MANILA, Philippines – (3rd UPDATE) Binibining Pilipinas 2012 candidate No. 18 Janine Tugonon has a shot at being crowned the world’s most beautiful woman as she represents the Philippines in this year’s Miss Universe pageant.
Tugonon has big shoes to fill, following the runner-up finishes of her predecessors in the past two Miss Universe pageants – Shamcey Supsup won third runner-up in last year’s competition, while Venus Raj placed fourth-runner up in 2010.
Here are some fast facts about Tugonon:
- Tugonon is 22 years old and hails from Balanga, Bataan. She is single.
- During the pageant’s question and answer portion, judge Jose Manuel Romualdez asked Tugonon the question: “Many women nowadays forego a happy family life for a successful career. How do you feel about this?” Tugonon replied: “I believe that women have the right to choose between what they want. But for me, you’ll have to go for what God has called you to do, whatever it is, between the two. You must do what your purpose is in this world. Just have a child-like faith and mature obedience, and everything will go smooth.”
- Tugonon is no stranger to the Binibining Pilipinas pageant. She placed first runner-up in last year’s competition, which was won by Supsup, her roommate. Below is a video of Tugonon during the question and answer portion of Binibining Pilipinas 2011 which was posted on YouTube.
- Tugonon admitted that her family had mixed views on her decision to join the Binibining Pilipinas pageant for the second time. “Sobrang saya ko kasi joining again really is a big discussion in our family. Maraming may ayaw, pero meron ding may gusto. Talagang dito napatunayan ko na when God really plans something for you, it really happens,” she told ABS-CBN News. “Sobrang saya at the same time nervous din kasi Shamcey and Venus made it sa Miss Universe.”
- Tugonon is a pharmacy graduate of the University of Santo Tomas. She won in beauty pageants held in UST, such as Miss Thomasian Personality in 2010 and Miss Pharmacy in 2009.
- According to her Facebook fan page, Tugonon graduated cum laude from UST. It added that the beauty queen was a consistent honor student and is into ballet.
- Hours after the pageant, Tugonon attributed her victory to God. “My Savior fought and won the battle for me,” she said on Twitter. The beauty queen also turned to the microblogging site to thank her friends, fans and supporters.
The Philippines is still hoping to produce its third Miss Universe winner, with the first two being Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran.
Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. chairperson Stella Marquez Araneta said the Philippines is slowly reclaiming its “lofty stature as the beauty capital of Asia.”
“This batch is also considered as one of the most accomplished. I guess the back-to-back performances of Venus Raj and Shamcey Supsup really upped the ante for Filipino beauty pageants,” Araneta said.
This year’s Binibining Pilipinas candidates were composed of registered nurses, doctors, law graduates, and entrepreneurs, among others.