Get to know Michelle Dee, Miss Universe Philippines 2023

Get to know these newly crowned queens: Michelle Dee, Pauline Amelinckx, Krishnah Gravidez

/ 11:20 PM May 15, 2023

(From left) Pauline Amelinckx, Michelle Dee, Krishnah Gravidez. MUPh

(From left) Pauline Amelinckx, Michelle Dee, Krishnah Gravidez. Images: Instagram/@paulineamelinkx, Instagram/@themissuniverseph, Instagram/@krishnahgravidez

Michelle Dee, Pauline Amelinckx, and Krishnah Gravidez are perhaps some of the strongest queens who will wear the Philippines’ sash, as they are set to compete for the Miss Universe, Miss Supranational, and Miss Charm titles.

These titleholders represent three of a woman’s many empowering qualities — Michelle is aplomb, Pauline is eloquent, while Krishnah is captivating — and while clinching their chosen crowns seemed like the end, the journey is far from over.


Representing the country internationally is another uphill battle for them to climb, but being the standouts among 38 candidates is a clear indication that they have the chance to bring their respective titles home.


Michelle Dee

Probably one of Michelle’s tickets to the Miss Universe Philippines (MUPh) crown was her effortless wit, where she revealed during an interview with GMA-7’s “Unang Hirit” that she practiced for the question-and-answer portion for about 12 hours before her coronation.

“Q&A was what I worked with the most. On coronation day, I started at 4 a.m. I was like, ‘Mama Elmo, I’m so restless. I want more training, just keep throwing questions at me.’ So all day, up until I was getting my makeup done for coronation, I was just training. I just wanted my mind in the right place,” she said.


It can be noted that she’s passionate about adrenaline and acting, but behind her glamorous, go-getter personality is a woman with a heart for autism awareness and the LGBTQ community.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by MMD (@michelledee)

At an early age, she discovered what it means to be wholeheartedly compassionate to people with special needs. After all, she’s an older sister to her siblings Mazen Marquez and Adam Lawyer, who both suffer from autism. “So, I’ve firsthand seen the struggles that my brothers and my family had to face,” she said in her Miss World 2019 “Beauty with a Purpose” campaign.

Despite the hardships, Dee remained grateful for her brothers, as she cited them as the reason for her long-term desire to fight for autism awareness.

“I need everyone to feel how important this is,” she said, sharing her intent to help children with special needs on a vlog. “Every day was a battle in my head between what was normal and what was normal for the world. It’s not enough for me to just sit by and hope things will get better for them. We need more people to ask better questions, we need more people to understand, but one day I know we’ll get there.”

She started to become a part of the Center for Possibilities Foundation at the age of 16, a non-profit organization for children with special needs, which is notably founded by the best friend of her grandmother, Dolores Cheng. She is also part of the Autism Society of the Philippines.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by doc marlon😎 (@iamdoc)

“If you were to consider what an advocate is, it’s someone that believes in something and fights for something. So, if you were to consider that meaning, I would probably be an advocate my whole life because I know how to stand up for what’s right or true for myself,” she told Kapuso Profiles.

Michelle is also an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, and known to be vocal about her support. She was even seen attending the Pride March in 2018, and make an effort to raise funds for Pride-centered organizations.

While it’s common knowledge that she came from a family who made their mark in pageantry, being a beauty queen was not really part of her plans until she became a judge at the Miss World pageant.

“Actually, I never dreamed of becoming a beauty queen. Acting was what I always wanted because it brought out my creativity,” she told Preview Magazine in April 2022. “But being a beauty queen never really crossed my mind until the first time that I stepped on the pageant stage.”

But it was the love of the pageant community that pushed Michelle to dip her toes into pageantry. “ Because if so many people that know me or don’t know me see the potential in me, then I started asking myself, ‘Why couldn’t I see the potential also?’” she added.

Like many queens, however, Michelle struggled to believe in herself. Especially when she’s surrounded by regal winners. As a result, she backed out three times before she decided to join Miss World Philippines 2019 and according to her Kapuso Profiles interview, the decision was worth it.

And the rest is history.

Pauline Amelinckx

Pauline’s journey to the Miss Supranational Philippines crown was nothing short of easy, as she was the only pageant veteran in her batch who didn’t wear the Philippines’ sash on the global stage.

Prior to her coronation, Michelle was a Miss World 2019 Top 12 semifinalist, Emmanuelle Camcam was Reina Hispanoamericana 2021 third runner-up, Samantha Panlilio was a Miss Grand International 2021 candidate, and Klyza Castro was a Miss Asia Pacific International 2019 Top 25 semifinalist.

