Online predictions and popularity poles put Maria Venus Raj from Philippines as one of the top favorites for the Miss Universe 2010 crown, followed by followed by Marelisa Gibson from Venezuela get second most voted contestant and in this competition Ximena Navarrete from Mexico and Natalia Navarro from Colombia get third and fourth voted contestant.
Born in Doha, Qatar, Miss Raj’s stats read “35-22-35’, 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) tall, eye color brown, hair color black. Following her victory as Ms Bicolandia 2007, Maria Venus Raj represented Legazpi City and competed in the Miss Philippines-Earth 2008, and was named as Miss Philippines Earth Eco Tourism 2008. Maria Venus Raj was crowned in May 11, 2008 at Crowne Plaza Galleria, Manila.
Maria Venus Bayonito Raj, born on July 7, 1988, is one of the three reigning 2010 Binibining Pilipinas. She represents the Republic of the Philippines as a candidate for the Miss Universe 2010 beauty pageant.
Maria Venus Raj has lived in a nipa hut made of wood, bamboo and anahaw leaves with no electricity in the middle of a sprawling rice field in the rural Bato town for more than twenty years.
Reportedly, Maria Venus Raj was illegitimately born out of wedlock in Doha, Qatar. Upon separation of her parents, Maria Venus Raj was taken to Bato, Camarines Sur in Bicol, Philippines as an infant and was registered by an aunt as Philippine-born to Roman Catholic parents, a Filipino mother and an Indian father. It was her mother, a former tenant farmer and dressmaker who brought Maria Venus Raj up as a child.
The youngest among five children, Maria Venus Raj started joining local beauty pageants at 17 years old. She also joined oratorical contests at San Vicente High School where her English teacher served as her coach. With her victories in major contests, Venus Raj had started to buy land on installment basis for her mother as a means of improving their livelihood.