To say that beauty pageants are big in the Philippines would be an understatement. Year after year, millions are glued to their TV sets watching Filipinas compete on the international arena as beauty queens become heroes who dominate the national conversation. The battle, however, begins at home and two iskolars are among this year’s Binibining Pilipinas 2018 candidates, both of whom are striving to stand alongside powerful, elegant women such as Theresa Licaros, Venus Raj, Shamcey Supsup, Ariella Arida, and Catherine Untalan.
She is just as honest as she was during her final question-and-answer portion at the Miss Universe contest in 2010. But this time, eight years later, she admits that she has a major, major problem when asked why she wanted to take up a master’s degree in Community Development. “I’ll be very honest with you,” says the towering Bicolana beauty Venus Raj. “I had no idea what Community Development was at first. Someone told me to enroll in it as I was interested in going back to my roots and serving the community. Those were the selling points for me,” she continued.