Beauty queen Michelle Dee dazzled on the red carpet at her send-off party, draped in a dark green gown and brimming with confidence.
In a few days, she’d embark on her Miss Universe journey, armed with a determination to bring home the fifth crown for the Philippines.
“I am leaving on October 31. Personally, I am in my core, mind and body, prepared,” the Miss Universe Philippines titlist said at her send-off event.
“I believe everything in life is your destiny, it’s what’s meant to happen for you. And, hopefully, what’s meant for me — for all of us rather — is the fifth crown,” she added.
The 28-year-old actress and model will carry the hopes and dreams of the pageant-crazy nation as she strives to win the coveted crown following in the footsteps of Gloria Diaz, Margie Moran-Floriendo, Pia Wurtzbach, and Catriona Gray.
Dee, who advocates for mental health, autism awareness, and LGBTQ+ rights, expressed gratitude to the Miss Universe Philippines Organization for granting her creative freedom to execute her unique vision for the competition. She cherished the organization’s openness to her artistic spirit.
“I am such a creative at heart, I always have a vision of how I want a story to be told. So I’m very grateful to the organization for giving me that freedom,” she said.
“With or without pageantry, I continue to work on my advocacy. I’ll always be there, present and being their spokesperson and goodwill ambassador. Win or lose, I will champion them and their amazing campaigns that have been going on for years,” Dee carried on.
In terms of her preparation, the beauty queen is leaving no stone unturned, focusing on the minutest details to ensure she arrives in El Salvador “200 percent ready.” She expressed her desire for the Filipino people to feel immense pride in their representative during the competition, pledging to showcase bravery, fearlessness, and the warmth of Filipino hospitality.
“I am somebody who wants to take charge of every aspect of my competition — from the smallest little detail to the biggest requirement so, what’s running in my head right now is to make sure that I am 200 percent prepared when I arrive in El Salvador,” she said.
“The Michelle you will see is brave, definitely fearless, but obviously very kind and friendly as well — I mean staying to Filipinos’ brand of hospitality,” she added.
Dee made a bold choice by opting for a shorter hairstyle for the competition, a departure from the typical look of beauty queens. This change, she believed, not only better suited her personality but also aimed to challenge stereotypes and inspire others.
“Not only does it represent my personality better, but I really feel that it can empower so many people around me, to realize that you don’t have to fit into a stereotype to be a beauty queen. Of course, the times are changing, the world is progressing. I hope a mere gesture of cutting my hair will stay true to my identity. I hope that sends a positive message not just to myself but to everyone,” she pointed out.
The 72nd Miss Universe coronation, scheduled for November 18 in El Salvador, loomed ever closer.