Sat Jan 15 2011 04:49 AM
After a series of negotiations, 2010 Miss Universe runner-up Maria Venus Raj finally signed up with the Kapamilya network last January 14 at the ABS-CBN compound. According to ABS-CBN Business Unit Head Linggit Tan, the 22-year-old reigning Binibining Pilipinas-Universe is welcome to be part of the Kapamilya network for as long as she likes. In line with this major partnership, ABS-CBN also signed on to air the Binibining Pilipinas pageants for the next five years. This guarantees that the Philippine’s most prestigious beauty competition can be watched not only locally, but worldwide via ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel (TFC). After representing the country abroad in the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada last year, the statuesque morena has been very visible in the local media. So it wasn’t any surprise that she received a lot of show business offers before she finally decided to sign up with ABS-CBN.
Venus admitted that she received an offer from former ABS-CBN talent Willie Revillame to be a part of his show on another network. But Venus passed on the offer because any career decision she made also had to be done in consultation with Binibining Pilipinas Charities, which are managing her career. “May offer talaga. Nakausap ko si Mr. Willie Revillame one time nung nagkita kami sa isang function pero sinabi ko nga na hindi rin naman ako lang ang nag-decide sa mga bagay na yun at alam ko naman na parang nag-sa-start na rin yungnegotiations with ABS-CBN at that time,” she said.
Venus said she graciously declined the offer so there isn’t any bad blood between her and Willie. “Hindi ko rin naman talaga siya nakikita ng personal at nakakausap so feeling ko wala naman. Magaling naman yung nakuha nilang co-host ni Mr.Willie Revillame so okay lang din yun,” she said. Venus also vehemently denied being courted by the host. “Hindi naman, grabe naman yun. Nagkita lang kami, nagkausap, ganun lang. Wala naman sigurong ample time para magligawan,” she stressed.
Even though she only found out about her contract-signing the night before negotiations were finalized, Venus said she has been excited by the thought of working in ABS-CBN ever since the possibility was brought up with her. “Sobrang saya at sobrang excited ko ngayon. Talagang nung gabi sobrang saya ko na halos hindi na ako makatulog kasi iniisip ko yung mangyayari ngayon at eto na nga yun, medyo matagal-tagal din yungnegotiations, kung anu-ano pinag-usapan nila. Pero sabi nga, kahit gaano katagal, we are very happy na nandito na kami sa ABS-CBN. I’m extremely honored to become part of the country’s biggest network. I’m proud to be a Kapamilya,” she admitted.