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MANILA, Philippines – That Michelle Dee was crowned Miss World Philippines 2019 should be of no surprise even to the most casual of pageant observers. Pageant and crowns, after all, run in the blood.
The 24-year-old Michelle is the daughter of Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez and the cousin of another former Miss World Philippines titleholder, Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 Wynwyn Marquez.
But Michelle certainly doesn't rely on her family ties. The model and actress has been busy forging her own identity – be it on the runway, the small screen, or even in towering heels as a beauty queen hopeful.
In a 2016 interview with Mega, Michelle noted that while she may have the "same track" as her mom, "[they] have totally different personalities." Michelle is Melanie's daughter with former action star Derek Dee.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Michelle Marquez Dee (@michelledee) on Aug 8, 2019 at 4:27am PDT
She first burst onto the scene in 2016, as a model for Filipino clothing store Bench. Even then, entertainment portal Pep noted, it was almost impossible to believe that Michelle was a newbie to the modelling world.
In an interview back then, Michelle said she had made it a point to introduce herself simply as Michelle Dee – she only says she's a Marquez if asked about her background.
Michelle, who graduated with a BS Psychology degree from De La Salle University, is a woman of varied interests. On Instagram, she posts about her acting work over at GMA, fitness, fashion, photography, attending the Pride march, and her apparent love for big bikes.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Michelle Marquez Dee (@michelledee) on Jul 10, 2019 at 6:27am PDT
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Michelle Marquez Dee (@michelledee) on Jul 11, 2019 at 1:30am PDT
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Michelle Marquez Dee (@michelledee) on Jun 29, 2019 at 6:30am PDT
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Michelle Marquez Dee (@michelledee) on Apr 11, 2019 at 4:18am PDT
For her 24th birthday, Michelle released a video to talk about a cause close to her heart – the welfare of children with special needs. "This world needs to stop forcing a certain reality," Michelle says in the video, wherein she also talks about life with two siblings with autism.
Over several days, Michelle went to Sagada along with the Center For Possibilities, Inc. to visit a school that caters to children with special needs. "Medical missions are regularly arranged to help families diagnose their children and to help them understand what it truly means to share a life with them. I'm proud to say that it's been 5 years and progress has been so beautiful," she said.
Beyond the glitz, glamour, and high expectations is a woman who keeps it real. Even as a young girl barely in her 20s, Michelle's goal was clear: to be a household name not because of her beauty or her college degree but because she's "somebody who really has a good heart."
We can't wait to see what the rest of 2019 and beyond has in store for this beauty with a purpose. – Rappler.com