Maria Venus Raj: Her Bumpy Journey into the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant 2010

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Maria Venus Raj - crowned Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2010 (Photo courtesy of Sherwin ph)Miss Universe 2010 Coronation Night in Las Vegas (Photo courtesy of http://www.monstersandcritics.com/)MVRaj in her long silver shiny gown (Photo courtesy of http://www.monstersandcritics.com/)MVRaj during the Q&A portion (Photo courtesy of http://www.examiner.com/)The crowning of Ms. Raj (March, 2010)Ms. Philippines Earth Eco Tourism 2008 along with title holder Karla Henry (c/o http://www.nagagov.ph/)Photo courtesy of http://barriosiete.com/
Maria Venus Raj - crowned Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2010 (Photo courtesy of Sherwin ph)
Maria Venus Raj - crowned Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2010 (Photo courtesy of Sherwin ph)
Miss Universe 2010 Coronation Night in Las Vegas (Photo courtesy of http://www.monstersandcritics.com/)
Miss Universe 2010 Coronation Night in Las Vegas (Photo courtesy of http://www.monstersandcritics.com/)
MVRaj in her long silver shiny gown (Photo courtesy of http://www.monstersandcritics.com/)
MVRaj in her long silver shiny gown (Photo courtesy of http://www.monstersandcritics.com/)
MVRaj during the Q&A portion (Photo courtesy of http://www.examiner.com/)
MVRaj during the Q&A portion (Photo courtesy of http://www.examiner.com/)
The crowning of Ms. Raj (March, 2010)
The crowning of Ms. Raj (March, 2010)
Ms. Philippines Earth Eco Tourism 2008 along with title holder Karla Henry (c/o http://www.nagagov.ph/)
Ms. Philippines Earth Eco Tourism 2008 along with title holder Karla Henry (c/o http://www.nagagov.ph/)
Photo courtesy of http://barriosiete.com/
Photo courtesy of http://barriosiete.com/

 

The journey of the reigning Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2010 title holder Maria Venus Raj to the Miss Universe beauty pageant is controversial; in the sense that she was dethroned for a while but then, permitted again to compete in Las Vegas, Nevada this coming August 23rd at the fabulous Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino live via satellite.

As you all know, the dethroning of Ms. Raj by the Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant organizer created a stir among her supporters and fans, as well. Media interviews, including the digging of personal information about the family background of the title holder brought them to a small town called Bato (means stone), Camarines Sur, the same province where I live here in Bicol, Philippines.

Venus, as her friends and family call her, came from poor family and an inter-racial marriage (her father is of Indian descent). Her mother, interviewed by local media, said that she was separated from her Indian husband when her daughter was still young. So, she singled-handedly strived to give her daughter a good education until Ms. Raj graduated from college. Until opportunities came to her to join local pageants and win; then grabbed the most coveted title that will bring her on the curvy journey to the Miss Universe Pageant competition.

The Miss Universe Beauty Pageant

There are 83 official candidates to the contest this year. This last week of July, Ms. Raj is ahead of her other fellow beauty titlists at the online competition. Being voted in the internet is the Most Photogenic award.

Venus just recently given a memorable send off party and praised for her courage to fight the title that's rightfully given to her, to represent the Philippines in the prestigious contest.

Only two Filipinas have garnered the title of Miss Universe, Ms. Gloria Diaz in 1969 and Ms. Margie Moran in 1974.

She's hoping that she could do the same if luck will favor her.

Miss Universe Philippines 2010 Candidate!- Maria Venus Raj c/o Zivanalynn

Glimpses at the early life of Ms. Raj

Being born out of wedlock is not an easy part for Venus. But through the perseverance of his mother, she was able to beat the odds and graduated cum laude in college (at Bicol University with a Journalism degree) and now works as an information assistant in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Her down-to-earth disposition in life is molded by her experiences during her high school and college days. The rigors of walking on the rice paddies everyday made her a better model on the fashion runways. She juggles her time in Manila and Bicol for her government work and as a model.

