At the Miss Earth press presentation on Thursday, Philippine bet Celeste Cortesi said she will do her best to get a back-to-back win for the country.
Celeste, who grew up in Italy, said she chose to represent the Philippines because "I feel myself as a Filipina not Italian."
To better represent her countrymen, Celeste is learning to speak Tagalog.
"Because I grew up in Italy, it's really hard, before I came to the Philippines I did not know how to speak English as well, but I'm learning, now I can speak English but of course I will learn to speak Tagalog as well," she said.
Meanwhile, another half Filipino is among the 90 candidates competing for the Miss Earth crown.
Austrian-Filipino Melanie Mader will be donning the Austria sash, competing for the European nation.
No stranger to pageants, Melanie was crowned the Miss Earth Philippines Eco Tourism in 2016, and became the Miss Earth Philippines Water 2016 after Miss Philippines Air 2016 Kiara Giel Gregorio resigned from her title. Melanie was also placed as the 1st runner-up in Miss Filipino Austria 2015. — LA, GMA News