'Richell Pacaldo Angalot, the eldest child of Richard Angalot and Melinda Pacaldo of Bo-ol District, Tagbilaran City, Bohol was 15 years old when she first joined a beauty pageant representing Tagbilaran City Schools Division in the Miss Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVRAA) 2004 in Danao City, Cebu. She won third runner-up, Miss Talent and the Best in Fun Wear trophies. She was one of the sagalas of the Santacruzan 2004 and was chosen muse of Bohol Lions during the Lions District Convention in 2004. Later that year, Asuncion was declared Female Grand Champion in Island City Mall's Campus Discovery Model Quest 2004. In September 2007, Rich Asuncion became a Regal Films contract star.
Asuncion was declared First Runner-up during the grand coronation night on March 7, 2009 at the Arenta Coliseum. She was Candidate No. 3. From the original applicants (numbering over 170), only 36 were asked to return. The final 24 were decided after the contestants underwent gruelling hours of pressure and tension at the Mandarin Suites on the fifth of February.