Her fair decision was tested when she was dethroned by the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. because of inconsistencies in her birth certificate that made it difficult to get a Philippine passport at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The options of the officials of the BPCI were to resign or be dethroned. She didn’t chose any of the two, instead she seek legal advise from a legal counsel and other organizations and personalities.

And the rest is history…she was reinstated by the BPCI and ready to compete in the 56th Miss Universe beauty pageant.

Prior on her triumph with Binibining Pilipinas contest, Venus other achievements were:

1. Ms. Bicolandia 2007

2. Miss Philippines Earth - Eco Tourism 2008

So, I think, she's ready to strut her beauty, wit and brains to grab the Miss Universe title this year. What do you think, fellow hubbers?

Maria Venus Raj at The Buzz c/o BreaxtiTaki

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Comments 36 comments

thesailor profile image

thesailor 6 years ago from Seven Seas

Ever heard of the freshest news regarding Miss Venus Raj? He was one of 5 pageant candidates handpicked by billionaire Donald Trump to promote the pageant. Not only that, she topped the "People's Choice" award and Top 15 hot picks among 83 candidates. Congratulations, Venus!!!


bacville profile image

bacville 6 years ago from Manila, Philippines

I hope Venus Raj wins this year's Miss Universe 2010.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

Thanks, for the added info, sailor. Venus Raj is one of the early favorites. I hope, she'll be in the final 5.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

Let's just keep our fingers crossed, bacville. With all the humiliations that Ms. Raj experienced, I hope luck would favor her in the contest.


The honest truth 6 years ago

...cocky much Miss Philippines? Who on earth has never made a mistake in their life!!! It's either you're stupid or you're really full of it. For a cum laude, you're a moron! And I'm not just saying that to be bitter. I know you were nervous, but could'nt you at least have given a general answer.

 Here's my advise to you Ms Raj. How about the next time you join another competition; why not use a translator and answer in Tagalog. Maybe then your answer wouldn't cause so much embarrassment for our country.

Just a question for everyone out there. "Why are these filipino candidates either half filipino or are filipino but looks nothing like a filipino?" I'm not being a hater coz I myself have a mix look. But how come they never showcase a "real" filipina beauty in these pageants. And i'm talking about a filipino born with native filipina features and have "kayumangi" skin; Not bleached with Ponds." I know a lot of you are gonna disagree, but let's be honest. The reason the typical filipina look is never featured in these competitions is because the filipino community does support it. Why do you think Ponds and Belo are getting richer every year? Because everyone is bleaching their skin. I have nothing against how Venus looks. But i don't think she represents the true filipina beauty. I think she looks more indian than filipino. And that's all i have to say about that!


wish 6 years ago

we are so proud of u @ we luv u!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@ The Honest truth - Thanks for a very lengthy comment. You are entitled to your own opinion. Miss Raj had gone a long bumpy journey, as I wrote, in this competition. The gods favored Miss Mexico, even though she had an interpreter because the weight of the question differed from Miss Raj.

I think, she also answered it in such a way that she never did a big mistake in her life at all. You can really see how humble she is when she thanked her family that always support her, that's why she never did committed any big mistake in her 22 years of existence, as she said it.


The Honest truth 6 years ago

Not for anything and i don't mean to offend her fans. Like you said travel_man, i am entitled to my own opinion; but whether her answer was said intentionally or not. To the world, what she said sounded very self centered. No one is perfect. I know she was probably nervous but this is something she's trained for. The question asked was not a difficult one. Koodos to her for making it to the top 5 but very disappointed with her answer. On the bright side, when someone asks her the same question next time, she can always use the miss universe experience as her biggest mistake ;) LOL...nah I'm just being sarcastic. Anyway, i'm done with this topic, but thanks for reading.


Zen 6 years ago

Miss Raj did what she could, and we should be pround of her.. 4th place out of 83 beautiful women. It's been a long time since we've placed in the pageant. We just have to be careful next time. Although her answer would count as one of the "biggest mistake of her life". She still deserves to be in the top five.


