Michelle Dee has beauty, brains and heart. But are these enough for her to win the second Miss World crown for the Philippines next month?
So far, the 5’11 beauty has appeared in various prediction polls hosted by pageant aficionados. Although “overwhelmed” by it all, the 23-year-old stunner won’t rest on her laurels.
Michelle is set to fly to London on Nov. 19, in time for the month-long pre-pageant activities culminating into coronation night on Dec. 14.
Speaking with reporters at her send-off press conference, she revealed her “game plan” is to just do her best no matter what.
“I have been training for months for all the respective categories for Miss World. All I can really do is do my best and be myself, be genuine. I am kind at heart naman, and I hope the world sees that. My strategy is to show the world how beautiful the Filipinos are and what we have to offer as a country,” she said.
“Of course, it gives me more confidence whenever I see my name on the list of early favorites. It boosts (my morale) but my goal is to gain more momentum in the coming days so I could secure a spot in the finals.”
Michelle is hands-on with every aspect of the preparations as she wants her performance in the competition to “showcase her personality.”
The beauty queen is paying special attention to the “beauty with a purpose” category, wherein the winner will directly enter the Top 40 in the finale. Michelle has been collaborating with the Autism Society Philippines to bring attention to the needs of children on the spectrum. She expressed her goal of bringing chapters of Autism Society Philippines to rural areas, believing some autism cases there aren’t diagnosed due to lack of facilities and awareness.
“This isn’t what I dreamed to become when I was younger,” she said referring to pageantry. “But it is something borne out of purpose, driven by my heart, because I know that I can do good. Without these motivations, without the drive in me to do so much good, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.”
Being a beauty queen runs in the blood of Michelle. In case you aren’t aware of it, her mother is Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez even as Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 titleholder Winwyn Marquez is Michelle’s cousin.
Asked if her mom has given her tips, Michelle said Melanie has helped her lighten up “because I’m a very serious person.”
Organized by Miss World Philippines Organization, in collaboration with GMA Artist Center, the send-off was attended by beauty queens Isabelle de Leon (Miss Multinational PHL 2019), Kelley Day (Miss Eco International PHL 2019), Glyssa Perez (Miss PHL Tourism 2019), Katrina Llegado (Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas 2019) and Mary Daena Resurreccion (Miss Eco Teen International PHL 2019).
Ensuring Michelle’s winning looks are some of the country’s top style masters.
Michelle said, “Francis Libiran is making my final gown and national costume. I’m also grateful because countless designers have also contributed to my wardrobe for the pre-pageant activities, like Renee Salud, Nono Palmos, Chris Nick, Jojo Bragais, and many more. It’s humbling how an entire country comes together with a unified goal to support one girl as part of its quest for national pride.”
In a separate interview, designer Albert Andrada expressed confidence that Michelle will bring home the crown.
“I really expect her to be a winner because she’s intelligent, she talks so well. Plus she’s the daughter of Melanie Marquez. I’m sure she was trained by her mother,” he said.
Albert has one advice for Michelle though: Shun her social media accounts for now.
“Minsan kasi kapag nakakabasa ng mga comments ng bashers, nawawala sa focus. Mas mabuti na mag-sign out na lang para ‘yung concentration, talagang nasa competition. I just hope for the best…”
The Miss World 2019 will be telecast live via satellite on GMA 7 on Dec.14 at 10 p.m.