Miss Philippines Maria Venus Raj cries during rehearsal for Miss Universe 2010 finals

Miss Philippines Maria Venus Raj reportedly cried during rehearsal for the finals of Miss Universe 2010.

Miss Philippines talking to Miss Venezuela Marelisa Gibson at the Ms. Universe 2010 rehearsal

Three days before the Miss Universe 2010 finale, Maria Venus Raj from the Philippines received a bad news from her hometown in CamSur,

Her bestfriend and mentor Melody Gersbach, who's also a Binibining
Pilipinas titleholder, died in a vehicular accident on Saturday
morning in the Philippines (Friday evening in Las Vegas).

The accident happened at Bula, CamSur, one hour away from Bato,
CamSur, hometown of Venus Raj.

Venus was on rehearsal in Las Vegas for the Miss Universe 2010 pageant when she learned about it.

According to Binibining Pilipinas 2010 2nd Runner Up Nicolette Henson, who's there with Venus in Vegas, she didn't know how to tell Venus
about what happened to Melody 'coz it might affect her focus in the pageant. But it turned out though that someone already texted her and
as a beauty queen with grace, Venus remains strong and focused.

Nicolette wrote on her Facebook Page: "Met with Venus earlier...di namin alam pa'no sasabihin dahil ang saya-saya naman niya onstage.
During their break, she broke the ice and said nalaman nya from her Ate. We hugged and cried. But she is well-focused sa pageant. Strong
and motivated!"

OPMB Photographer Jory Rivera, who's also there covering the event, shared on Facebook that Venus is deeply saddened with Melody's passing and she has always regarded Melody as an angel to her.

Jory remembers how wonderful person Melody was. "Melody was such a sweet and soft-spoken lady. You will be missed. We will draw strength from you. Guide Venus in her journey to win the crown."

Both Bicolanos, Venus and Melody were longtime friends. They both competed in Miss Tabak 2008 in Tabaco City, Albay and later went to different beauty pageants. Venus became Miss Philippines Earth-Eco Tourism 2008 while Melody went on to become Binibining Pilipinas-International 2009.

This year, Melody encouraged Venus to join Binibining Pilipinas 2010 and even recommended Venus to her trainor. Venus walked away with the Binibining Pilipinas-Universe title and Melody was behind her all
throughout, even standing as a mentor and coach to Venus.

Melody and Venus were last seen together at the latter's send-off
party to Miss U pageant last August 2.

Mutya ng Pilipinas 2009 Jane Riel Bañares, another Bicolana beauty and friend of Venus and Melody, also recalled how supportive Melody was to her. "Ate Mel thanks
everything for watching my pageants, for giving me advices and for all
the support. Lam mo namang tayo ang magkapareho ng kakulangan pero
nasobrahan ng balakang. I'm gonna miss you," Jane's FB status said.

According to Jane, it's Venus who described Melody as someone "na paa pa lang, pang-Dyosa na."

Melody was truly a goddess and an angel, and will always be.

Photo courtesy of Jory Rivera

About M.I.

Mykiru is an entertainment blogger, having been named as one of the Top 10 Pinoy Showbiz Resources in the Philippines. For a decade now, Mykiru.ph has been delivering the latest, the hottest and most trending issues in the country.

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