venus-raj

Reflections on Ms. Universe 2011

Philippine society has this inexplicable fascination with Beauty Pageants more than the average country. Men, women, boys, girls, gay or straight - everyone tunes in to see the nation’s prized mare prance around in bikinis and long gowns, trying to convince the world that this it’s all for charity, female empowerment and world peace.

Okay. I’ll admit, I did have my own misguided attempt at the pageant world once upon a time. It was exceedingly fun but it was all about entertainment and vanity. Nobody really cares about the lofty ideals - no matter what they say. Beauty pageants celebrate one thing: beauty. And there’s nothing really wrong about that per se - so I don’t know why they keep telling everyone that there’s a higher purpose to it. But I’m getting carried away here.

Watching it made me mull over a few things that have been in the back of my mind for quite some time. Like, in general, I don’t really get why the Philippines insists upon using the English language during the Q&A portion. You see it from preliminary pageants like Bb. Pilipinas all the way to Ms. Universe. All these girls from different backgrounds struggling to piece together a straight answer in English then lambasted if they fall short. My question has always been ‘why’?

Are we trying to show off to other countries that we speak the international language perfectly? I mean, what’s the point? It doesn’t add anything to our score. It doesn’t make us better than any other country.

In fact, I think this is one of our pitfalls even outside the pageant world. We think that just because someone can string together a good sentence in English, that person sounds smarter than someone who can do it in Filipino. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Speaking in English MIGHT be proof on an education but it is by no means proof of INTELLIGENCE. Believe me, I know a lot of idiots with perfect grammar.

I really envy people who can use our language with artistry. It’s something I sadly never had, being raised in an English-speaking household. I was the girl fumbling for Tagalog translations in class. English is my first language but that doesn’t mean I am any less awed by the beauty of our own. The fact that I’m below average at it makes me even more incredulous that anybody would forego using it if they were more than capable of doing so.

Wouldn’t it be more fitting for someone representing our country to speak the native tongue and not be so focused in trying to please the Westerners with our perfect Western ways? And let’s face it, if we get a damn good interpreter, they can probably edit your answer to make it sound better. I don’t think half the other contestants are as eloquent as they’re translated to be.

I mean, if Venus Raj had picked that option, maybe the masses wouldn’t have to put up with the vomit-enducing popularity of “major, major” (please someone kill that expression). For the love of GOD! What’s wrong with choosing the language you’re obviously more comfortable with?

To Ms. Supsup’s credit, her answer was, by far, more superior than last year’s. And I know - perhaps better than most - what kind of pressure you’re under when you’re being asked a tough question and you’re expected to deliver something epic in reply. She didn’t have the benefit of thoroughly thinking about her answer or the right wording. Given the circumstances, she she spoke well and carried herself with grace. I’m proud of her accomplishments and it’s not my intention to attack her personally - I know I couldn’t have done any better.

Be that as it may, her last few words just didn’t sit right with me. I guess certain things come off differently to certain people. Love is a big word. If someone told me that if I really loved them, I should love their God - I would tell them to fuck off. Religion should be respected but it is unreasonable for anyone to expect that their mate share their love for the faith. Don’t force religion down someone’s throat, people. It’s not nice. And usually the opposite happens. I mean, just look at what happened to me.

Miss Philippines Universe

Left to Right:

Miss Philippines Venus Raj: Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up

Miss Philippines Shamcey Supsup: Miss Universe 2011 3rd runner-up

Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon: Miss Universe 2012 1st runner-up

Miss Philippines Ariella Arida: Miss Universe 2013 3rd runner-up

6

Miss Philippines candidates for Miss Universe from 2010-2012 with their famous signature walk.

Miss Universe 4th runner up Maria Venus Raj - “Pilapil Walk”

Miss Universe 3rd runner up Shamcey Supsup- “Tsunami Walk”

Miss Philippines 2012 (vying for Ms Universe title) Janine Tugonon- “Cobra Walk”

Venus walk is fierce, she can be a good VS model. Shamceys walk is flowy and elegant. Janines walk is the combination of both. I still like Shamceys walk though, her hips are like fucking dancing on their own.

Bow down to her excellencies. Our May beauty issue is an electrifying triple threat with beauty queens Janina Tugonon, Shamcey Supsup, and Venus Raj in Burberry Prorsum.

Photographed by BJ Pascual
Styled by Liz Uy
Art direction by Vince Uy
Makeup by Pong Niu (Shamcey Supsup), Owen Sarmiento (Janine Tugonon), and Archie Valenica (Venus Raj) for MAC Cosmetics
Hair by Jerry Javier for L'Oréal Professionel and Mark Familara

Mercury Vs.Venus

Vice Ganda: What is your favorite planet and why?

Venus Raj: Definitely Venus.

Vice Ganda: Why?

Venus Raj: Because it’s my name, it’s the Goddess of Beauty. How about you? What’s your favorite planet?

Vice Ganda: My favorite planet is Mercury.

Venus Raj: And why?

Vice Ganda: Because in Mercury, ako'y nakakasigurado na ang gamot ay laging bago!

a TVC behind-the-scenes photo

my first-ever ’raket’. hehe. I was paid to take pictures and cover the shoot of Miss VENUS RAJ and SHAMCEY SUPSUP’s TVC/AVP. Ang gagandang babae ng dalawa. Pero mas crush ko si Shamcey po. :) she reminds me of my mother. hehe. idont know. may hawig lang sila para saakin. HEHE. 

The director told us not to publish any photos about the commercial etc. so what he did was…he get all the photos and copied it to his laptop para daw wag kami mag post. nanghina ako.. :( sana i balik nea mga kuha ko. as in. SANA tlga.! mga natira sken d2 mga BTS and some random pics. I cant do anything, he makes the call. He’s the Boss. hehe. i just hope he will return the files to us after the commercial aired officially.