“I feel like [competing again] somehow cultivates a certain culture of girls being pitted against one another [by fans],” she said during an Empire Philippines cover interview. “But at the end of the day, it’s so fun [interacting] and having connections with them. We’re the old Ates (sister),” she said.

Putting herself out there for the third time was a test of Pauline’s faith. And it was another opportunity to represent her team and advocacy to educate the next generation on how to preserve the environment — which is a unique take compared to her peers — and help underprivileged go to school.

“Along with my mentors, we came up with a way to combine my love for free-diving and combine my hobbies and talents to create a coloring book,” she explained to GMA-7’s Playground in April 2022. “That way, I can instill into them that through my coloring books, a sense of understanding, care, and love for the environment that surrounds them.”

“We are in the Philippines. We are surrounded by water. And if only you can go down there and see how beautiful it is,” she said, as she opened up about her passion for freediving. “Hopefully, more and more people will protect it so that we can be able to still share it with everyone else.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Pauline C. Amelinckx (@paulineamelinckx)

Amelinckx is also an ambassador for hope at the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, which aims to help underprivileged children from coastal and far-flung communities have access to quality education.

Some believe that fighting for your dreams — for multiple attempts — is one step closer to desperation, which is something that Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach also had to go through. But Pauline wears this as a badge of pride as a way of empowering other women that it’s okay to be seen as “ambisyosa,” as long as it’s a form of self-love without hurting anyone along the way.

“This is the third time I’m [competing at Miss Universe Philippines]. I think that’s pretty interesting,” she stated during her MUPh closed-door interview. “[Which made me become] an advocate for body positivity and self-love. My previous journeys have received a lot of bashing when it comes to my body but I’ve learned, grown, and I love myself even more now.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Pauline C. Amelinckx (@paulineamelinckx)

“Despite being bashed before for my body, being doubted by people, I found strength in myself. And this story can be a testament for other people to draw strength from it too. A second chance can be just as sweet, and you can still achieve your ultimate [goal] the second time around,” she said during the final Q&A portion of the MUPh 2022 pageant.

Pauline was named as Miss Universe Philippines 2022 – Charity as a result. But even so, that didn’t stop her from having another go. It may have been arduous for her, but nothing is as sweet and as gut-wrenchingly beautiful as finally having the chance to represent her country on the global stage.

Krishnah Gravidez

Dipping her toes into pageantry was not the first time Krishnah Gravidez appeared on TV. In 2019, she was one of the contestants of the “Bikini Open” segment in the now-defunct show “Wowowin” where she made host Willie Revillame laugh with her high-pitched “Hello, Will!”

At the time, it seemed that she was joking about wanting to join beauty pageants especially when she said, “Sayang ang ganda ko eh.” But four years later, she is set to represent the Philippines in the international stage.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Krishnah (@krishnahgravidez)

Being a newbie in a national tilt seems overwhelming for rookies, but Krishnah took the challenge in stride. Maybe it comes with her innate courage of having to step up for her family’s needs at an early age.

“I ventured into different small businesses because I had to step up for my family at the age of 14, as I’m the eldest daughter, to help my family financially,” she said during her MUPh 2023 closed door interview. “So, I ventured into small businesses. I was selling lip tints, drinks, bags, and clothes to my classmates to somehow cover my allowance as a high school student.”

Apart from pageantry, Krishnah wants to become a civil engineer. But it seems that her dream would have to take the back burner for a while as she’s given the responsibility of bearing the Miss Charm Philippines crown.

For now, she is a youth empowerment advocate and a member of Colors of Kindness foundation which aims to assist children, caregivers, and teachers protect their well-being and have access to quality, inclusive education.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Krishnah (@krishnahgravidez)

Having such a breathtaking beauty and aura is one of Krishnah’s assets to winning a crown of her own. But for someone who dabbled into a larger-scale pageant for the first time, her engaging personality is the key ingredient to ensuring her victory. EDV


From ‘World to Universe,’ Michelle Dee treads path taken by queens before her

Michelle Dee of Makati crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2023

Pauline Amelinckx reflects on ‘stronger spirit’ during Miss Universe Philippines journey

TAGS: Krishnah Gravidez, Michelle Dee, Miss Charm Philippines 2023, Miss Supranational Philippines 2023, Miss Universe Philippines, Miss Universe Philippines 2023, Pauline Amelinckx

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our entertainment news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2023 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.