You'll never guess who I ran into this morning.
Well, okay, maybe you can.
I think it was a good sign that Venus Raj first said upon meeting me, "Wait lang. The food I like isn't so healthy!" All the better for me, because her diet secrets weren't what I wanted to know about!
Let me first start by saying that I AM A MASSIVE FAN OF VENUS RAJ. In today's media where the Mestiza reigns supreme, I feel like she has given Morena girls everywhere a reason to throw away their whitening products and embrace their color for what it is. (Note to all you Morenas out there: Love the skin you're in. I am madly jealous of your ability to turn into golden goddesses under the sun. I really am. I cannot tan to save my life).
Sitting down with Venus was awesome because I felt like I was chatting with a girlfriend, and most importantly, contrary to popular belief, she LOVES to eat!
What are your favorite comfort foods?
Venus: Eto na talaga! Sinigang na baboy. Diba ang sarap kapag may mainit na sinigang sa harap mo? Pero ayoko yung may laman lang. Ang boring eh. Gusto ko yung may taba! Alam ko hindi healthy, pero mahilig ako sa seafood. Lalo na ang crab! Ang saya lang maghimay ng crab meat, at kukutkutin mo lang hanggang may mountain of crab shells ka na! Ang mga tao kasi, palagi nila akong tinatanong, "What are your diet secrets?" E, hindi naman ako nagdidiyeta!
(This interview's off to a good start, because I am totally on her side when it comes to how I like my sinigang: Steaming hot and sour, with large chunks of fatty meat in it!)
What kind of food do you eat that other people wouldn't expect?
Venus: Madami! Sardinas. Kahit anong sardinas. Sauce sa spaghetti, ginisang sardinas na may sinangag, lahat! Dahil lumaki ako sa probinsya, kumakain ako ng palaka. May palayan kami, hinuhuli lang namin at piniprito. Eto pa: Lasa siyang chicken! Medyo matiyaga lang kainin dahil maliliit yung palaka. Sa street food, mahilig ako sa isaw manok na tostado! Pero ang paborito ko talaga yung puso at atay ng manok!
You won't believe this, but I cook, too! Syempre hindi ko magawa palagi dahil may work, pero I love to make rib-eye steak, medium well. If I make it well done, it takes the fun out of eating it!
So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen!
What I learned today is that Venus Raj is both a cowboy, AND a lady. She keeps it real by staying true to her humble roots, and finds pleasure in the kind of food that many of us take for granted. That kind of sincerity is hard to come by these days, and I'm glad I got to talk to her. You go, girl!
* Thank you for the profile photo, Inside Showbiz!