The 28-year-old from Makati bested 37 other candidates at the Miss Universe Philippines 2023 grand coronation night held at Pasay’s Mall of Asia Arena on May 13, 2023. Aside from the crown, she also bagged the Best in Evening Gown award for her stunning crystal-adorned black gown which was nothing short of breathtaking.
During the two-part question-and-answer portion, Michelle was asked the following questions, followed by her winning answers:
QUESTION # 1: "Income inequality is still high in the Philippines. The gap between the rich and the poor remains. How do we close that gap?"
ANSWER: "I think first, we have to recognize what we have and the privileges that we have, such as food, education, and homes. I think the best way to address this is through education because education holds no status quo. Every Filipino child has the right to an education, but not just any education, but quality education. Because I believe if the government can provide this to every Filipino child, we can not only elevate their quality of life, but we can empower them as well."
QUESTION # 2: "Recently, the Department of Tourism has adopted a new branding campaign: 'We give the world our best.' For you, what is the best that we could offer to the rest of world? Why do you consider it so?"
ANSWER: "The Philippines is home to very beautiful natural resources, from the beaches, to the mountains, but I firmly believe that the best natural resource that the Philippines has is us Filipinos. We are the true heart and soul of the Philippines, with the way we are hospitable, with the warm smiles, and we are the reason why the world keeps coming back for more. No matter where the universe takes me, I will always be proud to call the Philippines my home, and no matter what happens, I will always be proud to call myself Pinoy."
Pampanga's Angelique Manto was crowned 2nd runner-up while Christine Opiaza of Zambales won the 1st runner-up award. Baguio's Krishnah Gravidez won the Best in Swimsuit and completing these ladies in the Top 5 is Bohol's Pauline Amelincx.
Congrats to Michelle and all the other winners!