Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dethrowned Bb. Pilipinas Universe Venus Raj grabs her crown back

It was the uproar of Filipino people - online petitions, signature campaigns, Facebook fan page, blogs, demand letters to BPCI and an appeal to Miss Universe Organization – that shook the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI), the local franchise-holder of the Miss Universe pageant, so that they were forced to alter their UNJUST decision to strip Venus Raj of her crown without due process.


Reason of dethronement:

The BPCI stripped Venus Raj of her crown after 23 days of enjoying the title due to alleged misrepresentation. BPCI claims that they found the inconsistencies in Raj’s birth certificate AFTER she has won the pageant.

Venus Raj’s defense:

Venus claims that she had been transparent about the inconsistencies in her birth certificate from the very beginning starting from the screening and throughout the contest. There are videos that can prove her telling the BPCI team about the birth certificate plight. She has nothing to do with the errors rendered in her birth certificate and when she was asked by Boy Abunda of The Buzz “why didn’t they corrected the errors early on?” Venus answered with tears, “If you are in our case would you rather spend a lot of money correcting these errors if all you have is just enough to buy food?”


The inconsistencies:

Venus Raj was born out of wedlock in Doha Qatar to a Filipina mother and an Indian father. It is not known if the parents separated before she was born or shortly after she was born but eventually the mother brought her to the Philippines as an infant and brought Venus up all by herself.

Feeling ashamed of her misfortune, the mother kept Venus inside the house. She was not registered until she was 3 years old.

It was her aunt who took the initiative to register Venus on their local civil registrar office but falsified some information required in the birth certificate. Instead of Doha, Qatar, the aunt registered Camsur, Philippines as the place of birth. The father was noted as a Roman Catholic instead of being an Indian National [with who knows about his religion]. The father’s real name was noted correctly the reason why Venus carries the surname “Raj”.

How she was stripped of the crown:

Venus Raj received calls from the BPCI council days after she won the title asking about the errors in her birth certificate. When she was summoned to meet the BPCI lawyers she was expecting that they would help her to iron the errors in her birth certificate. After some questions which she gave the same answers, she was asked to sign the ready letter of resignation or she can go and eventually be dethroned. Resign or be dethroned. Shocked by what she saw as betrayal, she broke down to tears. She refused to sign any documents without the presence of her lawyers therefore she was dethroned.


Fighting for what is right:

A strong woman as she is, Venus refused to surrender the crown that she worked for so hard. And when she was dethroned, she took courage to question the decision of the BPCI and to seek due process. She found help in the hands of government officials, lawyers who were ready to defend her for free, senators, and people from the commission of Human Rights. She found support from her friends and fans from the Philippines and abroad. Their voices joined together to create a huge uproar.

Regardless of the scandal that she and her family were forced to bear, she fights no longer for the crown but for the poor and the children out of wedlock. Most importantly, she fights for acceptance.

The Decision:

The BPCI, after being bombarded with petitions, threatened by the serious steps that Venus lawyers were ready to take, and after senators and government officials intervened, declared that Venus Raj would be ABLE TO TAKE HER CROWN BACK if she can produce a passport in a month and a half. Their reason is that the Miss Universe pageant would probably be held in August. They said …

“We felt sorry for her and because we are an entity under the Human Rights law of the country, we reconsidered her case…”

Venus Raj cannot afford to fix the errors in her birth certificate, therefore we expect the government officials to take care of this matter which is essential for her to earn a passport.


Is the BPCI doing it right?

I am no expert about this matter and the points that I would mention here are purely my opinion, of which I do believe, many people out there would agree.

1. The BPCI says that their reason of dethroning Venus Raja is purely due to their desire to work according to the Miss Universe Guidelines of which misrepresentation is unacceptable. Also, they would like to protect Venus Raj from people who are easy to judge and belittle her.

If the BPCI is indeed working on their credibility according to the standard of the Miss Universe, couldn’t they work on that credibility at the early stage? What’s the point of having screening if they would allow an aspirant to compete whom they would just eventually dethrone? If the candidate has been open and upfront about the status of her records, how could their credible charity find out about it at the end? Isn’t that lousy?

2. Were there any prior notices that Venus received before she was summoned to resign or before she was dethroned? Was there a due process?

Based from what we read and what we heard from the interviews, there were none. This is what the BCPI calls "a protection against people who JUDGE AND BELITTLE THE POOR".

3. Is the BPCI’s decision to reconsider Venus Raj for her crown just?

I would say that the Human Rights Constitution of the country is just. The BPCI realized that they violated the human rights with their move therefore they were forced to reconsider.

Gloria Diaz’s Advice

The former Miss Universe 1969, Gloria Diaz, advised Venus to let go of her title because the BPCI’s decision was final.

In my opinion, people such as Gloria Diaz would NOT and in NO WAY understand that it is not easy for someone like Venus Raj to just let go of something that she worked sweat and blood which would mean the realization of her dreams for her family. Venus Raj has nothing but that dream not even shame. Where as for Gloria Diaz, when she competed for the Miss Universe, she went with a promise from her parents that if she would lose; they were going to tour her around countries. How fancy was her life compared to Venus Raj?

Beauty Queens React

As expected, there are people who would take sides, either as a support or as an opposition to Venus Raj. Former beauty queens were no exception. So they reacted and they gave their views about Venus Raj. My eyebrows were however irked when I read about Liza Berroya's views.

Liza Berroya (Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1992) is quoted “...If I’m driving late at night with no other car on the road and I come upon a red light, I stop. And I don’t proceed til the light changes...I believe that it was wrong that Ma. Venus Raj’s birth certificate was falsified. Regardless of who did it. In my opinion it’s either you qualify or you don’t. If you have to tweak the truth here and there just to be able to comply with the pageant’s requirements, then you’re trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.”

It is evident that Liza Berroya needs to orient herself about this matter. She may drive her car according to the traffic lights but she clearly speaks without evaluating the case properly thereby without analyzing.

But Venus Raj's Beauty definitely stands

A glimpse into Venus Raj’s humble life

Wish ko Lang is a Philipines Television program that features stories of Filipino people who are poor but with exceptional talents or simply, individuals who really need help. Because of the tremendous number of people who love Venus, her story has reached the Wish Ko Lang Channel. Without her knowledge, the interviews of her which she openly shared about her family and her humble lifestyle, was actually a Wish Ko Lang Feature. She was stunned.

The Wish Ko Lang lobbied for her to be able to earn fashion show and modeling offers. She was also invited to join the association of high class models. She was also given cements by a company to enable her to build a stone house. An additional P10,000 [$225] cash was given to her by Wish Ko Lang for her house building. Her mom was given a tractor to aid her in farming as well as grocery supplies to start up a little grocery store.

Indeed, even bad things can turn out blessings.


  1. those are the opinion from a good debater and writer.i am amazed.keep it up!

  2. Hmm, well she did join a pageant - which is a contest, and there are certain rules that are followed. Although she was in a difficult position in the situation of her birth certificate, she should've seen this coming.

  3. This is such a hard call! On one hand, she knew that there were glitches with her birth certificate, but on the other hand, she was entirely up front about the whole situation, she never denied it. She was allowed to enter the contest from the beginning, so who overlooked this in the first place?

  4. Clearly there was a breakdown in the screening process. You would have thought that issue would have come up long before it did!

  5. Wow poor girl... She may felt destroyed...
    She's really pretty, I don't think that because of a mistake she had to loose the contest.

  6. oh the poor girl :( she worked so hard for it too
    love your blog though
    great posts
    stop by some time xx

  7. Shes stunning!! Thats so hectic! x


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