MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Philippines bagged three Miss Universe 2023 awards: The Voice for Change, Spirit of the Carnival, and Miss Universe’s fan vote.
Even though the Philippines’ beauty queen representative for this year’s Miss Universe didn’t make the top five and a lot of controversy surrounding her standing, Michelle Dee is still proud to have won three awards for the Philippines.
The beauty queen initially took to Instagram to share the good news about winning the fan award. “PANALAO TAYO SA FAN VOTE!” she said in the post. However, to the beauty queen, her Voice for Change award meant the most to her. Michelle’s advocacy centered on raising awareness for individuals with autism. Dee herself has two siblings who are diagnosed in the spectrum.
The beauty queen’s award for Spirit of the Carnival award was presented by this year’s pageant sponsor, Carnival Cruises. The winner for this specific award last year was Ukraine beauty queen Viktoria Apanasenko, who also won the Best National Costume in 2022.
Another Miss Universe 2023 special award went to Spain’s Athenea Pérez. Meanwhile, the Miss Universe national costume winners list by BuzzFeed include:
- Miss Switzerland
- Miss Slovakia
- Miss Angola
The popular online publication based their ratings on queens who dressed in national costumes that represented their countries in a very entertaining manner.
Ultimately, Sheynnis Palacios from Nicaragua was crowned this year’s Miss Universe. Palacios’ win is the first-ever Miss Universe crown for her country. Thailand’s Anntonia Porsild followed with the first runner-up.
This year’s Miss Universe pageant has taken strides in inclusivity. The 72nd Miss Universe pageant has included two transwomen and a plus-size model. Miss Universe 2023 is historic in its direction towards inclusivity and women empowerment. Lastly, young mothers were also allowed to participate in the pageant for the first time in history.
Miss Nicaragua’s national costume took inspiration from a native Nicaraguan bird. The bedazzled black bodysuit with purple embellishments throughout complemented the Miss Universe’s entire ensemble. Moreover, the costume showcased a feathered train, detailed wings, and a matching headpiece. Jorgito Salazar designed the outfit.