Finally after several months since she bagged the local crown, it’s Janine’s time to shine.
With the Miss Universe 2012 pageant just a few weeks away, sponsors, Bb. Pilipinas queens and media gave Miss Universe Philippines Janine Mari Tugonon a rousing send off during the Official Presentation held at the Gateway Cinema, Araneta Center. It was in April of this year when Janine bagged the much-coveted crown before a mammoth crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. In the months that ensued, Janine would be deluged by questions about pressure after back-to-back impressive finishes by her predecessors, the policy changes of Miss Universe and several rumors about the time and venue of the staging of this year’s Miss Universe pageant. But instead of letting all these distractions affect her negatively, Janine simply focused her energies and attention in preparing for what could be the most important event so far in her young life. This is the reason for her grace and composure despite the distractions. “When I won the Miss Universe Philippines 2012 title, I felt really pressured. Now that the actual competition is fast approaching, emotions are much more intense, but I also feel calm and confident knowing that I can and that I will give my best. I’m 100 percent ready,” shares Janine.
Her pre-pageant trainings are not to be taken lightly. Janine’s trips to the gym have been frequent and rigorous. Her love for ballet has become useful in terms of weight loss – she dances at home to help shed the unnecessary pounds. Together with her fellow Binibining Pilipinas 2012 winners, she practices the pasarela or the beauty queen’s way of walking, undergoes language and personality development trainings, takes crash courses in sociology and philosophy, and of course, she also tries to perfect the way she projects herself in front of the camera. She has even developed her own “walk” now popularly called as “the cobra”. Apart from these, Janine has even fulfilled commitments as product endorser and official representative of the Araneta Group. In between all these, she even manages to do television guest appearances and media visits to help her interact with different audiences and situations. Janine has definitely been one busy beauty queen.
The months of training has also pulled Janine out of her shell. Fine tuning her personality, according to her, was one of the most drastic changes she had to go through. “I used to be the silent type who wasn’t used to mingling with different sorts of people. That had to change. I’ve learned to be a people-person and socially engage myself by becoming genuinely more interested in others,” the BS Pharmacy Cum Laude from the University of Sto. Tomas revealed.
Janine disclosed how there were lots of individuals who wanted her to change her thoughts and beliefs aside from her numbers on the weighing scale, but she says she always keeps Miss Universe 2011 3rd Runner Up Shamcey Supsup’s words in mind – to stay true to herself no matter what.
But Janine has always been a girl who would persevere once she is convinced of what she wanted. This she proved when she joined the pageant again after placing first runner during the Bb. Pilipinas 2011, despite mixed reactions and advice from friends and family. Her perseverance and gut feel paid off, “I believe this is where I’m really meant to be. God let me join the pageant once again, and he even gave me the Miss Universe-Philippines crown. This time, losing is not an option. I have to set my mind on winning,” Janine asserts. Predecessors Venus Raj who placed 4th runner up in 2010 and Shamcey Supsup, 3rd runner up last year are also convinced that Janine has got what it takes to shine at this year’s tilt.
The 61st Miss Universe Pageant will be telecast live from Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino,Las Vegas, Nevada on December 19, (December 20 Philippine Time). It will be aired on ABS-CBN. Andy Cohen and E! News co-anchor Giuliana Rancic will host the widely viewed event.
Janine leaves for the pageant on December 2. Janine is also hoping that pageant-crazy Filipinos all over the world will support her via online voting and by watching the pageant. She is enjoining all to log on to www.missuniverse.com for further information. The winner of the online voting secures a place in the semifinals. Voting started last November 15 and ends on Tuesday, December 18 at 6:00 pm. A person can vote up to 10 times per day per account or valid email address.
After a second try, several months of waiting and preparing, Janine is ready to be the Philippines’ newest global source of pride. “I will give it my all, but I can’t win the crown on my own. I need your prayers and support,” she says.