celeste is now the first winner from an overseas community.
Congratulations to all the winners and good luck, Celeste!