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MANILA, Philippines – After her stunning evening gown for the Miss Universe 2023 coronation night, Michelle Dee dazzled pageant fans anew with another Whang-Od-inspired gown during her grand homecoming parade on Sunday, November 10.
At the event held at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Complex in Pasay City, the actress wore a sheer bodice with tattooed sleeves, straight-cut pants, structured high collar, and a flowy train attached to her cinched waist.
Notably, the new ensemble is reminiscent of her black beaded evening gown for the pageant. Dee had earlier explained that the first gown was a tribute to Apo Whang-Od, who is dubbed the last and oldest mambabatok of the Kalinga ethnic group.
Like the black evening gown, Dee’s outfit for the homecoming parade was also crafted by renowned designer Mark Bumgarner.
“The asymmetrical design gives it an edgy and modern look, yet remaining to my aesthetics; clean, structured, elegant,” he said of the new piece. Bumgarner added that for the new gown, the traditional Kalinga tattoo design “was integrated in a more subtle way.”
The Miss Universe Philippines organization also shared photos from Dee’s homecoming parade. As seen in the photos, hundreds of Dee’s supporters flocked the MOA Complex to catch a glimpse of the beauty queen.
“SALAMAT, PILIPINAS! ❤️ Our hearts are full. Thank you for showing your support and love,” the organization wrote.
Dee represented the Philippines in the 2023 Miss Universe pageant that saw Nicaragua’s Sheynnis Palacios as the winner.
Although she didn’t clinch the country’s fifth Miss Universe crown, she finished as part of the Top 10 and took home several special awards, including Best in National Costume and the gold winner for the “Voice for Change” category. Dee’s Top 10 placement also put the country back in the semifinal round.
The Philippines is home to four Miss Universe winners – Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran (1973), Pia Wurtzbach (2015), and Catriona Gray (2018).
After her Miss Universe stint, Dee was named the newest Department of Tourism ambassador. – Rappler.com