The queen has arrived!
"Feels good to be back home. With or without the crown, all of you made me feel like I was a winner," she wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday, Nov. 26.
The beauty queen arrived at the NAIA Terminal 1 before 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25. She described her salubong as "overwhelming," saying that it's because all she felt was "so much love and support" from her fellow Filipinos.
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"It was definitely not an easy road to get to this point but everything was well worth it!" she wrote.
"Madami pa tayo pagdadaanan and I can’t wait to bring you along the ride with me. Mahal na mahal ko kayo #FILIPINAS," she continued.
"Maraming salamat. Sobrang nakakataba ng puso," Michelle added, saying that she's looking forward to seeing Pinoys at her homecoming parade.
Among her nearest and dearest who welcomed her back to the country were her mother, Miss International 1979, Melanie Marquez, Miss Universe Philippines national director Shamcey Supsup-Lee, as well as her friends Rhian Ramos and Samantha Panlilio.
Michelle returned to the country a week after the Miss Universe 2023 competition, which took place on Nov. 19 (Philippine time) in El Salvador. She finished her journey to the crown in the Top 10 and bagged special recognitions, including "Voice for Change," Carnival Cruise Award, and Best in National Costume.
Sheynnis Palacios of Nicaragua won the highly coveted title and succeeded Fil-Am R’Bonney Gabriel, who represented the USA in the previous edition of the pageant. She was followed by Anntonia Porsild of Thailand and Moraya Wilson of Australia, who placed first and second runner-up, respectively.