Florencia C. Sabandal 6 years ago

Why are there people who cannot just appreciate a person's success without emphasizing on his failure? Miss Raj did an excellent job. It just so happened that Miss Mexico got a higher rating than she did. We should be proud of what she has achieved.


mrirvinemassage 6 years ago

Venus Raj is a very gorgeous lady! She deserve to be in the top 5 Miss Universe Pageant 2010.


aefrancisco profile image

aefrancisco 6 years ago from somewhere down the road

- Let's look at the bright side - a filipina amongst the top 5, FILIPINOS SHOULD BE PROUD... (it's a tough job to be in the Ms.U )


emanon 6 years ago

Honestly, if I were asked the same question, I would have answered it the same way. Maybe she's the type of person who never looks back. I mean, if she does something that results in some sort of "failure", she don't see it as a mistake but rather a case of "did my best but turned out my best wasn't good enough" type of thing. Then she will learn from it and move on -- instead of focusing on the should haves and what ifs.


AkoAyPilipino 6 years ago

Exotic and regal MVRaj would have made better impact had she directly answered WBaldwin’s question by gracefully citing the well-publicized controversy about her birth:

"I may have committed a mistake in omitting the inelegance of my complicated origins as I competed for the Binibining Pilipinas crown. I righted that mistake by bravely declaring the unfortunate circumstances of my international yet humble beginnings. Doing the right thing when it became due worked things out wonderfully and so, thank you so much to my family for all the love, for here I am tonight with self-confidence and audacity of hope to try to win as Miss Universe 2010!

Perhaps she would have scored differently!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

I was pulling for both her and Miss Mexico because I have friends and relatives from both countries. I was a little surprised Miss Mexico pulled it off because I didn't think she gave the best answer either.


Anyway 6 years ago

Well said AkoAyPilipino. Yes, good for her for making it to the top 5 but i also somewhat agree with the honest truth. She did make a fool of herself. But seriously people, is Miss Universe really that significant. Personally, asides from the charitable aspects of it, it's very stereo typical. Tall skinny women exposing their body in tiny bikinis. What chance do regular folks have of winning, let alone even qualifying for it. If it was up to me, i would have given it the boot ages ago. But it's making Mr Trump's wallet even fatter. So i guess it's staying. People there are alot more we can do for "world peace" rather than look pretty and shallow (LOL). I'm officially boycotting miss universe. My biggest mistake was watching it in the first place. That was a wasted hr of my life that i can never take back.


Christianadam profile image

Christianadam 6 years ago from Manila, Philippines

I am still proud being with same race but I believed that if she had come out with a better answer then she would be the miss U now.http://mattscradle.com/2010/08/24/miss-universe-20...


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@The Honest truth: You're right, let it rest. Venus had done her part and was included at the Top 5. Fault-finding is contagious these days. Let's just do some cheering upon her winning. LOL ^-^!!!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Zen: You've said it already. Let's be proud of Venus.:p


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Florencia C. Sabandal: Her road to the Miss Universe was really bumpy. Starting from her dethroning, the question of her nationality (which was erroneously done by some people at the NSO -I've heard), and getting her composure to fight back (just to get her passport) were indications that she've done her part just to be at the Top 5. Whew. Let's cheers for her, anyway. LOL :D


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@mrirvinemassage: Thanks. You're so major, major right!!! Venus Raj is an instant celebrity in our place, Bicol, Philippines!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@wish: Thanks for the very short but meaty comment. Let's wish that Venus' star will truly shine in the years to come.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@aefrancisco: I agree with you. To be in the Miss U top 5 is a tough feat to beat. Thanks, LOLz :p


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@emanon: Really, we cannot please all the people. Let's just rest the case of Venus. She didn't committed any big mistake in her 22 years of existence. Cheers! ^-^


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@AkoAyPilipino: MVRaj will also leave another impact with her answer that gave meaning to "major, major" phrase. No offense meant. Lolz :p


