Philippine democracy

Last year’s runner-up crowned 2012 Bb Pilipinas Universe

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Janine Tugonon brought home the 2012 Binibining Pilipinas - Universe crown

LOOKS FAMILIAR? Newly crowned 2012 Binibining Pilipinas-Universe Janine Tugonon (center)  Photo by Veejay Floresca

MANILA, Philippines – Janine Tugonon, 22, may not have brought home the crown in last year’s Binibining Pilipinas pageant, but she was among the newly-crowned beauties in this year’s competition.

Tugonon, a 5’9″ ballet dancer who hails from Bataan, was crowned 2012 Binibining Pilipinas Universe in the coronation night at Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, April 15, after besting 29 other candidates.

Other titleholders of this year’s competition include:

  • Bb Pilipinas Tourism: Katrina Dimaranan
  • Bb Pilipinas International: Nicole Schmitt
  • 1st Runner Up: Elaine Kay Moll
  • 2nd Runner Up: Ali Forbes

Tugonon, a Pharmacy cum laude graduate from the University of Santo Tomas, will carry the crown of last year’s Binibining Pilipinas-Universe Shamcey Supsup. Incidentally, Tugonon also joined last year’s competition along with Supsup, but placed only as first runner-up.

Unlike Supsup who got a lot of special awards last year, Tugonon did not receive any special award in this year’s competition. But it was her answer in the Q&A part that gave her an edge among the other finalists for the crown.

Family or career?

Tugonon responded to the question of judge Jose Manuel Romualdez, who asked: “Many women nowadays forego a happy family life for a successful career. How do you feel about this?”

“I believe that women have the right to choose between what they want. But for me, just go for what God wants you to do. Between the two, whatever it is, you must do what’s your purpose in this world. Just have a child-like faith and mature obedience, and everything will go smooth,” said Tugonon.


Last year’s second runner-up, MJ Lastimosa, also joined this year’s competition, but was unplaced.

Both Tugonon and Lastimosa had to resign as runners-up of last year’s competition to compete this year. It was the same track that 2011 Binibining Pilipinas-International Dianne Necio did, wherein she resigned as 1st runner-up of Binibining Pilipinas 2010 to compete for the 2011 pageant.

Aside from Tugonon and Lastimosa, 4 other candidates already joined in the previous years. Schmitt, for one, only landed in the top 13 of Binibining Pilipinas 2007.

Special awardees this year are:

  • Best in National Costume – Nicole Schmitz
  • Best in Long Gown – Angelie delos Reyes
  • Best in Swimsuit – Nicole Schmitz
  • Bb Friendship – Chloe Zanardi
  • Bb Talent – Katrina Jayne Dimaranan
  • Manila Bulletin Reader’s Choice – Roxanne Tadique
  • People’s Binibini (people’s choice) – Giselle Angelica Munoz
  • Bb Photogenic – Karen Gallman
  • Bb PAL – MJ Lastimosa
  • Bb Avon – MJ Lastimosa

The annual Binibining Pilipinas pageant selects the country’s representatives for top international beauty pageants: the Miss Universe, Miss International, and Miss Tourism competitions. It also used to select a representative for the Miss World competition, but gave up the franchise last year.

The pressure is high for this year’s candidates, as the previous titleholders of the competition fared in international pageants. In the Miss Universe competition, Venus Raj placed 5th in 2010, while Shamcey Supsup placed 4th in 2011.

In the Miss International competition, on the other hand, the Philippines has consistently landed in the semifinals from 2008 to 2011. –, with reports from Voltaire Tupaz

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