Philippine representative Michelle Marquez Dee soared during the national costume competition of the Miss Universe 2023 in El Salvador early Friday morning (Manila time).
Dee wowed the audience and netizens with her elaborate pilot costume created by Filipino designer Michael Barassi, which "represents the Philippines itself — resilient, radiant and ready to embrace the Universe.“
"It's a bird, it's a plane it's Philippines! Crowned with a captain's hat this costume is a salute to the delegate's role as an Air Force reservist. This look is representative of her country -- resilient and radiant. There's no denying she's the queen of flying in the Philippines!" the host introduced Dee's costume in the segment.
According to Dee's Instagram page, her costume shows off the nation’s pride and heritage.
"With each thread woven into the 'solihiya' pattern, an iconic design used in the tropics of the Philippines, it embraces her body flawlessly — unfolding the story of the islands’ unity and artistry."
"Rising from her back, wings bear the colors of the Philippine flag and a mural of its most breathtaking sights while parading the country’s official tourism slogan: #LoveThePhilippines. Crowned with a captain’s hat, this is a salute to her role as an Air Force reservist and to our boundless adventures awaiting in the skies!" the post added.
Aside from being a beauty queen, model, entrepreneur and actress, Dee is also Philippine Army reservist and trained as part of of the Philippine Air Force.
Dee is aiming for the Philippines' fifth Miss Universe crown.
The Miss Universe 2023 pageant will be broadcast live from El Salvador on November 19, 9 a.m. on Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, Metro Channel, and iWantTFC.