MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) Miss Universe 2012 first runner-up Janine Tugonon is expected to pay a courtesy call on President Benigno Aquino III soon.
This was announced by Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda in an interview with radio dzRB on Sunday.
Lacierda said President Aquino is looking forward to meeting Tugonon to congratulate her personally.
"We’re still finding a schedule pa po diyan but certainly we await her courtesy call. The President certainly would like to congratulate her personally. We will find a schedule. We will let you know kung kailan mangyayari ‘yung courtesy call. But tayo pong lahat are very proud of the achievement that she has done," he said.
Lacierda said all of them in Malacañang watched the Miss Universe pageant last Thursday and they all found the competition “down-to-the wire and very exciting.”
"We’re very, very proud of Miss Tugonon and we are very impressed with her, with her composure. She has grace under pressure," he said.
The 23-year-old University of Sto. Tomas graduate arrived in the Philippines early Saturday morning from Las Vegas, where the 61st Miss Universe coronation night was held.
Tugonon's runner-up feat is the best finish of the Philippines in the pageant in over a decade.
The country's last best finish was the first runner-up win of Miriam Quiambao in 1999. Venus Raj and Shamcey Supsup finished fourth and third runner-up, respectively, in 2010 and 2011.
The country is still hoping to produce its third Miss Universe winner after Gloria Diaz in 1969 and Margie Moran in 1973.