Not a bad time for Miss World and Miss International, for sure. But For Miss Universe, it certainly was
The Bb. Pilipinas 2020 titleholders – Joanna Penalosa, Nina Alagao and Katherine Annwen de Guzman
. Never was there a decade in the entire MU history that the Philippines neither placed nor grabbed a runner-up position. Name the decade, we have cited representatives – the 50s, the 60s, the 70s, the 80s and the 90s. For the uninitiated, Blesilda Ocampo was the first Miss Philippines who advanced to the semifinals when she made the Top 16 during the 1954 edition.
As for the years 2000-2009, the Philippines was clearly wiped out and remained in the background (or backstage) after the first cuts were made – from Nina Ricci Alagao in Cyprus all the way to Bianca Manalo in the Bahamas (insert Zorayda Andam, Karen Agustin, Carla Balingit, Maricar Balagtas, Gionna Cabrera, Lia Andrea Ramos, Theresa Licaros and Jennifer Barrientos in between). Let us now watch the Bb. Pilipinas 2000 edition which many pageant enthusiasts claim as the year that started the dark years of the country in our all-time favorite beauty pageant.
The different faces of Miss Universe Philippines Janine Tugonon
Looks-wise, Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon is no Venus Raj or Shamcey Supsup. In fact, her face is atypical of how our Miss Universe representatives looked like ever since Zorayda Andam in 2001. If at any, her mold is more leaned towards a Miriam Quiambao with strains of Nina Ricci Alagao in some ways. And it is for this reason that she stands out among the beauties of Miss Universe 2012 instead of conveniently “blending in”.
Attending the promo/presscon for the Pacquiao/Marquez fight with Mexico's Karina Gonzalez.
A couple of days back, I remember what the people from Chi commented about her register in front of the camera – Janine has a perfect face. I’m pretty sure the impression was based on how photographers/creative experts size up their subjects’ facial features and not the way a regular pageant enthusiast would be quickly enamored by a string of random photogenic snap shots. However which you look at it, every single candidate in this year’s roster has an ace or two up their sleeves – be it the face, body, personality or all.
Roommates Maria Selena of Indonesia (L) and Janine
At the end of the day, someone who stands out will always be better than the next lady who simply fits the look profile of the majority. Janine could be one of the former. She may not shoot to the top of an armchair judge’s rankings, but she will most likely be remembered (country-associated, if you will) more easily than a group of ladies who all look alike. 😉