MANILA, Philippines -- The winner in the recent Miss Tourism International pageant does not mind the bigger fanfare surrounding the runner-up finish of fellow Pinay, Janine Tugonon, in the Miss Universe pageant.
In an interview with "Bandila" anchor Boy Abunda on Friday, Rizzini Alexis Gomez was asked what she thought of the comparisons between her reception in the Philippines and Tugonon's after their respective beauty contest feats.
|Miss Tourism International Rizzini Alexis Gomez
Abunda asked, "Hindi ka ba nagtatampo, or don't you feel bad that Janine is getting all the attention, and you brought home the crown?"
The 22-year-old beauty queen answered, "Wala pong tampo or bitterness. I think I'm getting the same attention. I feel loved, I feel great because when I came back here, nandiyan ang buong family ko, Mutya [ng Pilipinas] and every Filipino is happy [about the achievement]."
Besting 55 other international beauties, Gomez was named Miss Tourism International 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on New Year's Eve, only weeks after Tugonon won first runner-up.
Unlike the annual Miss Universe pageant, which was on its 61st edition last year, the 16th Miss Tourism International competition did not have a live telecast on Philippine television.
|Miss Universe 1st runner-up Janine Tugonon
At the time Tugonon arrived home from Las Vegas, Abunda noted, fanfare for the Bataan beauty reached fever pitch -- "the coverage, the number of people who met [her] at the airport, the press conferences, the appearances, the front-page stories."
Within her first week back in the country, Tugonon had a guest appearance on the concert variety program "ASAP", as well as on various showbiz-oriented talk shows like "The Buzz" and "Showbiz Inside Report".
Prior to her homecoming, Tugonon's Miss Universe bid was also extensively covered by various news media outlets. She was also interviewed live on primetime newscast "TV Patrol" only hours after the coronation night.
Gomez was likewise welcomed at the airport and had a homecoming press conference. But unlike Tugonon, Gomez has yet to make TV appearances as frequently as the Miss Universe contestant has in recent weeks.
Nevertheless, "I was very happy," Gomez said.
"Janine and I competed in different pageants, but it all boils down to one -- we brought home honor to the country," she said.