Michelle Marquez Dee, Filipinas!
If there is one “unconventional” Filipino beauty queen whom I really admire at this age, she is Michelle Marquez Dee.
Notwithstanding that the Miss Universe pageant this year, held in El Salvador, was jam-packed with strong contenders—mostly Latinas—Michelle painstakingly maneuvered her stint.
Her advocacies, vitality, short hairstyle, and stellar performance during the preliminary rounds were what propelled her to a spot in the Top 20.
I was amazed at how she slayed the runway during the final swimsuit competition as a semifinalist, leading her to enter the Top 10.
She exuded a superb aura in her black gown, inspired by traditional tattoo artist Apo Whang-od, during the evening gown segment. Yes, she nailed it.
Yet, the stars did not align in our favor, for our candidate failed to advance to the Top 5. Just like many fans, I was saddened, knowing that she is known for her gift of gab and that she would surely ace the interview portion.
To our forever Miss Filipinas, Michelle, thank you for representing our country in the best way possible. You may not have won Miss Universe but we are proud of you for a multitude of reasons, and because of you, we are even more proud to call ourselves “Pinoy.”
Jhon Steven C. Espenido,