‘Filipinos take pageants seriously’


Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo of the USA and her court. PHOTO/ ELTON LUGAY

LAS VEGAS—To many Filipino pageant watchers, Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon was the complete package: Beauty, grace and smarts. She was – but, of course — the Filipino favorite from the beginning. And when she answered her final interview, many had thought she nailed it.

But she ended up placing second to Miss United States Olivia Culpo in the 61st Miss Universe pageant. Many Filipinos around the world expressed their dismay and disappointment.

Former Miss Universe finalist Venus Raj was in shock. “I am so sad,” she told The FilAm within moments after the program at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino ended. “She was perfect, but it’s fate, we cannot do anything about it.”

Cathy Santos, a sonographer in Las Vegas, could not contain her anger.

“I am so upset, very disappointed with the results. This is like when Pacquiao lost, it’s going to take a few days,” she told this reporter.

It’s a sentiment heard around the country. Sports editor L.P. Pelayo in New York thought Culpo “messed up the Q-A portion.” He tweeted: “Amdisgusted.”

At least comedian-singer Vivorah La Vivorah from San Francisco tried

to be philosophical: “First runner-up is not bad, it’s a strong finish.”

Tugonon thanked the legions of fans who supported her. In a recorded video message shown prior to the announcement of the pageant victor, she said Filipinos take pageants seriously and that if she won, it would be her “best Christmas gift to Filipinos everywhere.”

For many FilAms, the excitement at the pageant began to build up when Tugonon made it to the Top 10. Her name was called last. Filipinos leapt to their feet, cheering. It was another loud, proud moment in Las Vegas and it was not because of Manny Pacquiao!

Throughout the two-hour program, contestants from about 90 countries competed in three categories: swimsuit, evening gown and personality interview.

In the end, the final five were proclaimed: Miss Universe 2012: Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island, USA; First Runner-Up: Janine Tugonon of the Philippines; Finalists: Irene Sofiá Esser Quintero of Venezuela; Renae Ayris of Australia; and Gabriela Markus of Brazil.

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  • superpilipinas

    I’m proud to be one of those who don’t.

    • kalikasanipagtanggol

      Lalo na ang pinaka ulo ng pageant ay ang numero uno babaero na may-ari ng tancho-tik at tulad ng playboy mogul na ginagawang hunting ground ang pageant!

  • riza888

    Sad. Have Filipinos really stooped so low that in the estimation of other people, Filipinos have become a beauty pageant-crazy nation? Do these beauty pageants and beauty queens represent a way of life that Filipinos could be proud of? As part of the Filipino culture, do beauty contests perform a relevant and useful function in the Filipino community?

    • lanzthirteen

      Actually this article is a little misleading as it attempts to create its conclusion from a few opinions here and there just like what you are doing by equating beauty pageants to way of life already. But that notwithstanding, there is nothing wrong with being serious, passionate, and proud in everything we do. In fact, I’m all for it – boxing, football, beauty pageants, and what have you, bring them on baby! Let us try to excel and be proud in every and all fields of endeavor. I just wish more Filipinos will be more positive in their thinking and action rather than giving stupid negative opinions such as yours.

      • riza888

        But that is partly the’s only a game.. it’s only a beauty pageant.. Why all the fuss? Why the fanaticism by the Pinoys, which is really embarrassing? The blind nationalism being seen by people all over the world is a rather sad reflection on the whole nation..

        For one to be proud to be a Filipino, the Philippines should be a progressive country through the cooperative efforts of its own people.

    • smokey

      Sad to note that you are a Filipino who is in denial about Filipino culture’s loved for beauty pageant.

      • riza888

        Because deep inside, beauty pageants are political statements so to speak. In all reality, the Filipinos would like to excel in the world of beauty because it is a very good cover-up for the rotten inside of what really is happening to the country. 

    • JX Peron

      Why not? Like boxing, beauty contests provide a highly welcome respite from all the political bickerings in this country.

      What else do you want us ordinary mortals to do?

      As one Peanuts cartoon character once said: I’d rather watchTV all day than listen to a philosopher all day!

  • kevin

    Why do Filipinos not accepting defeat graciously…..

  • Gibo

    Mr Donald Trump is a Cook! I knew it from the start.

  • Hey_Dudes

    Pasensiya na lang kayo kaming Filipino kasi mababaw lang ang aming kaligayahan.  Hangang beauty pageant at boksing lang ang kaligayahan namin masaya na kami.  Pero pag talo dahil mababaw lang ang aming ligaya, kaming lahat ay nagmumuhkang aling Dionisia!

  • PCD_2012

    Mr. Elton Lugay, it is not only about the pageant that the people are rooting for!  It is about the flag that the person is representing that we are proud of!  It is all about the FLAG and your COUNTRY as a whole!  

  • disqusted0fu

    sadly, pageants and boxing are just 2 of the very few things that we take seriously. but when it comes to national dilemmas, its not about caring anymore, its about politicking.

  • christine

    I too had hoped Miss Philippines would take the crown. She had all the characteristics of a winner. In my view, the pageant has become too political.

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