Janine Tugonon in Miss Universe Q&A portion


Posted at Dec 20 2012 10:38 AM | Updated as of Dec 20 2012 09:16 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2012 Janine Tugonon is only one answer away from getting the country's third Miss Universe crown.

The 61st Miss Universe coronation night, held at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Wednesday night (Thursday morning in Manila), is hosted by Andy Cohen, Bravo's executive vice president of development and talent, and entertainment journalist and fashion and beauty expert Giuliana Rancic.

The Filipina beauty, who is part of the pageant's Top 5, was given a Twitter question from judge Nigel Barker: "As an international ambassador, do you believe that speaking English should be a prerequisite to being Miss Universe? Why or why not?"

She answered: "For me, being Miss Universe is not just about knowing how to speak a specific language. It's being able to influence and inspire other people. As long as your heart wants to serve and you have a strong mind to show people, then you can be Miss Universe."

Dubbed as an "early favorite," Tugonon has appeared in several pre-pageant activities such as TV guestings on talk shows.

The Philippines is still hoping to produce its third Miss Universe winner after Gloria Diaz in 1969 and Margie Moran in 1973.

Tugonon's predecessors almost clinched the Miss Universe title, with Shamcey Supsup and Venus Raj placing third and fourth, respectively.