MANILA -- Former beauty queen Venus Raj admitted on Tuesday that several people have encouraged her to enter politics in her hometown in Bicol.
Raj made the statement during her guest appearance on "Queentuhan," an online talk show hosted by fellow titleholders Pia Wurtzbach, Bianca Guidotti, and Carla Lizardo.
"Actually ang dami na ring nagtanong sa akin niyan," she said. "Some of the officials in our province even approached me, approached my mom, and said can you run for office in our province."
Raj said, however, that she does not see herself as a public official, but as a "servant of the Lord."
"Hindi iyan ang tinitibok ng puso ko, P," she told Wurtzbach. "Sa totoo lang, I really want to serve the Lord, and by 'serving' I mean really sharing the word of God to people."
The Miss Universe 2010 fourth runner-up went on: "Kasi yes, to give food is one thing, but that food can only last for a day or two. But if you give them the spiritual food that can actually transform their lives for eternity, to me that's weightier compared to just getting them through the day."
'CLOSE TO MY HEART'
Raj said she found her purpose of doing ministry work at the end of 2014, saying it was when she "realized there's really nothing else to do in this life than to serve the Lord."
"Alam mo 'yung pakiramdam na in love ka sa Panginoon, na gusto mo Siyang pagsilbihan ng buong buhay mo?" she said. "There's really nothing else that I see doing in this life than to serve Him. It's been a journey serving the Lord through ministries, through sharing the word of God, through the youth organization that I'm part of, and through the family that I also belong."
Raj, who finished her master's degree in Community Development from the University of the Philippines in 2017, went on to share her work for the youth organization Elevate Movement.
"We have a youth program and it's called #NotAlone," she said. "So basically the goal that we have, and I also have in my life, is for our youth today to realize that they're not alone... Kasi alam naman natin ngayon, ang daming pinagdadaanan ng mga kabataan natin, sa totoo lang."
"Many of them are having difficulties when it comes to relationships at home, some are getting depressed, and some of them are having suicidal thoughts," she explained. "Pero 'pag na-realize nila na hindi talaga sila mag-isa because there's really the Lord who loves them and wants to have a relationship with them, I think that will make a difference in their lives."
When asked about the legacy she wants to leave behind, Raj replied: "I think I would want to be remembered not as the Venus Raj who won Miss Universe fourth runner-up... but as the Venus Raj who loves the Lord and is loved by the Lord. I hope that my love for the Lord will be seen by people."
Watch Raj talk about being invited to join politics, as well as her passion for ministry work, starting at the 30:00 mark in the video below: