Former Ms. Universe participant Venus Raj admits that she asked for an interpreter while participating in the 59th Miss Universe pageant back in August 2010.
In an interview with GMA’s ‘News To Go’ on Monday, Venus shared her story.
“Prior to the competition, merong ipinadala sa aming form, pi-fill out mo siya, tapos lalagyan mo dun, if you need an interpreter or not.”
“And then I checked it out, inilagay ko dun, 'Yes, I need an interpreter,' because Miss Universe will provide for interpreter.”
Unfortunately, before her request could be approved by the Miss Universe Organization, she had to seek the approval of the local franchise, Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI). After asking for approval, she was denied the request.
“I really wanted to have an interpreter, but I also had to submit to authorities, which is Binibining Pilipinas Organization,” she said.
“And they said, ‘No, you don’t need an interpreter, because the Philippines is actually known as English-speaking [country], so hindi mo kailangan.’”
Venus stressed that she really wanted the aid of the interpreter.
“Pero kung ako lang talaga, gustung-gusto ko. I really want.”
The beauty queen believes that her answer would’ve been better framed if she had been granted her request.
“My answer could have been different. I could have framed it in a way na, ‘Wow.’ [But] it [did not] happen and everything really happens for a reason.”
Venus was of course referencing her “major, major” answer after making it to the Top 5. Fortunately, it was Venus Raj who ended the 11-year losing streak of the Philippines in the Miss Universe pageant – by becoming the 4th runner-up.
From then on Filipinas have always found a spot on the Top 5. This trend continued and eventually Pia Wurtzbach won the coveted Miss Universe crown in 2015.
Venus was also asked to give her opinion concerning the newest Philippine representative for the 65th Miss Universe, Maxine Medina. Specifically, she was asked if she thought Maxine would need an interpreter – given her limited English speaking ability.
“I think prerogative pa rin ni Maxine yun,” she admitted.
“Yun nga, e, even if we want to have an interpreter, and maaaring maging breakthrough ‘yan and, you know, in the near future, candidates from the Philippines can also use interpreters. Pero she has to submit pa rin talaga to the authority, which is Binibining Pilipinas.” She stated.
“And if Binibining Pilipinas do not allow her to have an interpreter, then sila pa rin may desisyon.” She added.
While Venus is confident that Maxine can express herself in English properly, she also believes there are advantages to using our own national language. She states, “But with Maxine, she’s okay.”
“I mean, tayo lang naman talaga ang very critical about the language, about grammar, about how we pronounce words.” Venus said.
“There are Filipinos who are eloquent in English, but hindi natin madi-deny na there are also many Filipino people who want to stick to the national language.” She added.
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