MANILA - The past decade has been dubbed as the “golden age” of pageantry in the Philippines, as beauty queens from the country consistently placed in Miss Universe and other competitions.
Since Venus Raj became fourth runner-up in Miss Universe 2010, the Philippines has consistently made it in the Top 10, at the very least. These were highlighted by the title wins of Pia Wurtzbach (2015) and Gray (2018).
In 2019, however, the Philippines dropped out of the Top 10 of the Miss Universe pageant but Gazini Ganados still finished as part of the Top 20.
This streak was brought to Raj’s attention during an interview with G3 San Diego for #LiveWithG3 on Monday.
Apparently, a lot of other people have already told her about this in the past.
While Raj admitted that it is flattering to hear that she was the one who supposedly brought the Philippines back on the map of pageantry, the beauty queen refuses to take any credit for it.
“Alam mo every time na naririnig ko iyan and people would at least give credit to what I did before, I’m like, no I can’t really take the credit for these things because hindi naman talaga kasi [ako 'yung dahilan],” she said.
“I think the reason why we win every year is because we are also sending amazing, beautiful and intellectual women in the Miss Universe pageant. Siguro nagkataon din talaga, the Lord has a way of introducing me to people,” she added.
Looking back at her own Miss Universe experience in 2010, Raj confessed that she only wished to be part of the top 5.
“I was telling myself at that time, fourth runner-up lang okay na ako. 'Yun talaga ang mindset ko at that time. I don’t have the drive and the desire to get the crown. Although I was saying, ‘Okay we’re gonna win Miss Universe,’ pero at the back of my mind, I was like, ‘Yeah okay lang naman pero parang hindi pa ako ready for that.’ I was just 22 at that time. When I was announced fourth runner up, tuwang tuwa na ako noon,” she said.
In hindsight, Raj said she is just so glad that God did not give her the title then.
“If He did, alam mo I am gonna be staying in New York for a year. I am gonna be working there. I’ll be away from my family. I don’t think at that time my core is really grounded. I don’t think at that time, I can decide for myself. I don’t think at that time, I am mature enough to handle the situation around me,” she said,
When she returned to the Philippines after competing in the Miss Universe pageant, Raj said that was the time she came to know the Lord.
“What an amazing time. I had a foretaste of success but I am so glad that I did not reach the top because something beautiful sometimes can ruin us. I realized that if that was given to me, it might be a dangerous thing for me,” she said.