Like her predecessor Shamcey Supsup, Janine Tugonon also graduated with honors, earning a cum laude in BS Pharmacy from the University of Santo Tomas. Janine was first runner-up when Shamcey won the Bb. Pilipinas-Universe title in 2011.
Janine, who is 5’9”, will be slithering on the runway with her signature “cobra walk,” which she has proudly demonstrated in media interviews. It is her counterpart to Shamcey’s “tsunami walk.”
Shamcey will still be involved in Miss Universe this year: The organization invited her to be its special correspondent for its online media.
There’s a buzz in Missosology, a web forum of pageant enthusiasts, that Binibining Pilipinas has tapped Pitoy Moreno to design this year’s national costume for the Philippines. This wouldn’t normally come as a surprise except that ironically, no Filipino has designed our national costume at Miss Universe in the last 13 years. That honor went to Colombian Alfredo Barraza.
Miss Philippines, wearing a design by Pitoy, last won the National Costume award in 1994, when the pageant was held in Manila.
Starting 2010, the Philippines gained a back-to-back Top 5 finish for the first time in its Miss Universe history, thanks to the efforts of Venus Raj and Shamcey.
Its longest streak in the semifinals is four, from 1972 to 1975, which included a Miss Universe crown (1973) and a 4th runner-up placement (1975).
For the first time in Miss Universe history, the pageant is taking place in December in Nevada, just two years after the US state last hosted the event. Months prior, rumors swirled that the pageant wouldn’t be held this year reportedly because there was no country which wanted or was qualified to host it.
Due to the relatively late hosting of the event, current titleholder, Leila Lopes of Angola, is now the longest-serving Miss Universe in its history.
Owing to its schedule, Miss Universe 2012 will showcase a Christmas theme.
Viewers have the opportunity to ask one of the final questions in the pageant. Tweet @missuniverse with the hashtag, #askmissuniverse.
If plans push through, this may be the last year that Miss Universe will have candidates who are all biologically female. Early this year, Donald Trump stated that national pageants may allow transgender women to compete in 2013 as long as they are legally recognized in their respective countries.