Michelle Daniela Marquez Dee, 28, of Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines is Miss Universe Philippines 2023. She was crowned by Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi, 25, of Pasay City, Metro Manila.
Joining Dee and Cortesi onstage was Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel, 29, of Houston, Texas, United States. Representing the U.S., Gabriel won Miss Universe 2022 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA on January 14, 2023.
Hosted by Xian Lim, Alden Richards and Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi, the Miss Universe Philippines 2023 coronation night was held at the SM Mall of Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila on May 13, 2023. Representing Makati, Dee bested 37 other candidates.
Gabriel was one of the judges. Also in the judging panel are Lyn Lee, Tonee Charmagne Co Hang, Anna Garces, Atty. Annette Gozon-Valdes, Sam Versoza, Lloyd Lee, Dr. Nelda Eufemio, Dyan Castillejo, Marion Brandelick de Guzman, Binibining Pilipinas International 1996 Yedda Marie Romualdez and Miss Universe 1973 Margarita Moran-Florendo.
The final five candidates underwent two rounds of question-and-answer portion. In the first round, each of them answered a question asked by a judge.
“Income inequality is still high in the Philippines,” Versoza told Dee. “The gap between the rich and the poor remains. How do we close that gap?”
“I think first, we have to recognize what we have and the privileges that we have, such as food, education and homes,” Dee answered. “I think the best way to address this is really through education because education holds no status quo and every Filipino child has the right to an education, but not just any education, but quality education, because 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.”
In the second round, the five finalists answered the same question. It was, “Recently, the Department of Tourism has adopted a new branding campaign: ‘We give the world our best.’ For you, what is the best that we could offer to the rest of the world? Why do you consider it so?”
“The Philippines is home to very beautiful natural resources, from the beaches, to the mountains, but I firmly believe that the best natural resource that the Philippines has is us Filipinos,” Dee answered. “We are the true heart and soul of the Philippines, with the way we are hospitable, with the warm smiles, and we are the reason why the world keeps coming back for more. No matter where the universe takes me, I will always be proud to call the Philippines my home, and no matter what happens, I will always be proud to call myself Pinoy.”
Dee will represent the Philippines at Miss Universe 2023 in El Salvador. It will not be her first international beauty pageant.
On December 14, 2019, Dee represented the Philippines at Miss World 2019 at the ExCeL London in London, England, United Kingdom. She finished in the Top 12.
Categories: Asia, beauty pageants, El Salvador, Entertainment, NEWS, North America, Philippines
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