Venus Raj Turns 23

Maria Venus Bayonito Raj has turned 23-years-old today, July 7th. She was born in 1988. Crowned Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2010, she represented the Philippines in the 2010 Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, and placed fourth runner-up.

Venus RajVenus was born to an Indian father and a Filipina mother. She lived in Bato, Camarines Sur in Bicol and grew up with her mother, a former tenant farmer and dressmaker.

Following her victory as Miss Bicolandia, Venus represented Legazpi City and competed in the Miss Philippines-Earth 2008, and was named as Miss Philippines Earth Eco Tourism that year.

On March 6, 2010, she was crowned Binibining Pilipinas Universe during the pageant's Grand Coronation Night at the Araneta Coliseum. She won the right to represent the Philippines in the 2010 Miss Universe pageant.

A few weeks after her coronation, Raj was dethroned by Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) citing alleged inconsistencies between her birth certificate and the personal account of her birth.

On April 10, 2010, the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. allowed Raj to reclaim her title due to humanitarian reasons. An additional requirement that Raj should legally obtain a valid Philippine passport as proof of her true citizenship was also requested by the pageant organizers.

On May 19, 2010, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) issued Raj a Philippine passport thereby attesting to her Filipino citizenship. Upon the issuance of her Philippine passport, BPCI announced that they are reinstating Raj.

On January 14, 2011, Raj signed up an exclusive contract with ABS-CBN, including the airing rights of the Binibining Pilipinas pageant for at least five years. Presently, Venus appears as host/performer on ASAP Rocks, a Sunday afternoon varietiy show, and as entertainment news segment host of the early morning show Umagang Kay Ganda.

She became a household name when the expression “Major, major” became popular.