MANILA – Over a decade since she finished as fourth runner-up in the 2010 Miss Universe pageant, Venus Raj looks back at how she performed during the competition’s question-and-answer portion that made her one of the Philippines’ most memorable delegates.
Speaking candidly with Toni Gonzaga for the latter’s vlog, Raj admitted she initially did not like it when her “major, major” answer had become viral.
“Nung una naiinis ako kapag naririnig ko iyon. Kasi hindi ko alam kung it was just an expression or hindi ko alam kung kinukutya ba ako because I fumbled on that Q&A. So parang feeling ko, grabe naman sila paulit-ulit. Parang ganun,” she said.
Raj also confessed she was not able to communicate her answer in a manner she really wanted.
“I was in denial of course. I watched some of my interviews right after the pageant. Tapos parang sinasabi ko sa interviews na ‘Hindi, wala akong babaguhin sa sinabi ko kasi yun talaga yung nasa heart ko.’ Pero ngayon, ‘Uy girl, ano ka ba. Umayos ka nga.’ Feeling ko hindi ko siya na-communicate in a manner that I really want to communicate to people. And English is not our first language so may translation pang nangyayari sa utak ko.”
During the 2010 pageant, Raj was asked by American actor William Baldwin about the one biggest mistake that she made in her life and what she did to make it right.
She 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!"
If she were to get the same question now that she is 33, Raj told Gonzaga she would have definitely answered differently.
“I think the thought that relationships would be the ultimate when it comes to having a relationship with a man and compromising my purity. Hindi ko na mababalikan yung mga moments na ganun eh. Feeling mo that’s the best thing that you can give to someone that you’re in a relationship with,” she said.
For Raj, the best thing one could give to his or her partner would be honoring and respecting that person.
It was Raj who started the Philippines’ semifinals streak in the prestigious Miss Universe competition.
Since she became fourth runner-up in 2010, the Philippines has consistently made it in the Top 21, at the very least. These were highlighted by the title wins of Pia Wurtzbach in 2015 and Catriona Gray in 2018.