Monday, April 12

Maria Venus Raj and birth certificates

Bicolana beauty
Maria Venus Raj the 2010 Binibining Pilipinas-Universe, dethroned due to "misrepresentations" on her birth records, can reclaim her title if she could get a valid Philippine passport. I hope she can get one because regardless of circumstances (born in Doha, Qatar/Indian father etc.) or inconsistencies on her birth certificate, the fact that she has a Filipina mother makes her a Filipino citizen by birth. I believe there wasn't any intention to deceive on Venus' part, after all she could hardly be blamed for what her aunt put on her birth certificate when she was 3 years old.

This is a common occurrence when it wasn't the mother who fills out the birth certificate forms. In my family--out of six siblings--four of us have minor inconsistencies in our birth records owing to the fact that my late father insisted on registering our births in his hometown (even if we were born in another city) for sentimental reasons. My Papa apparently did not bother to write down our birth infos and got some details wrong.

So I ended up having September as my birth month on my birth certificate instead of August. My older sister Mayet have the wrong birthplace, my sister Anne have the right month but the wrong date on hers and worst of all, my brother Alex found out when he was out of college and looking for a job that he wasn't registered anywhere at all and had to fill out his own birth certificate application, which is just weird.

The discrepancies in our birth records were annoying but we decided to just accept it to avoid the expenses and legal proceedings needed to correct these. Still, we all managed to get our passports and my sisters and brother now live abroad with new citizenships, so no harm done I guess. That's why I understand Maria Venus' situation because she was just a victim of circumstances and it takes a lot of money to hire lawyers to correct itty bitty details on legal documents that no one but you cares about anyway.

I hope everything works out for Maria Venus Raj. She grew up in the same barrio in Bato, Camarines Sur where my sister Maris and her children currently live. In fact, she is a graduate of San Vicente High School which is just a few steps away from my sister's house where I stay every holiday. It's very hard not to root for a girl who grew up in a hut without plumbing and electricity, practiced modeling in rice fields, persevered, graduated cum laude in college and became a beauty queen. I think whoever stands in the way of her "poor girl making good" story will look like an ogre.

Update: Maria Venus Raj now has a passport. Oh wait, she will be issued one "in the next few days". 
Update 2: Venus finally got her passport last Friday, May 21. Now waiting for the official reinstatement from BPCI.


Liza 23:28  

22 inches lang ang waistline nya? I hate you Venus! hahaha.

Jane 00:26  

Lovely girl with an amazing story. She grew up with no electricity at home? I admire her courage in the face of such poverty. I'm glad BPCI felt the heat and reconsidered.

Missy,  01:33  

Nice story. This happened to me too, the midwife messed up my mom's name on my birth certificate. Spent a lot to correct it. LOL at your dad messing up yours and your siblings'. Once might be excusable but four times? What was your mom's reaction? Just curious...

Lynn 04:02  

@Liza I know! 22 in. is just wow.
@Jane the pressure on bpci worked ;)
@Missy Mama didn't get too angry... he died soon after I was born so we think of it as part of his "legacy".

myfingersrtyping 17:26  

oh wow, I hope everything will work out just fine with Venus.

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