Jennivev "Nene" Santillan Tamayo on late Saturday night emerged as the first winner of the country's biggest reality show "Pinoy Big Brother" (PBB).
Tamayo, 24, garnered 554,906 text votes or 48.9 percent of the total votes, besting three other housemates Jayson Gainza of Batangas who got 312,258 votes (27.5%); Davaoeña Cassandra Ponti who got 214,188 votes (18.9%); and Filipino Israeli Uma Khouny with 52,833 votes (4.7%).
As the first Pinoy Big Brother winner, Tamayo brought home a whopping P6 million prize package that includes P1 million in cash, a brand new car, a house and lot and a business franchise.
Gainza, Ponti and Khouny each received P200,000, an appliance showcase and gift packages. As the second big winner, Gainza got an additional P100,000.
The crowd roared in delight as the winner was announced and the mock-up model of the PBB house on the stage folded up to reveal Tamayo.
Tamayo was ecstatic as she waved to thousands of fans who trooped to Clark Expo, Pampanga to witness the star-studded "Big Night." She broke into tears as her family went up the stage to join her in celebration.
"Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat. Tagumpay po natin itong lahat (Thank you so much. This is our victory)," a teary-eyed Tamayo said.
Her fellow housemates, who have become her family for 111 days, congratulated her.
Khouny, Gainza and Ponti—who have considered Tamayo their tough rival for the people’s approval—rushed to the stage to embrace her.
The rest of the housemates—Say Alonzo, Franzen Fajardo, Jenny Suico, Sam Milby, Chx Alcala, Bob de la Cruz, Racquel Reyes, JB Magsaysay and Rico Barrera—joined the group as the whole arena exploded in cheers when the people danced and sang PBB's hit song "Pinoy Ako."
Epitome of modern Pinay
Supporters of Tamayo, who apparently dominate the crowd, celebrated their idol’s triumph as they yelled: "Nene, Nene."
Fans interviewed have a common reason for voting Tamayo: she epitomizes the modern Filipina.
"Not only that we can relate to her, but we look up to her as how every Filipina should be in the modern age—simple, disciplined, resourceful, family-oriented and one who always rises up to the occasion," said TV host Christine Bersola-Babao, a self-confessed supporter of Tamayo.
Her fellow housemates also have kind words for Tamayo. She was only nominated for eviction when Khouny and Ponti gave her two nomination points each during the ninth and last eviction night. They said they did so because they believe Tamayo was a tough contender.
Tamayo’s strong character and never-say-die spirit earned her the moniker "Kumander Nene." Aside from being the resident artist of PBB, she was also referred as "Nenergizer." The housemates said Tamayo accomplished tasks like a piece of cake. She has also mazed the public when she climbed a coconut tree inside the PBB yard to get Cass’s stuff toy.
Tamayo had her emotional moments inside the house, one of which was when she poured her heart out to fellow housemates about her unresolved conflict with her mother.
In a rare occasion, Tamayo fumed as she led the other housemates in protesting their final assignment inside the house, which involved tearing, burning and disposing of their clothes. They said Big Brother's assignment was so unreasonable.
Tamayo and her three housemates later apologized for the incident after learning that Big Brother was only testing their trust and loyalty. Tamayo even used her artistry to win Big Brother’s attention as she painted a banner that read: "Sorry, Big Brother."
"[Nene, you] are a genuine 'Kumander' [leader], you stand your ground, you are principle, and you fight for your fellows," PBB told Tamayo before the jampacked crowd. "
"You deserve it, you have become a good housemate and we thank you for being part of our lives. You are our Pinoy Big Brother."
For comments, go to the message board.