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Cari Jean: I agree with you. Although, Miss Mexico can talk in English, she still prefer her native language (Spanish) in order to explain her views on internet and instilling family values to the users, especially the youth. Our representative, MVRaj should also asked for an interpreter, if she could explain it fully in Filipino language. ^-^


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Anyway: Like Venus had said after the pageant, she cannot take back the words that blurted from her mouth. With all the nervousness that she's felt during that Q&A moment, who knows what she'll say anyway? Let's just look at the brighter side of the situation. Committing mistakes are human's folly. After that answer, MVRaj really did a "major,major" mistake in her life. LOLz ^-^


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Christianadam: We should be, Christian. After all the mistakes Filipinos committed right now, we should not loose HOPE that we could make it right. As for MVRaj, she's just being honest with her answer, that she didn't committed any big mistake in her life. That also put her at the limelight. She even surpassed the winning of Miss Mexico as Miss Universe. Cheers! :p


gucci online 6 years ago

Thanks. You're so major, major right!!!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@gucci online: You're welcome, gucci online. "Major,major" is fast becoming an expression these days. Thanks, Venus!!!


AkoAyPilipino 6 years ago

On the other hand, poll and audience favorite Venus Raj may have thought out her answer to William Baldwin in native language (Tagalog) and then voiced it in second language (English). Psycholinguists will confirm that a non-native speaker, even if intermediate in level, may hardly be able to respond with spontaneous eloquence in second language during a time-sensitive, public situation. The hard lesson learned here is that, even if a Philippine beauty candidate can speak English, she should opt to avail of interpreter service, as how Miss Mexico did. After all, Miss Universe is not a public speaking contest — it’s a beauty contest! Still, making it to Top 5 in hand-me-down gowns was no minor, minor feat. So here’s my sincere “MAJOR, MAJOR CONGRATULATIONS TO MISS RAJ!”


Alexandra 6 years ago

For me the problem is lack of pride for her nation, for her language; she spoke in a fake american accent, with a disastrous grammar and the message she conveyed was "I want the crown for ME and MY FAMILY' too self centered. In contrast Miss Mexico used her native language, she proud of it and wore a red dress in commemortation of her country's independence. That is what wa lacking in miss Philippines, originality and pride for her country and her native language.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@AkoAyPilipino: GOOD RIDDANCE for Kabayang Venus Raj. My niece who's a third year stude are planning to follow the steps of Ms. Raj...MAJOR, MAJOR!!! Congratulations, again! Whew!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Alexandra: I don't see any mistakes about what Ms. venus Raj had said. Most of Filipino families are close-knit type so thanking her family first for her winning is not new to us.


traveller 6 years ago

sa palagay ko wlang mkaka break ng record ni Venus from 2000 to 2010 na candidata ng Miss Universe, at khit sino man sa inyo na masyadong mag comment sa sagot niya ay hindi rin ma bbreak ang record niya. sorry dahil kung hindi cia magaling hindi nya marartin ang top 5. walang mali sa sagot niya for your info! cguro yung mga sumasagot na yan ngayun na wla ring silbi bka sa Miss Universe hanggang pakilala kna lng. ilang oras niyo bang pinag isipan ang mga konong sagot nyo sa tanung sa kanya? Congratulation Venus your the Best! after 10 years na hindi pumasok pasok ang Pilipinas sa Ms. Universe dahil sayo itinaas mo uli ang bandila ng Pilipinas. sa mga nag cocomment n hindi maganda isa kayo sa nagpapabagsak ng pilipinas. gawa muna kayo ng maganda para sa bansa ng makilala naman ang bansa natin dahil sa inyo ok! hindi yung puro reklamo... salamat!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@traveller; You're right. Kanya-kanyang opinyon lang 'yan. Buti nga at nagka-place tayo ngayong taon. Go, Fight, Win (sabi ni KC Concepcion) ang naging tirada ni Venus. (Translation: To each his/her own opinion. GTF, that's the tirade/tactics made by Venus). LOL ^-^

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