Makati's Michelle Dee wins Miss Universe PH 2023

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 14) — Michelle Dee of Makati won the coveted Miss Universe Philippines 2023 crown on Saturday after besting 37 other candidates during the coronation night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Dee will represent the country in the upcoming Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador to be held later this year.

This will not be the first time the daughter of Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez will compete abroad as she also represented the Philippines in Miss World 2019.

Dee gave pageantry another chance during last year's Miss Universe Philippines competition and ended up as Miss Universe Philippines-Tourism.

During the final question and answer round, all five finalists were asked: "Recently, the Department of Tourism has adopted a new branding campaign: 'We give the world our best.' For you, what is the best we could offer to the rest of the world? Why do you consider it so?"

Dee answered: "The Philippines is home to beautiful natural resources, from the beaches to 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 that 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."

Meanwhile, Krishnah Gravidez of Baguio was crowned Miss Charm Philippines and Pauline Amelinckx of Bohol was proclaimed as Miss Supranational Philippines. They were both awarded in a separate ceremony after the coronation night.

Christine Opiaza of Zambales and Pampanga's Angelique Manto were named 1st and 2nd runners-up, respectively.

The pressure is on Dee to bring the Philippines back in the semifinals of the Miss Universe pageant after Celeste Cortesi failed to extend the country’s 12-year-streak, which included two titles.


The pageant was hosted by actors Xian Lim and Alden Richards — with Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa as special guest host.

During the announcement of the winner of Miss Friendship award, there was a mix-up after Richards announced it was Agusan del Norte's Jannarie Zarzoso who won, instead of Shayne Maquiran of Capiz.

Meanwhile, after a long commercial break following the announcement of the Top 10 finalists, Lim announced there were some "technical issues" in the tallying of the scores.

Hence, all the Top 18 semifinalists went back on stage for the evening gown competition. But it only made the contest tougher as only five will make it to the final round.

Reigning Miss Universe R'Bonney Gabriel of USA also graced the coronation night as one of the judges, along with Miss Universe 1973 Margarita Moran.

There were also performances by K-pop singer Nam Woo-hyun and American Idol runner-up Jessica Sanchez.

This also marks the first year where single mothers were allowed to join the pageant.