Venus Raj speaking in front of a full-packed venue during the Youth Convention hosted by the Atty. Francis Padua Papica Foundation in Naga City.
Years after Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2010 and Miss Universe 2010 4th Runner-Up Maria Venus Raj brought the Philippines pageant honor in Las Vegas, she is now gazing at more charity and advocacy-oriented activities.
Guests of Honor and Speakers during the Naga City-hosted Youth Convention
During a chat we had early last year, I remember her saying that she sincerely wants to put up a foundation for the education of streetchildren. So I was no longer surprised when she turned out to be one of the speakers during the Youth Convention organized by the Atty. Francis Padua Papica Foundation and attended by thousands of youth leaders from all over the country. Along with the Hon. Leni Robredo, mentor Jonas Gaffud, fellow Beauty Queen Ariella Arida, actor Benjamin Alves, Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, Jim Paredes and more, she spoke to the participants about her journey to success and inspired them to do everything to the best of their abilities to rise above the challenges today.
This speaking engagement should help Venus jumpstart her noble plans for the future. Her leadership skills cannot be ignored. And in just a few years from now, I wouldn’t be surprised if she joins politics in the Bicol Region, if not put into motion her long-cherished dream of putting out-of-school youth inside the classroom.
Your blogger is behind Venus in whatever good endeavor she plans to accomplish in the years to come.
Venus Raj (left, back facing the camera) training the ladies in pasarela.
Back-to-back Miss Universe Top 5 placers Venus Raj and Shamcey Supsup did not rest on their laurels right after their respective achievements in the international pageant arena. The two ladies had the initiative and commitment to share what they’ve learned and experienced in Las Vegas and Bogota/Sao Paulo, respectively. And the recency of their actual participations makes it all more apt and useful.
For this year’s Bb. Pilipinas, both ladies took time out from their busy schedules to introduce/polish the current crop of candidates in the highly demanding (and important) pasarela (way of pageant walk) which forms part of pre-pageant activities. In addition, they added a personality development segment which, while tailor-made for Miss Universe, can also apply for Miss International, Miss Supranational and the like. Most of the candidates – especially the greenhorns – took to the sessions with wide-eyed enthusiasm. There may be some whose skills have already been hardened by previous national/international pageant exposures, but nothing that would make them averse to learning from the experts, so to speak.
So this is how Venus and Shamcey are paying it forward. I hope to see Janine Tugonon in a separate talk with the ladies because her experiences are far more fresh and updated.
Miss Universe Jamaica 2012 Chantal Zaky (Photo credit: Ryan Lue-Clarke)
On the cover of Beaute’
While she may be no Yendi Phillips (Miss Jamaica Universe 2010 and Miss Universe 2010 1st Runner-Up), Chantal Zaky is definitely one more strong contender for the coveted crown of Miss Universe 2012. I won’t be surprised if she traces the footsteps of her compatriot who took Las Vegas by storm more than two years ago, only to be stopped short in her tracks by a more popular Ximena Navarrete.
What’s Chantal’s game plan for the pageant? In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, this is what she had to say:
“…My strategy is to exercise the power of positive thinking. I will do everything to make Jamaica the brightest star in the universe and shine. I want the judges and contestants to get the opportunity to know the real Chantal Zaky and judge me based on that. At least that way I can say I was true to myself.”
Personally, I feel that Chantal poses a serious threat to the main favorites for the crown. I don’t know if following the long reign of black beauty Leila Lopes will count against her favor, but she will definitely be someone to watch.
2010 Miss International Elizabeth Mosquera....a lot lovelier now!
Aside from becoming the sixth Venezuelan to win the Miss International crown, Elizabeth Mosquera holds the distinction of being the best performer among the Top 5 of Miss Venezuela 2009 (Adriana Vasini placed 3rd in Miss World 2010, Jessica Guillen won Miss Atlantico International 2010, Mariangela Bonnani was a Top 7 finalist of Miss Earth 2010 and Marelisa Gibson was a non-placer in Miss Universe 2010).
Right now, she is in Chengdu, China acting as big sister to the large number of delegates vying for Miss International 2011. By late next week, she will be turning over her crown to the next winner. From that point, she will be more than ready to move on and embrace the opportunity-filled life of a former international beauty queen. I reckon that she has what it takes to succeed in whatever field she decides to focus on after her reign. With her beautiful smiling face and warm disposition, things can only get better for this lady.
Buena suerte en su vida después de Srta. International!
Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2010 and Miss Universe 4th Runner-Up Venus Raj is the new face and body of Folded & Hung underwear and swimwear.
I’m amused at how our beauty queens get more fierce, more gorgeous and more arresting a year or two after their reigns. Venus Raj is no different. She is just one ‘boom-boom-pow’ of a Pinay!
It probably comes with age and experience. After all Venus has been through, she has come out wiser and stronger. And these qualities definitely show in all her photos for Folded & Hung.
So where is Venus going from here? Far, I reckon. Be it in showbiz or public affairs, this lady has shown that anything is possible if you set your heart and mind to it.
Reigning Miss Universe Ximena Navarrete getting ready for her carnival photoshoot.
Miss Universe 2010 Ximena Navarrete conferring with Fadil Berisha (left, face hidden by camera) on the shots taken of her.
