Tugonon hailed for winning 1st runner-up in Miss U pageant

Aurea Calica - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang yesterday hailed Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon for winning first runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant in the US.

Presidential deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte said Tugonon “held up the country’s banner and showed the world, once again, the grace, sophistication, and beauty that Filipinas possess.”

From her winning as Binibining Pilipinas to representing our proud nation on the stage of Miss Universe, Valte said the Filipino people supported Tugonon throughout her journey and “in the hearts of our countrymen, she is our winner, our Miss Universe.”

“With the victory of Ms. Tugonon, we find even more proof of the exceptional characteristics of Filipinas and Filipinos to be truly world class,” Valte said.

Vice President Jejomar Binay said Tugonon’s first runner finish in the Miss Universe pageant is also a perfect way to end the year.

“The charm, grace and wit she exuded during the pageant is proof that we Filipinos can stand out in the global arena,” Tugonon said.

Binay said Tugonon has captured the hearts of the judges.

“Truly, she is the epitome of beauty, brains and Filipina empowerment,” he said.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. led lawmakers in congratulating Tugonon.

Belmonte said Tugonon brought pride to Filipinos and to the women of the country.

“We thank Janine for helping inspire us once again by continuing to make the Filipino leave his mark in various world competitions such as this one,” he said.

Ang Kasangga party-list Rep. Teodorico Haresco said Tugonon “represents the best of what the country has to offer – beauty, unique talent and a capability at par with the world’s best.”

“Her victory is an acknowledgement that the Philippines is a rising star in Asia and the world,” Haresco said.

“One of the best Christmas gifts for the Filipino people,” Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento said.

Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles said Tugonon’s victory came after Nonito Donaire’s knockout victory.

“As we celebrate the season of giving, Ms. Tugonon has given us a new sense of hope and happiness. May her victory inspire all Filipinos that with prayers, hard work and dedication we Filipinos can all shine and in our own way be a source of glorious hope for our country,” Nograles said.

The Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. also congratulated Tugonon.

They said Tugonon “showed the world the Filipina’s innate beauty, substance and elegance. Janine’s achievement mirrors her earnest preparations for the past seven months and determination to win.”

While there had been much uproar in the social media over the defeat of Tugonon, Valte said what was important was that she represented the country well with her beauty and charm.

Since the question to Tugonon was about language, Valte was also asked if the country’s bets to beauty pageants should just speak in Filipino.

She said: “Whoever the next one will be should speak in the language that she is comfortable with. That is not (an issue), isn’t it? If you’re comfortable to speak in Tagalog, in Bisaya, in Chavacano, or in Beki (bekimon or beki is a colloquial word for ‘gay’) it should be of no moment.”

“Whatever you are comfortable with, in the best way that you can express yourself, then so be it,” Valte said.

Miss USA Olivia Culpo won Miss Universe during the coronation night at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. – Jose Rodel Clapano, Paolo Romero











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