Janine Tugonon an early favorite, says expert

Posted at 12/18/2012 5:49 PM | Updated as of 12/19/2012 11:07 AM

Miss Philippines guests on US talk show

MANILA, Philippines -- The country's delegate to this year's Miss Universe represented the pageant candidates in promoting their charitable activities on a talk show aired in Las Vegas.

Janine Tugonon was joined by fellow Miss Universe candidate Olivia Culpo of the United States on "More," which airs in Las Vegas via Fox 5. (See video above, courtesy of YouTube page TheEmeraldvideos.)

Both international beauties appeared on the program to spread awareness on the pageant's charitable activity "Art for Auction," which will benefit the non-profit organization Cure 4 The Kids.

According to Culpo, each Miss Universe candidate painted artworks, which are available for bidding via the official website of Design & Wine.

"The proceeds of the bidding will go to the treatment of the kids who cannot afford their medical treatments," Tugonon said. "They can bid from December 14 through January 14."

"Pageants are beyond just beauty," the Filipina beauty added. "They have a deeper meaning, and this is an example of it."

Early favorite

Aside from her appearance on "More," Tugonon was chosen to join Miss Cayman Islands in a photo shoot for the pageant's hair sponsor CHI, and was among the candidates who took part in the kids fundraiser and the Jubilee theater tour at Bally’s Las Vegas.

According to pageant expert Noel Berioso of OPMB Worldwide, Tugonon's extensive visibility in the pre-pageant activities is a sign that she is an early favorite among the 89 candidates vying for this year's Miss Universe.

OPMB Worldwide is a Miss Universe-accredited online Philippine pageant site, which covers the various activities of the beauty competition.

Filipino viewers can watch coronation night of the 61st Miss Universe pageant on December 20 (Manila time), as it airs live on ABS-CBN.

Meanwhile, supporters of Tugonon can continue voting in the online polls to ensure a spot for Tugonon in the semifinals.

The Philippines is still hoping to produce its third Miss Universe winner after Gloria Diaz  in 1969 and Margie Moran in 1973.