All about Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee

14 Nov 2023 | Priya Bhardwaj

The 28-year-old pageant veteran Michelle Dee finally achieved her dream as she was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2023 on Saturday, 13th May 2023 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Bay City, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines. Michelle succeeds and was crowned by Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi as she became the official representative of Philippines at Miss Universe 2023.

Being a front-runner for the crown, ever since the beginning of the competition, Michelle Dee was everyone’s hopeful as the representative of Philippines at Miss Universe. The country, which last won Miss Universe in 2018 under Catriona Gray’s reign, has can definitely sight the crown this year with Michelle’s hard work and determination. Dee is also only the second Filipina to win both the Miss World Philippines and Miss Universe Philippines crowns, after Catriona Gray.



Pageantry Blood & Background

Pageantry runs in her blood; Dee's mother, actress and producer Melanie Marquez, is a former beauty queen who won the Miss International crown in 1979. Her cousin, actress and model Winwyn Marquez, is also a beauty queen, who was crowned Miss Reina Hispoamericana in 2017.

Not new to the pageant world as well, Michelle was crowned Miss World Philippines in 2019. She represented her country at Miss World in the same year where she finished in the Top 12, held in London. She also went onto compete at Miss Universe Philippines 2022 where she was crowned Miss Universe Philippines Tourism 2022.



A post shared by MMD (@michelledee)


Background & Education

Michelle attended the De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines and graduated with a degree in psychology. Also, during covid-19, Michelle did not let lockdown and quarantine get in the way of pursuing her passions as she earned her certification from the Harvard Business School Online. Michelle’s strong experience in the pageantry, her educational background and her amicable personality makes her an ideal representative of Philippines at Miss Universe 2023.

Finale Q/A Round

During the finals' first question and answer round, Dee was asked: “Income inequality is still high in the Philippines. The gap between the rich and the poor remains. How do we close the gap?”

She responded, "I think first, we have to recognize what we have and the privileges that we have such as food, education, and homes. I think the best way to address this is through education because education holds no status quo. 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, we can not only elevate their quality of life, but we can empower them as well.”



A post shared by MMD (@michelledee)


At the second and final question and answer round, she was asked, "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?"

Dee spoke, "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. 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 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.”



A post shared by MMD (@michelledee)


Advocacy & Philanthropy

Michelle advocates for multiple causes but the one closest to her heart is Autism awareness. Dee has been an advocate for autism awareness and mental health education since she was sixteen years old as she grew up with two of her siblings diagnosed with autism. Michelle also campaigns for hepatitis awareness and for a hepatitis C-free society with her father, under their own family initiative, HepCured. She is also an LGBTQIA+ rights advocate.

Michelle has also been working with the Center for Possibilities Incorporation, a foundation that helps and cares for children with special needs. Dee also works with the Autism Society Philippines in bringing attention to the needs of individuals who are on the autism spectrum and their families, and improving access to intervention facilities and services, especially for those in the provincial areas.

Ever since her arrival in El Salvador, Michelle has been giving her best efforts to be a front runner for the Miss Universe 2023 crown. Being a voice for change, Michelle's personality shines through in the way she talks and she presents herself and her country. She could very well be the next Miss Universe.