MANILA, Philippines—Reigning Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Dee has enlisted to join the reserve corps of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), and will undergo training in the heat of her preparation for her international competition about two months from now.
“I’ve always planned to join. A lot of my family members and friends are already reservists,” she confirmed with INQUIRER.net in an online interview after the Miss Universe Philippines Organization (MUPH) shared the development on social media.
“I will always think, If I can manage it, then why not? Because life’s too short to keep giving myself excuses not to do things I know will fulfill my purpose in life, and service to others and my country has always been one of them,” continued Dee, who will represent the Philippines in the 72nd Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador in November.
She said PAF’s schedule is not demanding, and many civilian trainees are able to commit even with full-time jobs. “It’s possible to complete, it’s just all about time management and proprieties,” explained Dee.
The model-actress-beauty queen said in the event when she would have unfulfilled days, she can always opt to join the next batch of civilian trainings. Her 2022 Miss Universe Philippines and 2019 Miss World Philippines batchmate Katrina Llegado had already fulfilled her PAF reservist training. Before them, 2021 Miss Universe Philippines Beatrice Luigi Gomez was able to complete her training as a Philippine Navy reservist.
MUPH has thrown its support to Dee’s military reservist training. Communications Director Voltaire Tayag told INQUIRER.net in an online interview that the organization “applauds” the reigning queen’s move to enlist for military training. “We know that this will bring a different sense of inner confidence and accomplishment for her,” he said.
“Much like [Gomez] who is a Navy Reservist, both embody beauty, brains and bravery. They are truly empowered Filipinas,” Tayag continued.
“We are very supportive of trainings and activities beyond the conventional runway, personality and Q&A trainings, that help them evolve and grow wholistically as individuals,” he added.
Dee will attempt to become the fifth Filipino woman to capture the Miss Universe title, after Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran (1973), Pia Wurtzbach (2015) and Catriona Gray (2018).
Filipino-American sustainable fashion designer and advocate R’Bonney Gabriel from the United States will crown her Miss Universe successor at the culmination of the coronation show in El Salvador on Nov. 18 (Nov. 19 in Manila). /ra
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