Janine Tugonon: beauty, grace and brains


Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo of the USA and her court. Photo by Elton Lugay

LAS VEGAS—To many Filipino pageant watchers, Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon was the complete package: Beauty, grace and smarts. She was – but, of course — the Filipino favorite from the beginning. And when she answered her final interview, many had thought she nailed it.

But she ended up placing second to Miss United States Olivia Culpo in the 61st Miss Universe pageant. Many Filipinos around the world expressed their dismay and disappointment.

Former Miss Universe finalist Venus Raj was in shock. “I am so sad,” she told The FilAm within moments after the program at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino ended. “She was perfect, but it’s fate, we

cannot do anything about it.”

Cathy Santos, a sonographer in Las Vegas, could not contain her anger. “I am so upset, very disappointed with the results. This is like when Pacquiao lost, it’s going to take a few days,” she told this reporter.

It’s a sentiment heard around the country. Sports editor L.P. Pelayo in New York thought Culpo “messed up the Q-A portion.” He tweeted: “Amdisgusted.”

At least comedian-singer Vivorah La Vivorah from San Francisco tried to be philosophical: “First runner-up is not bad, it’s a strong finish.”

Tugonon thanked the legions of fans who supported her. In a recorded video message shown prior to the announcement of the pageant victor, she said Filipinos take pageants seriously and that if she won, it would be her “best Christmas gift to Filipinos everywhere.”

For many Filipino Americans, the excitement at the pageant began to build up when Tugonon made it to the Top 10. Her name was called last. Filipinos leapt to their feet, cheering. It was another loud, proud moment in Las Vegas and it was not because of Manny Pacquiao!

Throughout the two-hour program, contestants from about 90 countries competed in three categories: swimsuit, evening gown and personality interview.

In the end, the final five were proclaimed:

Miss Universe 2012: Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island, USA; First Runner-Up: Janine Tugonon of the Philippines; Finalists: Irene Sofiá Esser Quintero of Venezuela; Renae Ayris of Australia; and Gabriela

Markus of Brazil.

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  • jerico

    Mr. Donald Trump has already given the American people something to be proud of..anyway they need it to boost the morale of the American people in the midst of economic hardship their experiencing now. Third time they cheated the Filipino..American Idol..Pacquiao Bradley fight…and now this..coincidence, dont you think. Two of them held at the “Cheating Capital of the World” Las Vegas Nevada..They cannot afford to loose only to a Filipino.To us, Ms. Janine Togonon is the true winner of Ms. Universe..Congrats..

    • J David

      You are joking right? Why is it always a conspiracy when a Filipino loses? Just accept the loss and move on. Chaumcey Supsup was much better than Janine Tugonon. Tugonon was lucky to win 2nd.

      • hennagaijin

        Plus……Shamcey a Cainta girl……..gotta be worth something.

      • Marc

        taga-Mindanao kaya si Shamcey…

      • hennagaijin

        Sure…..originally. But has been living in Cainta and now calls it home.Mabuhay Calabarzon.

      • T_Rex_Rules

        Crabs aplenty. Tsk tsk tsk. Why can”t you trolls just be happy for Janine’s victory and refrain from bashing her even if you don’t like her? It’s not just mere luck – she worked hard for it and her efforts were blessed accordingly. Plus she has that undeniable IT factor which transcends the common notion of beauty and grace. Can you even attempt to achieve half of what she has accomplished so far? Yeah, I didn’t think so too. So get a life.

  • Alim A

    she did not meet the qualities that donald trump is looking for so let alone the beauty, brains and grace you are all saying about her because she was just used by the miss universe org. to sell the pageant to filipinos in the usa and to draw in more filipinos around the world to watch which will boost up the rating. funny filipinos.

  • Pitbulldog

    Kung sa ganda din laang, aba e dapat si Miss Australia na.  At kung sa talino naman, dapat lang na Miss Philippines.  Ano ba binatbat ni Miss USA?

  • Hey_Dudes

    Beauty?  You must be blind or maybe you don’t really know the real meaning of beauty.  Grace?  what the heck is a ‘cobra’ walk – is it truly a ‘major major beauty asset?”  Her alleged beauty is nowhere near Ms. India, Ms. Australia or those coming from the south American countries.  Puede ba?

    From apart she may look pretty. But from a close up like when they were about to announce the winner between her and Ms. USA – NGEK!

    • Rod

       aba  aba nagrereact ang mga  jologs. Proud dapat tayo first runner up si Janine, kayu ngang mga rude na nagcomment hanggang tambay lng sa bahay. si Janine pang world class ang fame. BELat !!  INGGIT LNG Kayu kay  janine tugonon, Ms Universe first runner up.

  • RONNIE858

    Mga boys, tama na. Janine…congratulations!

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