Janine Mari Tugonon has come a long way. From her days as a fresh-faced and innocent-looking student at the University of Sto. Tomas who won Ms. Ideal Thomasian Pharmacy 2009, she went on to conquer the whole campus by topping the Ms. Ideal Thomasian Personality 2010 competition. These achievements helped spur her desire to go higher with her objective. The following year, she screened for and was chosen as Official Candidate of Bb. Pilipinas 2011 where she almost nailed a crown by placing 1st Runner-Up. Armed with the confidence and the training/backing of Jonas Gaffud’s Aces & Queens, she re-joined Bb. Pilipinas and was rewarded with the biggest prize – 2012 Miss Universe Philippines.
From hereon, the journey to Miss Universe 2012 (be it in Miami, Johannesburg or Las Vegas) will be thornier. Aside from the presence of thoroughbreds from Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Colombia, she will need to face up to the pressure of duplicating – if not eclipsing – the Top 5 placements of predecessors Shamcey Supsup and Venus Raj. Can she live up to the expectations of her countrymen? I will reserve my judgment after her training for MU wraps up on the day of her send-off. Or should we rely on superstition saying that she will complete the ‘T’ part of the Q(uiambao), R(aj), and S(upsup) quartet? Nah. Luck plays a part but not to such obvious extent.
Focus on your training, Janine. And the rest of the Philippines will stand behind you 101% in Miss Universe 2012. 😉