|Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon congratulates Miss USA Olivia Culpo after Culpo was named Miss Universe 2012. Photo by Joe Klamar, AFP
Venus Raj on Janine's loss: 'Very sad, super'
MANILA, Philippines – The mother of 2012 Miss Universe first runner-up Janine Tugonon said she was disappointed that her daughter did not win the crown in the international pageant on Wednesday night (Thursday morning in Manila).
But in a phone interview on ANC’s "Dateline Philippines," Tess Tugonon said Janine will still be her queen even without the crown and the title.
“I’m a little disappointed but the judges have made their decision. Deep in my heart, I know Janine deserves the crown. A lot of people also feel the same way that I do. I’m sure of that. I love her. It’s just a crown,” she said.
Thinking Janine did very well in the question and answer portion of the pageant, 2010 Miss Universe fourth runner-up Venus Raj also shared the same sentiment.
“Very sad, super. Ganoon pala ang feeling na ikaw ang nasa audience tapos parang malalaglag ang puso mo tapos nagchi-cheer para sa kandidata natin. Grabe, I was really really sad,” she said.
“After the question and answer of Miss Venezuela, kasi parang tinitignan ko pa rin si Miss Venezuela na pinaka-close na kalaban. And then after the answer, parang sabi ko wow! Parang binigay niya talaga kay Janine 'yung top na [award]. And then she answered and it was perfect. Sabi namin ‘This is the time for the Philippines to have the third crown,’” Raj added.
But despite the outcome, Raj said Filipinos should still be proud of Janine’s achievement.
“Sabi nga natin, we have to be happy kasi after Shamcey (Supsup), we have a first runner-up. Mayroon pa rin tayong reason to celebrate. Mayroon pa rin tayong ilu-look forward next year. Malay mo next year, may crown na tayo,” she said.
It was not only the two women who felt sad that Janine did not win the crown.
ABS-CBN News North America Bureau correspondent Bev Llorente, who watched the pageant live, said thousands of Filipinos were in attendance at Planet Hollywood Hotel in Las Vegas to show support for Janine.
Llorente said the Filipinos in the audience, who traveled from all over North America, were stunned when Miss USA was named Miss Universe.
“They were all rooting for Janine who did very well in the question and answer portion. A lot of Pinoys betting for Miss Philippines were all saying sayang daw because they lost money on that too,” Llorente added.
Llorente said even the Mexicans who were in the audience started rooting for Janine after Miss Mexico failed to make it in the competition’s Top 5.