Filipinos have done it: The Philippines’ Miss Universe 2023 candidate Michelle Dee ranked No. 1 in the pageant’s ‘Voice for Change’ advocacy platform, based on the latest numbers on the portal.
‘Voice for Change’ allowed this year’s contestants to share with the universe their advocacies through a three-minute video. The public was then invited to take part and “choose the voices that resonate with them”. Voting closed at 11.59pm on November 13, with Philippines on the top spot.
The 28-year-old Filipina stunner garnered a whopping 265,463 votes for championing autism acceptance, inclusivity, and empowerment, drawing from her own experience as a sister to two siblings in the autism spectrum.
Dee has been serving Southeast Asia’s largest non-government organisation for autism — Autism Society Philippines (ASP) — as a goodwill ambassador. She has seen firsthand how beautiful a world could be if people with autism are given the opportunities to shine and contribute to community, and this is the kind of world she has been helping create, according to her video entry.
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This voting round of the pageant could help determine the top 10 silver finalists and three Voice for Change gold winners.
Following Dee are Nicaragua’s Sheynni Palacios who got 165,833 votes for turning the spotlight on anxiety disorders, and Ukraine’s Angelina Usanova who received 152,893 hearts for speaking out on the harrowing impact of war on the youth.
Besides the ‘Voice for Change’ platform, Miss Universe is also recording fan votes through its app. The candidate who clinches the highest number of votes will automatically be part of the semifinals.
Pre-pageant preparations are ongoing in El Salvador with four days to go before Miss Universe 2023 coronation night on November 18.