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MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ Miss Universe 2023 bet Michelle Dee is leading the pageant’s Voice for Change category with over 147,000 votes as of writing.
“Through Bayanihan, we have achieved the top spot for Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Marquez Dee in the Voice for Change category,” the Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH) organization said.
Voice for Change is a collaboration between Miss Universe, jewelry brand Mouawad, and sustainable communication platform CI Talks. It is an avenue for Miss Universe contestants to share their personal advocacies through a three-minute video, and encourage viewers to join them in fulfilling their causes.
Dee’s Voice for Change entry focuses on autism acceptance, inclusivity, and empowerment. As she has two brothers on the autism spectrum, her advocacy is “very close” to her heart. She was also named goodwill ambassador of the Autism Society Philippines in January 2020.
In the video, Dee speaks about promoting a diverse and sustainable workplace where individuals on the autism spectrum can thrive and unleash their full potential. She puts emphasis on the United Nations’ sustainable development goal of creating opportunities for all.
Dee maintains a large lead over her closest contender, Miss Universe Nicaragua Sheynnis Palacios, who has over 106,000 votes. The Nicaraguan beauty queen’s advocacy centers on mental health awareness, particularly anxiety disorder in young girls and women.
Other candidates presented their advocacies in other fields, like education, finance, food, health, gender, energy, growth, inequality, water, consumption, climate, communities, marine, land, justice, partnerships, and industry.
Fans can cast their Voice for Change votes on the CI Talks website. A user can cast a single vote for free per valid email address, while tiered voting is also available, with three votes costing $1, and 1,000 votes costing $199.99. One may vote every 12 hours.
The MUPH organization also asked Filipinos to support Dee in the fan voting event. The candidates with the most votes are automatically assured of a spot in the semifinals. On October 14, the pageant organizers reported that she was among the Top 10 candidates in the fan voting, according to the partial vote count.
Dee will be representing the Philippines at the 2023 Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador on November 18. She departed for Los Angeles on October 31 before heading to the pageant’s host country. – Rappler.com