Name: Maria Venus Raj
Height: 176cm / 5’9″
Place of Origin: Camarines Sur, Philippines
Maria Venus Raj was crowned Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2010 on March 06, 2010 at the Araneta Coliseum, Manila, Philippines. Just 3 weeks after her coronation on March 29, 2010, she was stripped of her title due to “inconsistencies” on her birth certificate. Helen Nicolette Henson replaced her a few days later. Her sudden dethronement caused uproar among her Filipino supporters all over the Philippines and overseas. Many expressed their disappointments through online petitions and signature campaigns in popular Internet media such Facebook, Twitter, forums and blogsites. Supporters began sending letters to the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Incorporated demanding her reinstatement and are willing to go as far as the Miss Universe Organization so much that they reversed their previous stand citing “humanitarian reasons” on April 10, 2010.
Her exotic look was a product of Filipino and Indian bloodlines. Her parents, a Filipina mother and an Indian father met in Doha, Qatar where she was born. Later, her mother took her to Camarines Sur, Philippines when her parents separated. Venus Raj graduated “cum laude” from her bachelor’s degree in Communications Arts at Bicol University in Albay, Philippines. Before winning her crown, she worked as an Information Assistant for a Philippine government bureau and a fashion model as well. She is expected to represent the Philippines in the Miss Universe 2010 pageant.
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