MANILA -- Beauty queen Venus Raj has already worn many sashes and held various titles. She never thought that one day, she would wear UP's highly coveted "sablay", along with a Master in Community Development degree.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Raj admitted that she was "culture-shocked" during her first days in UP.
"The jargon that people are using is so different that I don't understand," she quipped. "Minsan kapag lost ka sa discussion, tapos parang, 'Anong sinasabi nila?'"
The Miss Universe 2010 pageant's fourth runner-up finished her bachelor's degree in Communication Arts in Bicol University.
But the gobbledygook of her chosen field didn't stop her from pursuing her dream of becoming a community development specialist.
According to Raj, she developed a better understanding of the course she was taking as her studies progressed.
"Habang tumatagal, habang mas naiintindihan ko siya, mas minamahal ko pala 'yong kurso na kinukuha ko," she said.
Growing up in Bicol, Raj said her parents always reminded her of the value of education. It was, after all, the only thing they can pass on to her.
"Lumaki ako sa probinsya. Ang nanay ko laging sinasabi sa akin, Anak, mag-aral ka nang mabuti. Kasi wala kaming ipapamana sayo. Hindi tayo mayaman," she recalled.
Raj said she wants to work in an organization that helps communities. But for now, she wants to take a break and get enough sleep after months of grueling thesis work. -- With reports from MJ Felipe, ABS-CBN News