Modeling wasn’t part of her plan. All she ever wanted was graduate, get married, and have kids, but as fate would have it, Janine Tugonon ended up taking the path she was destined to walk.
Janine Tugonon: The Filipino Model Who Took the World by Storm
She’s most known for her Miss Universe stint, but Janine Tugonon is more than just a beauty who graces the stage in her evening gown or swimwear. As a model, Tugonon has achieved a lot and has made her country proud a lot of times.
Janine was not always interested in modeling or pageantry. In fact, as she told Elle, she didn’t know anything about pageants. She was more like your typical studious girl who has nothing in mind but the academic goals everyone expects her to achieve.
But when she was a college senior, Janine found herself signing up for a beauty pageant after her class pitched her in to represent them as Miss Pharmacy.
That was the start of her journey as a model and beauty queen.
Janine Tugonon first came to national attention after being named Miss Universe-Philippines 2012. She represented the country at the Miss Universe 2012 pageant held in Las Vegas, Nevada, and finished first runner-up.
In 2013, Janine moved to LA to study acting, but she knew for herself that it was modeling she’set for. When she signed with an agency, the first thing she asked them was whether they were sending models to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. When she found out that they weren’t, she started planning to move to New York. She did in 2016.
Janine is the type to go for what she wants, no matter how rough the road toward success is. When she moved to New York, she started going to auditions. But she was rejected a lot of times, something an achiever like her was not used to. She tried out for Victoria’s Secret when she was in LA. She was worried when she came to the audition and was greeted by a bunch of “blondes with blue eyes.”
Janine made the final cut for Victoria’s Secret ad for their lingerie line Pink. She appeared in the brand’s ad, making her the first-ever Filipino to do so. Her VS gig made headlines in the Philippines and once again, Janine made her home country proud.
In 2017, Janine was selected as one of the twelve finalists that were set to participate in famous photographer David Bellemere‘s calendar shot. In the same year, Janine walked down the runway during the New York Fashion Week, modeling for Malan Breton‘s fall-winter collection.
And just recently, Janine also got signed with Select Model Management, a prestigious modeling agency that is home to some of the industry’s top-ranked models.
At a young age of 28, Janine Tugonon sure has achieved a lot as a model. Now she’s become one of the famous Filipino models and continues to prove that she’s a force to reckon with. She admits that pursuing your dreams will have you take a lot of risks, sometimes you find yourself asking what you did wrong, what you lack. But if you’re brave enough to take on every challenge, you’ll get to where you want to be.Model Spotlight: Janine Tugonon by Holly