Three mothers among 2023 batch of Miss Universe PH bets; national, local titleholders also join
The Miss Universe Philippines pageant has already announced the official candidates for its 2023 competition, and the roster includes three mothers — Clare Dacanay, Joemay-An Leo, and 2018 Miss Global Philippines Eileen Gonzales.
The three ladies were among the 40 successful applicants who hurdled the final screening conducted at the Citadines Bay City Manila Bay in Pasay City on Feb. 18. The national organization’s move to accept married women and those who have borne children is in line with the Miss Universe Organization’s (MUO) new policy that expands the qualifications of eligible applicants.
They join a highly-competitive batch of beauties that include national and local titleholders, some even with international pageant experience. Gonzales, herself, represented the Philippines at the 2018 Miss Global pageant held in the country. She was already a solo parent at that time, with the California-based international competition being the first to allow mothers to join the tilt.
Michelle Dee, daughter of 1979 Miss International Melanie Marquez who was proclaimed Miss Universe Philippines Tourism in last year’s competition, stages a comeback. She has already represented the Philippines in the 2019 Miss World pageant where she finished in the Top 12. Another global Filipino beauty in the roster is 2021 Reina Hispanoamericana tercera finalista Emmanuelle Vera, who now goes by her real surname Camcam.
Former Mutya ng Pilipinas Global Beauty Queen Pauline Amelincx, who finished fourth in the first Miss Universe Philippines pageant in 2020 and was proclaimed Miss Universe Philippines Charity in last year’s contest, has joined Dee in staging a comeback. This will be her third shot at the crown. She was supposed to represent the Philippines in the 2018 Miss Global Beauty Queen in Korea, but the competition was cancelled.
Other former national titleholders who are chasing another crown to clinch are 2021 Binibining Pilipinas Grand International Samantha Panlilio, 2019 Mutya ng Pilipinas Asia Pacific International Klyza Castro, 2016 Miss Bikini Philippines Christine Julianne Opiaza, 2020 Aliwan Fiesta Digital Queen Jannarie Zarzoso, and 2019 Miss Global Universe Philippines Layla Adriatico.
They are joined by reigning beauty queens from the provinces—Miss Baguio Krishnah Gravidez, Miss Universe Palawan Louise Gallardo, and Miss Batangas Universe Karen Joyce Olfato—and 2017 Miss Camiguin Hyra Desiree Betito.
The Miss Universe Philippines pageant also announced on social media that three crowns will be awarded in this year’s competition, but they did not yet reveal what the other titles will be. Reigning queen Celeste Cortesi will relinquish her crown in the national competition whose date and venue have not been revealed as of this writing.
The winner of the 2023 Miss Universe Philippines title will represent the country in the 2023 Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador.
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