MANILA, Philippines – “I am annoyed and disappointed.”
This was the reaction of 1973 Miss Universe Margie Moran-Floirendo after Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon placed first runner-up in this year's Miss Universe pageant held Wednesday night (Thursday morning in Manila) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
|1973 Miss Universe Margie Moran-Floirendo
Miss USA Olivia Culpo was crowned this year's Miss Universe -- the eighth time an American has won the pageant.
Moran-Floirendo, the last Filipina to bring home the Miss Universe crown, said in an exclusive interview that Tugonon's answer was clearly the best in this year's competition.
Tugonon was given a Twitter question from fashion photographer Nigel Barker, one of the judges in this year's pageant: "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."
Moran-Floirendo was waiting for her flight to Davao at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport domestic terminal at the time of the interview on Thursday. While she is "annoyed" and "disappointed", the former beauty queen eventually said that the judges may have considered other factors in choosing this year's Miss Universe, things that the viewing public has not noticed.
"She is still a winner in the eyes of the world and to all Filipinos," said Moran-Floirendo, adding that Tugonon was able to show the world that she had a shot at the coveted crown.