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Philippines rejoices as Janine Tugonon is Miss Universe runner-up

Miss USA, Olivia Culpo, right, reacts and hugs first runner-up, Miss Philippines, Janine Tugonon, after being crowned Miss Universe during the Miss Universe competition, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines' Janine Tugonon went into the Miss Universe pageant determined, composed, and every bit the beauty queen that she is.

And for that, she gave the best performance by any contestant from the Philippines so far in the competition, finishing runner-up to Miss USA's Olivia Culpo during the coronation night at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino,Las Vegas, Nevada.

Janine showed extreme poise and intelligence in answering the question from judge Nigel Barker who asked: As an international ambassador do you believe that speaking English is a prerequisite to be Miss Universe? Why or why not?

In her response, Janine said, "For me being Miss Universe is not just about knowing how to speak a specific language, it's about being able to influence and inspire other people. So whatever language you have as long as your heart is deserving and you have a strong mind to show to people, then you can be Miss Universe."

Joining Olivia and Janine in the top 5 are Miss Venezuela Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, Miss Australia Renae Ayris, and Miss Brazil Gabriela Markus.

Janine's finish continues the impressive performance by the Philippines in the Miss Universe pageant beginning with Venus Raj in 2010 (4th runner-up) and Shamcey Supsup in 2011 (3rd runner-up).

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And of course, Filipino netizens didn't let this fact get by, tweeting that next year's bet could very well bring home the Miss Universe crown:

Congratulations from Twitter have begun to pour in:

See related stories:

The many looks of Janine Tugonon

Janine Tugonon: Losing is not an option

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