What made Michelle Dee push through with Miss World Philippines plans?

Alexa Villano

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What made Michelle Dee push through with Miss World Philippines plans?
Autism awareness and mental health are some of the causes closest to this beauty queen's heart

MANILA, Philippines — Newly crowned Miss World Philippines 2019 Michelle Dee comes from a family of beauty queens. Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez is her mom and Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 Winwyn Marquez is her cousin. But for some reason, Michelle never really thought about joining pageantry until 2019.

Speaking to reporters after she was crowned Miss World Philippines 2019, Michelle, Melanie’s daughter with action star Derek Dee, said beauty contests weren’t really part of her plans.

“It was never originally [part of the plan] until I realized how much good I can do with. So that’s what really gave me the driving force to join,” she said.

Michelle also downplayed mom Melanie’s declaration that she’d be a better beauty queen. Michelle told reporters: “I think it’s because she will train me for the international pageant. So obviously, if she made mistakes she’ll try to make sure that I don’t make them.” Melanie has been training several of the country’s international beauty pageant bets.  

She also said that given a chance, she would have loved to expound on her answer during the Q and A. During the segment, she was asked what invention should make a comeback. She said the polaroid camera should make a comeback.

“In terms of invention, the reason why things are so convenient is because as we progress, technology changes.”

Michelle in her red Francis Libiran gown during the evening gown competition. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Causes close to her heart

As Miss World Philippines 2019, Michelle will not only be the spokesperson for the organization’s programs; she will, of course, also highlight causes close to her own heart, including autism awareness and mental health.

“The reason why I’m focusing more on autism awareness is because the government finally signed the mental health bill, which is basically what I was advocating before. So I want to focus on that more. I grew up with two autistic siblings and there are so many things that needs to be done in terms of laws, educational system, facilites,” she said.

Michelle said that she’s been working with an organization to further her cause. 

Michelle receives the Sports fast track award sponsored by Fila. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Michelle said that she chose to join Miss World Philippines because of the values it has.

“I really respect the values of Miss World. The reason why I chose Miss World is because of that. My values are aligned with Miss World. And even though I might be more fit physically for the other pageants, my heart is where Miss World is.”

A day after coronation, Michelle took to Instagram to thank fans, friends, and supporters.

“A new chapter begins: ⁣⁣ I’ve just reached a major milestone in my life and all I can really say is thank you. Thank you to everyone who’s believed in me since the beginning. I don’t think i’ll ever be the perfect queen but i promise to try my best and to continue to do so everyday throughout my reign. I hope I make you all proud and i hope you all enjoyed the show last night too. HERE WE GO!!!! “



— Rappler.com

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Alexa Villano

Alexa is one of Rappler's Lifestyle and Entertainment reporters, covering local entertainment news to a wide range of topics from beauty pageants to reality shows.