Michelle Dee crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2023

The actress, 28, previously won Miss World Philippines in 2019 and finished in the Top 12 of that competition

Michelle Dee from Makati has won this year's Miss Universe Philippines pageant. @Miss Universe Philippines / Facebook
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Michelle Dee, 28, has been crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2023.

The actress from Makati beat out 37 other candidates and will represent her country at one of the biggest international pageants later in the year when Miss Universe 2023 takes place in El Salvador. The date for the competition has not been announced yet.

During this year’s pageant, Dee was asked about how to close the gap between the rich and the poor in the country, she responded by saying that education was the best way to go.

“I think, first, we have to recognise that what we have and the privileges that we have such as food, education and homes," she said.

She went on to say that addressing the gap through education was key because it has "no status quo" and that "every Filipino child has the right to education".

She continued: "I believe if the government can provide this to every Filipino child, then we can not only elevate their quality of life, but we can empower them as well.”

For the final round, the top 5 candidates were given the same question. Dee was asked about the new tourism slogan for the country “we give the world our best” asking what was the best the country could offer the rest of the world, to which she answered the greatest asset are the people itself.

“The Philippines is home to a very beautiful natural resources, from the beaches to the mountains, but I believe that the best natural resources that the Philippines has is us Filipinos. We are the true heart and soul of the Philippines,” said Dee.

“With the way we are hospitable with the warm smile and we are the reason the world keeps coming back for more. No matter where the universe takes me, I will always be proud to call Philippines my home and no matter what happens, I will always be proud to call myself Pinoy.”

The runner-ups were Miss Zambales Christine Juliane Opiaza and Miss Pampanga Mary Angelique Manto. In its history, Miss Universe has crowned four winners from the Philippines: Catriona Gray in 2018, Pia Wurtzbach in 2015, Margie Moran in 1973 and Gloria Diaz in 1969.

It was Dee’s second time competing, as she was previously named Miss Universe Philippines Tourism 2022 and won Best in Evening Gown last year. She has been competing in pageants for years and was previously crowned Miss World Philippines 2019 and placed in the Top 12 of Miss World 2019 in London.

Dee is also the daughter of Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez. Outside of pageantry, she is also an award-winning actress as she won Best Supporting Actress at the 36th PMPC Star Awards for Movies in 2021. She has two film titles and six television shows credited to her name.

Updated: May 14, 2023, 6:46 AM