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Like mother like daughter: Miss Universe PH 2022 beauty queens share why their moms are impressively beautiful

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published May 07, 2022 10:23 am

Real talk: Being a beauty queen is all blood, sweat, and tears. Take it from the newly hailed queens of Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH) 2022.

The pageant's top five candidates—Celeste Cortesi, Michelle Dee, Pauline Amelinckx, Annabelle McDonnell, and Katrina Llegado—would attest that their journey to the coronation night pushed them to take a lot of risks and overcome the pressure to own the coveted crown.

And if there are people that deserve honorable mentions for these ladies' wins, it's none other than their mothers or mother figures. 

When it comes to these beauty queens and their mothers, the genes run deep. The ladies proved this during PLDT Home's "Uniquely Beautiful Morning" online event on May 6, where they shared their moms' traits that inspire them to become the exceptional women they are today.

Celesti Cortesi and mom Luisa

Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi, for one, said that she takes inspiration from the determination and selflessness of her mother, Maria Luisa Rabinbin.

"As a single mom in a different country, which is Italy, it just says a lot about her strength and determination. It doesn't matter what she goes through, it doesn't matter the challenges, the struggles, she's going through, she's always strong and she can always help others," Celeste explained to PhilSTAR L!fe and other members of the press present at the event. 

"And that I would say is the most beautiful thing about my mother that I hope one day I would be able to be like her," she added. 

Celeste's high regard for her mother is one that she also manifested during the Q&A segment of MUPH's finals night on April 30. During the event, the Filipino-Italian model was asked, "If you could stop time for a day, how would you spend it?" Her answer was to enjoy the day with her family, especially with her mother whom she haven't seen for two years already.

"That's why when they asked me my final question during the coronation night, the first thing I thought was really my mother kasi she's really the most important," Celeste recalled during Friday's online event. "And whatever I do, every single action I do, especially from here in the Philippines, I really do it for her."

Michelle Dee and mother Melanie

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Beauty, confidence, and love for pageantry are three traits Michelle Dee has taken from her mother, Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez. 

But apart from the show-stopping looks, Michelle, who was named Miss Universe Philippines Tourism 2022 in this year's pageant, takes after her mom with her captivating heart and attitude.

Michelle said that "one uniquely beautiful" characteristic of her mom is her loyalty. "She will always put her friends first, her family first," she remarked.

This, in addition to her eagerness to lend a hand to people "if she's in a position to help." Michelle explained, "This is another attribute, the fact that she loves giving back. Also, it's the reason why I'm so big in advocacies is because at such a young age, I saw my mom give back at every chance she could get."

"And that's something I really want to become when I'm older or even now pa lang. Hindi naman kailangn 'pag tanda. Puwedeng now na," she continued. 

The actress-model couldn't be any more grateful that she has her mom as her anchor "I have nothing but gratitude for my mom," Michelle said. "I am the way that I am because of her. I think I've become a woman that she can really be proud of."

Pauline Amelinckx and mom Erlinda

Meanwhile, Miss Universe Philippines Charity 2022 Pauline Amelinckx referred to her mother Erlinda as a woman with a boundless capacity to love. This consequently motivates the beauty queen to "put more love into the world too."

She explained, "I'm an only child so people would expect all of her love to go to me. But my mom is just overflowing with that love, that even cousins and my friends kinda feel like they've been adopted by my mom already because she has so much love to give, so much care in her actions towards other people, that she's not just a mother figure to me, but she has become a mother figure to other people too."

Annabelle McDonnell and uncle Raynan

Miss Universe Philippines 2022first runner-up Annabelle McDonnell has supported herself through scholarships ever since her parents abandoned her when she was 15 years old. Amid all the challenges and opportunities she faced later in life, the beauty queen looks up to her Uncle Raynan as both her mother and father figures.

"So this Sunday, we're celebrating both Mother's Day and Father's Day," Annabelle spoke of the upcoming holiday.

Besides her uncle, the Misamis Oriental candidate is also thankful to have found mother figures in her mentors,  professors, and other people who helped her during her MUPH journey.

Katrina Llegado and mom Wayne

Meanwhile, Miss Universe Philippines 2022 second runner-up Katrina Llegado is proud to have her mother Wayne as her "number one supporter" and the key to her achievements. 

"She's always been there when I was growing up," the beauty queen said during the event. "She's very selfless, and I think that's also one trait I got from her. We always put other people first."

"That's why when I joined pageantry, she was very happy and [gave] 100 full support," she continued. "So I offer her this win, this victory. That's why this Sunday (Mother's Day), we will celebrate because this win is not just mine, it's hers as well."