Maria Venus Bayonito Raj (born July 7, 1988) is one of the three reigning 2010 Binibining Pilipinas winners. Upon separation of her parents, Maria Venus Raj was taken to Bato, Camarines Sur in Bicol, Philippines as an infant and was registered by an aunt as Philippine-born to Roman Catholic parents—a Filipino mother and an Indian father. It was her mother, a former tenant farmer and dressmaker who brought Maria Venus Raj up as a child. Maria Venus Raj lived in a nipa hut made of wood, bamboo and anahaw leaves with no electricity in the middle of a sprawling rice field in the rural Bato town for more than twenty years. She allegedly used rice paddy dikes for her early training where she eventually developed her distinct catwalk.
The youngest among five children, Maria Venus Raj started joining local beauty pageants at 17 years old. She also joined oratorical contests at San Vicente High School where her english teacher served as her coach. With her victories in major contests, Venus Raj had started to buy land on installment basis for her mother as a means of improving their livelihood. She was crowned Binibining Pilipinas Universe on March 06, 2010 during the pageant’s Grand Coronation Night at the Araneta Coliseum. She represents the Republic of the Philippines as a candidate for the Miss Universe 2010 beauty pageant. Currently, Raj is in the Top Ten in the Miss Universe 2010 pageant. So, show your support and watch the beautiful Venus Raj take on Miss Universe on NBC!
Update: The favorite to win Miss Universe, Venus Raj ends up in fifth place after a disappointing response to the Q&A portion of the pageant. Judge William Baldwin (brother of that guy who made the infamous Philippine mail order bride comment) asked her if she had made any mistakes in her life and what did she do to correct. Surprisingly, Raj stated that she did not make any major major mistakes in her 22 years of existence. Everyone there knew that was a load of crap as Raj was previously dethroned by the pageant’s organizers (BPCI) citing alleged inconsistencies between her birth certificate and the personal account of her birth. I expected more from a contestant who graduated with honors from college, maybe it was her overconfidence that made her lose the crown. Anyways, Raj did the best she could in representing the Philippines and everyone should be proud that she made it that far.
Congratulation Miss Mexico Jimena Navarrete on winning Miss Universe 2010 and for being hot!