It's been more than seven years since Venus Raj first amazed us with her famed "Pilapil Walk", which she masterfully displayed during a fairly successful run in the Miss Universe pageant back in 2010.

Although she fell short of taking home the coveted crown, Venus will always have a special place in our hearts. Besides, who could ever forget her hilarious "Major, major" moment?


But beyond her pageant prowess, Venus is also gifted with great educational aptitude. In fact, she recently earned her master's degree in community development at no less than the University of the Philippines.

Check out her smile, which says it all:

Given her achievement and the inspiration that comes with it, we've compiled a list of more Filipina beauty queens who are not only gorgeous, but are also armed with razor-sharp wits.

Sandra Seifert (2009 Miss Earth 1st Runner-up)

Sandra initially completed her studies at the Brent International School in Biñan, Laguna before she moved to the US, where she got a Nursing degree at the City University of New York. She has since passed the New York Nursing Board Examination and is a registered nurse.

Janine Tugonon (2012 Miss Universe 1st Runner-up)

Janine graduated Cum Laude from the University of Santo Tomas after earning a degree in Pharmacy. She then became a licensed pharmacist in 2010.

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She has now found massive success in the US modeling industry after being the first full-blooded Filipina to become a Victoria's Secret commercial model.

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Cathy Untalan (2006 Miss Earth 2nd Runner-up)

Cathy graduated Cum Laude after earning a degree in Psychology at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. She has transitioned from beauty pageants stint to career in the same industry by becoming the Executive Director of the Miss Earth Foundation.


Anna Licaros (2007 Miss Universe Philippines)

Anna graduated Summa Cum Laude after earning a degree in Broadcast Communication at the University of Philippines-Diliman. She then studied at the University of the Philippines College of Law, where she graduated as the salutatorian.

In 2009, she passed the 2009 Bar Exams which makes her a lawyer by profession.

Shamcey Supsup (2011 Miss Universe 3rd Runner-up)

Shamcey is probably the gold standard when it comes to Pinay beauty queens with brains. She graduated Magna Cum Laude after earning her degree in Architecture at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

Aside from this, she is also the topnotcher for the 2010 Architecture Board exams with a score of 86.6 percent.

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This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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