Janine Mari Tugonon, 22 years of age, a cum laude graduate with a pharmacy degree from the University of Santo Tomas, outdone 29 other candidates and was crowned Miss Philippines-Universe 2012 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last April 15, 2012 (Sunday).
She got the most desired title after finishing first runner-up in the same beauty pageant last year.
Nicole Schmitz, 23 years of age, from Cebu City secured the title of Binibining Pilipinas-International 2012, she also won the Nestlé Fitnesse Best in Swimsuit award and Best in National Costume. Schmitz is set to graduate with a double major in Law and Psychology in Australia at the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Katrina Dimaranan, 18 years old, was announced as Binibining Pilipinas Tourism 2012. She recently graduated from High School and also gotten the Miss Talent award.
Completing the winners’ circle were a 19-year-old, Annalie Forbes (1st runner-up) and 20-year-old Elaine Kay Moll (2nd runner-up).
The Big Dome was filled with a lot of enthusiasts and supporters of the 30 candidates who prepared hard for the big night over the past four months.
The pageant was hosted by Xian Lim, Iza Calzado, Venus Raj and Georgina Wilson which was started by a cheerful number as the girls whirled to heavy beating in a “more fun in the Philippines” mode.
The program then was followed by the swimsuit competition and the long gown parade interposed by the sounds of DJ Callum David and performances of Arnel Pineda, the Journey frontman who did a U2 song, and bamboo with a flashy version of the Anakbayan song “Probinsyana.”
The winners of other special awards were Chloe Zanardi (Bb. Friendship), MJ Lastimosa (Bb. Philippine Airlines and Ms. Avon), Roxanne Tadique (Manila Bulletin’s Readers Choice), Giselle Muñoz (People’s Binibini), Karen Gallman (Bb. Photogenic), and Angelee de los Reyes (Best in Long Gown).
Last year’s conquerors Shamcey Supsup, Dianne Necio and Isabella Manjon walked the Binibini stage as queens for the last time in a demonstrative sendoff.
The judges’ panel was composed of an elite mix of businessmen from empowered women, government personalities, diplomats, and leading multinationals.
They comprised of US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr., Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Rizal Gov. Junjun Ynares, former congresswoman Risa Hontiveros, STAR columnist Babe Romualdez, actor and sportsman Richard Gomez, Azkals striker Phil Younghusband, banker Olivier Gougeon, Avon Philippines’ Ashley Ferguson, Nestlé Philippines CEO John Miller and Miss International 2005 Precious Lara Quigaman.
The event was also attended by Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. Chairwoman Stella Marquez Araneta, Araneta Group Chairman Jorge Araneta and the BPCI executive board was composed of Conchitina Bernardo, Pitoy Moreno, Eddie Ocampo and Betsy Westendorp.
Numerous historical Bb. Pilipinas beauty queens and showbiz personalities also graced the event, including Boy Abunda and Mateo Guidicelli. Binibining Pilipinas 2012 was presented by the Araneta Center, ABS-CBN, Nestlé Fitnesse in cooperation with Nestlé Fruit Selection Yogurt, Avon, JAG jeans as the official jeans, Manhattan Garden City, the Department of Tourism, Philippine Airlines as the official airlines, and Resorts World Manila as the official residence.
Other partners are the Manila Bulletin, Pizza Hut, Charter Ping An Insurance Corp., David’s Salon, Gold’s Gym, Entrepreneurs School of Asia, Dale Carnegie Training, Picture City, TicketNet, and the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Raymond Saldaña is the official photographer of the affair. Joylong Philippines is the official transport partner of Binibining Pilipinas 2012.