MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) -- This year, the Philippines' bet to Miss Universe traded the traditional "terno" for a glamorous Maranao-inspired gown in the pageant's parade of nations.
Unlike the Philippines' delegates to the annual pageant before her, Janine Tugonon represented the country in a silver see-through, tribal-inspired dress, matched with a maroon sash at the National Costume show of the 61st Miss Universe pageant.
Tugonon, 23, also sported a crown and a long veil at the event held at the the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday (Manila time). (See video above, courtesy of YouTube page TheEmeraldvideos.)
"Maranao-inspired, kasi ‘yun talaga ‘yung bagay sa akin na pinagpilian,” Tugonon told ABS-CBN News.
Eighty-eight other international competitors took turns parading costumes inspired by their culture and heritage.
The Bataan beauty's choice of costume is a notable departure from the more popular "baro't saya" worn by Filipina bets to the competition in recent years. In 2010 and 2011, Venus Raj (4th runner-up) and Shamcey Supsup (3rd runner-up) both donned the traditional terno, which has been identified with the Philippines.
Last Friday (Manila time), Tugonon and her fellow candidates paraded in their swimwear and long gown for the preliminary competition.
The results of the preliminary competitions will be announced during the coronation night of the 61st Miss Universe pageant, which will be aired live on ABS-CBN on December 20.
Meanwhile, supporters of the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) cum laude can continue voting in the online polls to ensure a spot for Tugonon in the semifinals.
The Philippines is still hoping to produce its third Miss Universe winner after Gloria Diaz (1969) and Margie Moran (1973).
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