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MANILA, Philippines – Admitting that her Top 10 finish wasn’t the “result (she) wanted,” Philippine bet Michelle Dee said that making Filipinos proud of her Miss Universe 2023 performance is already a win for her.
Speaking to ABS-CBN News’ Dyan Castillejo after the coronation night in El Salvador on Sunday, November 19, Dee reflected on her stint, emphasizing that she gave it her all for the pageant.
“I love just making all of my countrymen so proud. Kita niyo naman, talagang binigay ko lahat (As you can see, I gave it my all). Everything I can afford to give, I just left it onstage,” she said.
The actress added: “It’s not the result that we wanted. But I know, as long as all of you are proud, as long as all of you see the hard work and dedication that was made behind it — not just for myself, but the whole team behind me as well, — that’s enough for me. And ultimately, I hope you all are happy.”
Although she didn’t take home the Philippines’ fifth Miss Universe crown, Dee’s Top 10 placement put the country back in the semifinal round.
During coronation night, Dee was also named one of the Gold winners in the pageant’s “Voice for Change” category, along with candidates from Angola and Puerto Rico. Her entry focused on autism acceptance, inclusivity, and empowerment.
Aside from that, Dee also revealed in her Instagram Broadcast channel that she also took home the Spirit of Carnival Award and Miss Universe’s fan vote.
In her interview with ABS-CBN, the Filipina beauty queen shared that she’s overwhelmed by the amount of support she’s receiving from her fans.
“It’s all about bayanihan, and we really showed the universe what we had to offer,” she said.
Dee also expressed her gratitude to her team and trainers, admitting that she regrets not being able to reach the pageant’s question and answer portion.
“Sayang, hindi ako nakahawak ng mic (It’s such a shame that I wasn’t able to hold a mic). If anything, just know that I was training the whole year to make sure that if I had this moment, walang butas (it would be seamless).”
Meanwhile, fellow Filipino beauty queens such as Kylie Verzosa, Celeste Cortesi, Catriona Gray, and Pauline Amelinckx also applauded Dee’s performance.
The Philippines is home to four Miss Universe winners – Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran (1973), Pia Wurtzbach (2015), and Catriona Gray (2018). – Rappler.com