By James Paladino/J.paladino@latinospost.com (staff@latinospost.com) | First Posted: Dec 20, 2012 07:47 PM EST

Since Olivia Culpo, Miss USA, was awarded the crown of Miss Universe, debate raged on social media outlets all across the net. With a vocal group of Miss Philippines supporters disapproving of the competition's results. Janine Tugonon, the first runner-up to Culpo, has been the focal point of discussion as of late. So, let's take a look at both contestants' road to global recognition. 

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(Credit: Reuters) Miss USA 2012, Olivia Culpo, creates a canvas painting for a fundraiser benefiting Cure 4 the Kids Foundation in Las Vegas, Nevada
(Credit: Reuters) Miss USA 2012, Olivia Culpo, creates a canvas painting for a fundraiser benefiting Cure 4 the Kids Foundation in Las Vegas, Nevada

Origins: Culpo, 20, was raised in Cranston, Rhode Island with five siblings.

Education: Olivia went to High School at St. Mary Academy Bay with high honors, and now currently attends Boston University as a sophomore. The newly appointed Miss Universe is recognized by the National Honor Society and has traveled to Italy as a part of multiple foreign language programs. As a lifelong cello player, Culpo has performed with the following orchestras: RI Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble, Rhode Island All-State Orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the Bay View Orchestra, and the Boston University Accompanietta.  

Interests: Concerts, Movies, Museums, Cello

Goals: A career in television or film. 

Quote of the Night: "Every experience no matter what it is, good or bad, you'll learn from it. That's just life. But something I've regretted would probably be picking on my siblings growing up, because you appreciate them so much more as you grow older..."

(Credit: Reuters)  Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao poses with Miss Universe contestant Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon during a news conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas
(Credit: Reuters) Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao poses with Miss Universe contestant Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon during a news conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas

Origins: Tugonon, 23, was raised in Balanga, Bataan.

Interests: Traveling, Cooking Filipino Dishes, Trading, Making "Pastillas" Candles, Crime Suspense Thrillers and Books. She is a known fan of Criminal Minds and Fringe.  

Education: Janine attended UST and holds a BS Pharmacy Cum Laude. Her profile notes that she has also "trained in Ballet Manila."

Goals: A career as a social entrepeneur. 

Quote of the Night: "[Being Miss Universe] is not just about knowing how to speak a specific language. It's about being able to influence and inspire other people. If you have a heart to serve and a strong mind to show people, then you can be Miss Universe."

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