Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Major, major

Leave it to us Filipinos to handle a rollercoaster ride of emotions- after the tragic hostage taking drama came the elation at having Miss Universe delegate Venus Raj make it to the top five. Her win as fourth runner-up got mixed reactions from Pinoys all over the world via Twitter, Facebook, and other networking sites. Some say she could have grabbed the title had she done better in the question and answer portion, while others are content with the runner-up position for the Philippines after a decade of candidates who never even got to top fifteen.

For anyone keeping score, the Philippines has two title holders- Miss Universe 1969 and 1973, plus runner-ups including Miriam Quiambao and currently- Venus.

Venus had a lot going for her: a 22 inch waistline, gorgeous morena skintone, face and proportions that embody the dusky Filipina beauty,unwavering poise, support from Filipinos all over the world (in fact, the host remarked at MGM grand that "the whole country is here", with Pinoys making thunderous applause for Venus everytime she walked the stage), she was a pre-pageant favorite and ranked among the highest in internet polls. She also had the "Cinderella factor"- a girl from an impoverished family who worked hard and graduated with honors (according to her bio), which was sure to endear her to people.

To be fair, the question that was given to her during the top five was so unlike the ones asked to other contestants. Miss Mexico was asked about her views on regulating internet usage for young people, Miss Jamaica gave her views on death penalty, Miss Australia on government legislation on tolerating religious practices, Miss Ukraine was asked what she thought about full-body scans in airport security. Our Venus was asked what she thought was the biggest mistake she made in her life and what she did to make it right. Clearly this wasn't along the lines of "what is the essence of a woman" or even some sort of commentary on social issues, hers was a personal question.

I think Venus answered honestly, and I give her points for that. The problem was that her answer was neither moving nor interesting- I mean could you blame her when she said in her 22 years of existence she had never encountered a major problem? (Although she did a minor blooper in repeating the word "major", which either she did for emphasis or perhaps when one translates "major, major" in Tagalog it means "bonggang-bongga"- " Wala pa po akong nagawang bonggang-bonggang pagkakamali"...) Well, she could have made up some story that she was a raging alcoholic who joined AA and later overcame odds and became a beauty queen, but like she said- she had honestly never encountered a major problem or made a major mistake. The controversy during her near dethronement by Binibining Pilipinas Charities could have been one element which she could have played, but I'm not so sure if that is something she wants to bring up.

We could have asked perhaps Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago to be translator and make the judges' ears bleed with her stilted language, but I think the way Venus expressed herself was not the biggest problem. The question of confidence may be entertained though, because even in Quiambao's time she also clammed up during the final question and answer. Venus herself admitted during Dyan Castellejo's interview that she was indeed nervous during the final Q & A, and it affected her response. The Binibining Pilipinas Universe who I thought completely held her own during Q & A was the witty and confident Charlene Gonzales when she answered back with a question "High tide or low tide?" after being asked how many islands made up the Philippines.

With all the raves during the preliminaries, Venus could have made it to the top. But of course the Q & A could make or break a beauty queen- Miriam's "I felt like I stood up for all women who fell on and off the stage" when she was asked how she felt about tripping onstage, made her an instant hit with the crowd. Her answer catapulted her from a virtual unknown amongst the sea of candidates to one of the top three. Sadly her weak answer on the final question made her rival win, which some pageant fanatics cruelly nicknamed the "ugliest Miss Universe ever".

How could the Miss Photogenic special award not go to Venus? Her internet votes were higher than Thailand. In fact for the past decades, that award always goes to whomever the Philippines sends. I think we are the only country who votes fanatically and support our candidate.

Part of being a beauty queen is bowing gracefully even when you don't get the crown. Despite being a runner-up we do love Venus unconditionally... To be top five out of 83 candidates is something! Come home Venus, we love you "major majorly"- or in tagalog mahal ka namin ng bonggang bongga!

1 comment:

James Arnold Nogra said...

meron din akong related post nito... proud pa rin ako na umabot siya sa top 5... Venus Raj Takes Over Manila Hostage Cirisi


Related Posts with Thumbnails