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Fly high, Pinay: Captain Michelle Dee soars at Miss Universe 2023 National Costume competition

MANILA, Philippines — Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Dee continued her hot streak from the preliminary round into the national costume show of the Miss Universe 2023 pageant in El Salvador.

Michelle entered the preliminaries as one of the favorities, which she further cemented with an exemplary introduction, a jaw-dropping swimsuit walk, and an elegant evening gown.

The Filipino beauty queen resumed a favorable spell at the pageant's national costume portion with a plane-like outfit that promoted local tourism, designed by Michael Barassi.

The outfit bore a "solihiya" pattern while her wings bore the colors of the Philippine flag, a mural of tourist destinations, and the current tourism slogan, "Love The Philippines."

Michelle also wore a captain's cap with the "solihiya" pattern, referencing the beauty queen's role as an Air Force reservist.

A post shared by MMD (@michelledee)

"It's [not] a bird, it's [not] a plane, it's the Philippines," said reigning Miss Universe R'Bonney Gabriel during Michelle's segment, a riff off the iconic line attributed to comic book superhero Superman. "There's no denying she's the queen of flying... in the Philippines!"

"This National Costume represents the Philippines itself — resilient, radiant and ready to embrace the Universe!" Michelle later said on Instagram. "Giving justice to a concept that aims to promote tourism to the country WE ARE PROUD TO SHOWCASE TO THE UNIVERSE."

The Filipino-American R'Bonney will crown her successor on November 18 (the 19th in the Philippines), with Michelle hoping to win the Philippines' fifth crown.

Michelle is among the 10 Voice for Change Silver finalists, the Top 3 of which will be announced as Gold winners during coronation night.

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