Photo credit: Fotoarena
It’s true. There’s nothing like being the reigning Miss Universe, especially in the homestretch of one’s reign. Take Ximena Navarrete, for example. She is having the time of her life in Sao Paulo at the moment. No pressures whatsoever. So she is definitely enjoying every minute of it, while being treated like royalty from sunrise to sundown.
Of course, everything changes the moment she transfers the Diamond Nexus Lab Miss Universe crown on her successor’s head come September 12. She won’t be as mobbed and adulated anymore. But the good thing is that she can start a new life that offers more opportunities, either in Mexico or anywhere else in North and South America. And that is when the reality of a post-reigning Miss Universe’s existence starts to sink in.
For now, enjoy the high life, Ximena!
Česká Miss 2011 Jitka Novackova for Miss Universe 2011
Ceska Miss 2010 Jitka Valkova when she placed in the Top 15 of Miss Universe 2010 in Las Vegas.
Czech Republic has a fondness for the name Jitka. After Jitka Válková was crowned Česká Miss 2010 and went on to the Top 15 of Miss Universe 2010, she turned over the 2011 national crown to a namesake, Jitka Nováčková, who will be Miss Czech Republic in Miss Universe 2011.
The 19 year-old Nováčková, a fashion model and semifinalist of Elite Model Look Czech Republic 2009, stands at 1.75m, (5’9″). She will try to surpass her predecessors’ accomplishments by shooting for a spot in either the Top 10 or Top 5. In fact, pressure must be extra heavy because all Czech representatives from 2007-2010 (Lucie Hadašová, Eliška Bučková, Iveta Lutovská and Jitka Válková) placed in the quarterfinals (Top 15). And to go further up the ranking would surely mean a lot because she will have already established better recognition. In the event that she ends up clinching the Miss Universe 2011 crown, she does not only have the honor of being the first Czech to do so, but also being only the second from any Central European nation (Germany was the first in 1961) to nail the most-coveted beauty title.
Hodně štěstí, Jitka!
There were talks that tickets to the 2011 Miss Universe Pageant in Sao Paulo, Brazil are no longer available after the host country has allegedly pre-booked all seats in the venue. Some camps hollered in dismay, especially the ones who are spending exorbitant amounts of money to travel all the way to Sao Paulo just to see the finals live.
Good thing the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) fixed the situation and the early birds can still get theirs. But the availability remains very limited so it’s better to reserve or pre-pay now than risk going there without tickets in your pockets. Here is the press release (as posted by 2010 Miss Universe Ximena Navarrete herself) from MissUniverse.com:
GET YOUR TICKETS TO THE MISS UNIVERSE PAGEANT!
posted by Ximena Navarrete at 02:04pm on 07/29/2011
We finally have the information you have been requesting regarding tickets. The Brazil Host Committee has advised us that you can now get ticket information for the 2011 Miss Universe Pageant in Sao Paulo, Brazil by contacting their agency – CVC Eventos – at the following e-mail address: email@example.com
How It Will Work:
• The agency CVC Eventos will handle all ticket requests for the Brazil Host Committee. Please send your requests and questions directly to CVC Eventos at, once again, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Tickets are very limited. As a result, they will offer two options for those interested in purchasing tickets: Option 1) A full travel package that includes lodging, airfare and tickets, and Option 2) Tickets only.
If you are interested, act quickly as tickets are limited, and we anticipate that they will sell quickly.
Thank you for your patience.
Not the time to linger around on the matter if you’re dead serious in watching the pageant in Sao Paulo.
Debora Lyra was all light and sexy when she was crowned Miss Brasil 2010.
A year and 10 kgs. later, Debora Lyra is more at peace now that she will relinquish the Miss Brasil crown to a new winner.
Miss Brasil 2010 Debora Lyra will crown her successor in just a number of hours from now. And it would be fitting to blog about this lady who has had a rollercoaster of a ride during her reign. Bouts with depression, weight gain, indecent proposals and an unfortunate incident/encounter with a gun-toting robber right in front of her house were just some of the major hurdles she needed to leap from while trying to keep a continuously fresh and glamorous image in front of everyone.
If only she won in Las Vegas last year, things would’ve turned out better. And what an uplifting sight it could’ve have been to crown Miss Universe 2011 right in front of her countrymen, right?
But now that she has come full circle as Miss Brasil 2010, Debora is more than ready to face post-beauty queen life with wide open arms. If you closely look at her current photo on the left, there is a marked serenity in her face that tells of a sudden surge in maturity during the last twelve months.
Boa sorte na vida e no amor, Debora! O deus abençoa-o!
Miss Universe Chile 2011 Vanessa Ceruti
After missing five editions of Miss Universe from 2006-2010, Chile is back into the fold. This year, someone will wear the sash in Sao Paulo, Brazil. That lady is 25 year-old Vanessa Ceruti. Standing at a proud 1.78m, she need not travel too far (just a little over three hours) to get to the host city, and that must have been one advantage the organizers considered in putting up a national pageant for 2011.
What lies ahead for Vanessa in Miss Universe? Well, the field is one of the strongest ever and it would be foolish to make any premature guesses or predictions. Let’s just hope that all contenders will step up to the plate to make it harder for the judges to select a truly deserving winner.
Miss Universo Chile 2011 Vanessa Ceruti being crowned by Miss Universe 2010 Ximena Navarette.