Miss Universe 2012 first runner-up and Pharmacy alumna Janine Tugonon speaks to media personnel in her visit to UST earlier today. Photo by Jaime T. Campos

07 January 2013, 3:25 p.m. – IN THE end, it was her faith in God that guided her journey towards becoming a beauty queen.

Miss Universe first runner-up Janine Mari Tugonon expressed her gratitude to the University for giving her Thomasian values, especially a strong faith, which she believes was her “edge” over the United States’ Olivia Culpo, who was crowned Ms. Universe.

Siguro ‘yung edge ko na lang is ‘yung aura na very happy, very fun, very confident. Kasi iba talaga ‘pag deep inside ay matindi ‘yung faith mo kay God. Sabi nga nila nu’ng nandoon ako sa stage, parang nage-enjoy lang ako, hindi ako tensed,” Tugonon said in a press conference during her homecoming earlier today in UST.

The celebration started with a motorcade around the campus, where she was warmly welcomed by students, faculty members, and administrators, followed by an awarding of a plaque of recognition and a lunch reception.

“Actually kagabi pa lang excited na talaga ako bumalik (sa UST). Sobrang warm ng pag-welcome nila, parang pang Miss Universe talaga,” said the Pharmacy alumna. “Syempre iba ‘yung pakiramdam ‘pag bumabalik ka kung saan ka nagmula.”

“Ms. Janine Tugonon’s impressive performance in an international competition proves that Thomasians truly excel in almost every field, and more importantly, she has become a positive role model to many young people because she exemplifies determination, hard work, beauty, and intelligence,” said Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P.

Tugonon, who graduated cum laude in 2010, won as Miss UST in The Search for the Ideal Thomasian Personality that same year. She was crowned Miss Pharmacy in 2009. Daphne J. Magturo


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