[PHOTO -Janine Tugonon, the 23-year-old BS Pharmacy Cum Laude from the University of Santo Tomas, brought great honor and pride to the country by finishing runner-up in the Miss Universe 2012 pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino,Las Vegas, Nevada.]

MANILA, DECEMBER 24, 2012 (MALAYA) Philippines’ Janine Tugonon was hailed as the second most beautiful woman in the universe after ending as the 1st runner up in the “Miss Universe 2012” pageant held in Las Vegas, Nevada yesterday. Miss USA Olivia Culpo took home the crown, replacing Angola’s Leila Lopes who won the title last year. Irene Quintero of Venezuela ended up 2nd runner up; Renae Ayris of Australia was third runner up; and Gabriela Markus of Brazil was named 4th runner up.

A licensed pharmacist and a cum laude graduate of the University of Santo Tomas, Janine wowed the judges and the crowd in the swimwear competition with her fabulous figure and signature cobra walk that made her advance to the top ten.

Her elegant pose and unique yet graceful hand gesture also stole the show and stunned viewers in the evening gown portion.

In the question and answer portion, Janine was interrupted by the audience’s applause while answering the final question asked by fashion photographer Nigel Barker: “As an international ambassador, do you believe that speaking English should be a prerequisite to being Miss Universe? Why or why not?”

The Filipina beauty confidently 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 to people, then you can be Miss Universe.”

This is the second time the Philippines placed 1st runner-up in the world’s most prestigious pageant after Miriam Quiambao lost the crown to Ms Botswana back in 1999.

To date, the Philippines has won two Miss Universe titles, the first one in 1969 by Gloria Diaz and the second one in 1973 by Margarita Moran.

A replay of “Miss Universe 2012” will be telecast on ABS-CBN on Dec 23, 11 p.m.


What Janine Tugonon took home as prize Posted at 12/22/2012 5:15 PM | Updated as of 12/22/2012 5:15 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Janine Tugonon was initially disheartened she didn't get to take home a sash, but had reason to be happy when she got to pack with her a shining reminder of her first runner-up finish in this year's Miss Universe pageant.

According to Tugonon, she was given a cash prize of $3,000 (P123,000).

Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2012 Janine Tugonon"And may trophy, yehey, akala ko nga wala eh, kasi sash wala eh, sabi ko ano iuuwi ko? 'Yun pala may trophy na mabigat," Tugonon told reporters during a press conference held Saturday afternoon for the homecoming of the beauty queen.

The 23-year-old Bataan beauty arrived in the Philippines early Saturday morning from Las Vegas, where the 61st Miss Universe coronation night was held.

Asked where she plans to spend the cash prize, Tugonon said, "I'm still paying my house eh, so probably doon."

For her part, Miss USA Olivia Culpo -- who was crowned Miss Universe -- is getting a custom diamond tiara and jewelry by Diamond Nexus, and a year-long salary as the pageant organization's frontline promoter.

The Rhode Island beauty will also receive luxury accommodations in an apartment in New York City for the duration of her reign, which includes living expenses.

Other prizes Culpo will be receiving as the 61st Miss Universe are an extensive new wardrobe, a modeling portfolio, year-long consultation with a fashion stylist, representation for casting opportunities, healthcare benefits, hair care and skincare services and supplies, and access to various high-profile events in New York City.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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