MANILA, Philippines — The oft-quoted line “know when to peak” among pageant circles seems to apply to Michelle Marquez Dee’s journey to the Miss Universe Philippines crown. She may not have topped any of the online challenges during the virtual stage of the competition, but amassed the lion’s share of special awards during the physical phase of the contest.
The pageant conducted contests online among the 50 delegates who passed the screening. While Dee did not win in any of those, she was included in the Top 3 contestants in the “Swimsuit” and “Casting Video” challenges.
Only 32 delegates moved on to the physical phase of the competition and were introduced during the press presentation at the Hilton Manila at the Resorts World Manila complex in Pasay City earlier this month. There, Dee received the “Multi-Level Beauty” award from pageant sponsor Frontrow, which marked what would become a rewarding journey for the former Miss World Philippines titleholder.
During the preliminary competition staged at the Cove Manila Indoor Beach Club of Okada Manila in Parañaque City on April 27, Dee took home almost a third of the special citations—Miss Kumuniverse, Miss Cream Silk, Face of Essentials by Belo, Miss Jojo Bragais, Miss Savepoint, and Miss Medical City.
Other former national beauty titleholders also took home multiple awards.
Bohol’s Pauline Amelinckx, 2018 Mutya ng Pilipinas and third runner-up in the inaugural Miss Universe Philippines edition, was proclaimed Frontrow Choice Queen and Miss MG Cars. She earlier topped the “Introduction Video” virtual challenge.
Dee’s batchmate in the 2019 Miss World Philippines pageant, Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas Katrina Llegado of Taguig City, received the Miss Philippine Airlines and Miss CAD titles. She also received the most online votes for the “Best in Arrival Look” award during the press presentation and won the online “Swimsuit” challenge earlier.
Former Miss Philippines Earth Celeste Cortesi of Pasay City took home the on-site “Best in Arrival Look” award during the press presentation. At the preliminary competition, she was hailed Miss Avana and Miss Aqua Boracay. For the virtual phase of the competition, she topped the “Casting Video” challenge and was among the Top 3 contestants in the “Headshot” and “Swimsuit” challenges.
Palawan’s Angelica Lopez, who shared with Llegado the popularity poll for “Best in Arrival Look” for the press presentation, received the Frontrow Luxxe Immunoplus Queen Majestic during the preliminary competition. She was among the Top 3 contestants in the “Fashion and Runway” virtual challenge.
Mandaue’s Isabel Luche who topped the virtual “Headshot” challenge was hailed Miss Jewelmer, while Cebu City’s Chantal Elise Schmidt who was among the Top 3 in the “Fashion and Runway” challenge was Miss Cavaso. Lou Dominique Piczon from Cebu Province, who was included in the Top 3 for the “Introduction Video” challenge, was Miss Okada Manila.
Reigning queen Beatrice Luigi Gomez will crown her successor at the culmination of the 2022 Miss Universe Philippines coronation night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on April 30.
Filipino Miss Universe winner Pia Wurtzbach will share hosting chores with her successors Iris Mittenaere of France and Demi-Leigh Tebow of South Africa.
Current Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu of India will be one of the judges, while Filipino-American “American Idol” finalist Francisco Martin will perform.