Even Mars Ravelo's Family Approved of Celeste Cortesi's Darna Costume
Miss Universe 2023 is off to a sizzling start for the 84 women looking to be crowned on Sunday, January 15. The preliminary event was held Wednesday night in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A. (Thursday in Manila) where contestants rocked their best ensembles in the National Costume show.
For her costume, our very own Miss Philippines Celeste Cortesi channeled the ultimate Filipino superheroine, Darna. Designed by Oliver Tolentino and with a headpiece and accessories by Jerome Navarro, Cortesi mimicked that all-too-familiar fighting stance we all know and love. Of course, she had to sport those iconic knee-high leather boots and red arm bands. These pieces were complemented by a stunning backpiece that featured the golden sun and the eight rays on the Philippine flag.
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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 'cause Darna is here in the Philippines," said the voice that introduced her on stage.
Cortesi had Filipinos buzzing all over social media. So much so that even the family of comic book legend Mars Ravelo, the creator of Darna himself, gave her props for globalizing the legendary superheroine.
Ipakita ang nagliliyab na lakas, galing at ganda ng Pinay!???????Fly High Celeste! Bring Home the Crown ???? #Darna #MissUniverse #Philippines ???????? #71stMissUniverse@CelesteCortesi @TheMissUniversePH @MissUniverse pic.twitter.com/Umo4Ay9qko— JRB Creative Production (@JRBcreativeprod) January 12, 2023
"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," the family shared in a statement. "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 National Costume eent usually shows candidates wearing outfits that represent their country's identity, mythology, history, and popular culture. Cortesi isn't the first Miss Universe candidate to go the superhero route with her costumes. In 2003, Miss USA Susie Castillo wore her Wonder Woman ensemble, and in 2018, Yuumi Kato of Japan donned a Sailor Moon costume.