Michelle is the Goodwill Ambassador for the Autism Society Philippines!
The Philippine pageant scene is a bloody arena in itself; cutthroat is the competition and harsh are the eyes of the spectators. More than that is the image that these aspiring beauty queens have to present, curate, and maintain ever so gracefully in front of the grating public.
But while joining pageants usually means upholding a manicured image, the true essence of this pursuit precedes the superficial. In fact, international pageant organizations today weigh in advocacy as a much more important aspect of the competition.
Thus, winners are determined by how holistic and well-rounded they are— definitions that just rightly fit Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee like a golden crown.
Who is Michelle Dee?
Born on April 24, 1995, Michelle is a 28-year-old actress and beauty pageant veteran who will represent the Philippines in the 72nd edition of Miss Universe in El Salvador on November 18, 2023.
Her name might have a familiar ring for many people since her mother, Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez, is one of the prominent figures in the pageant industry.
Her father is Derek Dee—who is known in the film industry as a producer and an action star.
Being a lovechild of a beauty queen and an action star has introduced Michelle to both worlds—which is why now, she does pageantry while also engaging in contact sports, such as boxing and marathon.
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Michelle has been in the pageant scene for quite some time now, having the opportunity to wear the Philippine sash previously in Miss World 2019. Then, three years later, she marked a podium finish as first runner-up in Miss Universe Philippines 2022.
In the ensuing year, she went for another try, as she ultimately clinched the title of Miss Universe Philippines 2023.
As she seeped into becoming a household name in the pageant scene, she carries with her not only the weight of national expectations but also the responsibility to use the platform for moving, concrete societal changes. Thus, she associates with a cause that is close to her heart—autism awareness.
Michelle Dee is an autism awareness advocate
Having to grow up with two brothers on the A-spectrum, Michelle then finds autism awareness a closer, more meaningful cause to fight for.
She has been working with several organizations in the Philippines, including Center for Possibilities Incorporation and Autism Society Philippines that provide special children and their families the support they need.
Her tireless efforts and contributions to this advocacy then ushered her in becoming the Goodwill Ambassador for the Autism Society Philippines in January 2020.
As part of her life-long campaign for autism, Michelle then takes this cause to Miss Universe as part of her advocacy video released on October 25, 2023.
In the three-minute video, Michelle emphasizes creating equal opportunities among those people who have autism.
She calls, “Let’s be the voice for those who don’t have one. Let’s be the reason why millions of lives become empowered, and let’s be a true force for good together.”
Michelle Dee as an actress
Michelle takes pageantry by storm just as she takes the entertainment scene with grace and colors. Even before pageants, Michelle has sort of developed her love for acting, which prompted her to turn this passion into a career.
Starting in 2019, she started appearing in some Kapuso television projects, such as “Love You Two,” “Glow Up,” “I Left My Heart In Sorsogon,” and “Mga Lihim Ni Urduja.”
In 2021, her dedication to this craft reaped her the Philippines Movies Press Club (PMPC) Star Awards for Best New Movie Actress. This merit was bequeathed to her for her important portrayal in the film “Because I Love You.”
Michelle Dee as an LGBTQIA+ member
Michelle has spent a relatively meaningful pride month this year, as she revealed in Mega Magazine’s special release on May 29 that she is actually part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Michelle says, “I definitely identify myself as bisexual. I’ve identified with that for as long as I can remember. I’m attracted to all forms of beauty, all shapes and sizes.
According to her, her early gender influences were partly from her mom Melanie’s open-mindedness. She even recalls a conversation with her mother who says, “O, anak, when I was young, I had five girlfriends.”
Currently, the Filipina beauty queen is already in El Salvador for the 72nd edition of Miss Universe. She is competing for the Philippines’ fifth Miss Universe crown.
The preliminary competition will take place on November 15, while the national costume show is set on November 16. The coronation will be on November 18, 2023.
Banner Art Dani Sison