Michelle Dee from Makati, 28, surpassed 37 other candidates to become Miss Universe Philippines 2023 at a coronation night held in the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.
She will represent the country at the 72nd Miss Universe pageant to be held later this year in El Salvador.
The runners-up were Christine Opiaza from Zambales province and Angelique Manto from Pampanga province, Philstar reported.
During the Q&A, Dee was asked about the high-income inequality in the Philippines and how the gap between rich and poor could be closed.
The new Miss Universe Philippines began by saying we should recognize what we have, particularly our privileges such as food, education, and homes.
“I think the best way to address this is really through education because education holds no status quo, and every Filipino child has the right to an education,” she said.
“Not just any education but quality education, because I believe if the government can provide this to every Filipino child then we can not only elevate their quality of life but we can empower them as well.”
Dee is the daughter of former character actor Frederick ‘Derek’ Dee and actress-beauty queen Melanie Marquez who was crowned Miss International in 1979.
She graduated from De La Salle University with a psychology degree and completed a certificate program in entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School in 2021.
Dee also represented the Philippines in the Miss World 2019 competition where she finished in the top 12.
She is the second beauty queen to win both the Miss World Philippines and Miss Universe Philippines crowns following Catriona Gray.