Monday, August 23, 2010


Life is cruel most of the times. “You are just as good as your last deed. If you commit one mistake, all your good deeds will be erased” – this is the clear reality that is so cruel. On the same way, many of us are just too good to criticize but not capable to do the action.

These apply to the fate of a fellow Filipino Maria Venus Raj in an international beauty contest she joined. It can recall that during the early activities for the competition, Venus did her very best and tried to set her best foot forward to make impressive notion. She put up a good fight making her the early favorite and the front-liner among all candidates. Having the outstanding looks, the poise, and the confidence, Venus has just earned the high respect and reputation among all contestants that made herself the candidate to beat. This positive fact was highly accepted, well received and warmly supported by many of us. Simply the support was overwhelming.

The 5’ 9” beauty with outstanding look, bodily curve, and distinct catwalk easily advanced to semi-finalist during the pre-pageant night. However, on the final night she did not able to bring home the title. And here the critics have started to cast their ridicules, comments, criticism, and the so-called solutions. The dismay of many people over Venus’ fate was really unfair and uncalled. Just because of her performance during the final question and answer, she instantly became a casualty of scrupulous people. Many were dismayed by Venus's answer when one of the judges asked “What is one big mistake that you’ve made in your life and what did you do to make it right?” She answered "You know what, sir, in my 22 years of existence I can say that there's nothing major, major problem that I've done in my life because I'm very confident with my family, with the love that they are giving to me. So thank you so much that I'm here. Thank you, thank you so much!"

From the start of the competition, Venus has her way ahead to the throne and was favored to win until the killer question derailed her chance of taking the crown and stopped her rising. Upon first-hand reading her answer in newsprint, it has no spectacular impact, essence and did not weight substance. However, although her answer lacks substance but upon analyzing all other questions, I have realized that the question she picked up was the worst among the questions thrown in the sense that the four questions for other finalists were more relevant which are answerable with deeper response. While these kind of questions were made for such contest, Venus’ was question often asked in job interviews and if applied in a personality contest is a question meant for a 5th placer no matter who got the question. It is unfair, uncomfortable and awkward that anyone would flounder on response given that kind of question under time-pressure.

The answer of Venus have cost her the Miss Universe crown, but given the fact that she delivered the right answer based on judges’ presumption, still her answer is the least vital compare to the four answers which are resulted from more dabatable-in-nature questions. A lot of people have criticized Venus’ answer but personally, I actually do not see anything wrong with her answer. She just answered it with all truthfulness in her heart. If she really has no mistake made in the past, so be it? Venus is a smart woman who persisted to pursue her study under scholarship grant and diligence despite the indigence of her family. She joined in oratorical competitions during college and graduated Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts, major in Journalism with honors. It is not a matter of interpreter. Venus is smart, she clearly understood the question and she answered it direct to the point. So it is really very unfair to underestimate her aptitude.

Considering it’s really very difficult to give answer in a nerve-wrecking split-second question & answer under heavy pressure on stage and live telecast worldwide. Whatever the arguments over her answer, in the end she’s successful and still way more beautiful than the winner. We should stop ridiculing against her phrase “major, major” but instead let us be proud about her achievement. Be grateful for whatever is given to us. Despite the major pressures she had undergone, Venus did well in the pageant which impressively brought major achievement for our country that made us proud.

Alex V. Villamayor
August 2010

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