MANILA, Philippines - Miss Universe 4th runner-up Venus Raj paid a courtesy call on President Benigno Aquino III in Malacañang on Tuesday afternoon.
Aquino personally congratulated the 22-year-old Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2010, who was among the top 5 in prestigious beauty pageant that was held in Las Vegas.
Raj's victory in the United States is the closest the Philippines has come to winning the Miss Universe crown in a decade after Miriam Quiambao's first runner up finish in 1999.
Raj, who was favored to win the title, also become controversial after her much criticized “major major” response during the question-and-answer portion of the pageant.
The killer question from American actor William Baldwin was said to have derailed Raj’s chances of taking the Miss Universe crown.
The Hollywood star asked the 22-year-old Filipino-Indian, “What is one big mistake that you’ve made in your life and what did you do to make it right?”
Raj replied, “You know what, sir, in my 22 years of existence, I can say that there's nothing major major problem that I've done in my life because I'm very confident with my family, with the love that they are giving to me. So thank you so much that I'm here. Thank you, thank you so much.”
A total of 83 contestants joined this year’s Miss Universe pageant at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. -ANC