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Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, former beauty queens welcome Rabiya Mateo to their ‘sisterhood’

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Oct 25, 2020 9:49 pm Updated Oct 25, 2020 10:41 pm

The sisterhood of beauty queens just got one new member: Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo.

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, Miss Universe Philippines 2019 Gazini Ganados, Miss Universe Philippines 2014 MJ Lastimosa, and Miss Universe 3rd runner-up Ariella Arida  welcomed Rabiya Mateo to their select group of Filipino women representing the country to the Miss Universe beauty pageant.

Mateo, 23, bested 46 candidates who vied for the crown at the pageant’s finale held yesterday at the Baguio Country Club’s Cordillera Convention Hall sans a live audience. The Ilongga also won Best in Swimsuit in the preliminaries.

Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo. Photo from www.instagram.com/mark.caceres.photography

This year’s pageant is the first under Miss Universe Philippines Organization, led by national director and Miss Universe 2011 third runner-up Shamcey Supsup-Lee. Prior to this year's inaugural staging, Miss Philippines was helmed by the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. by the Araneta Group for 50 years, which produced the country’s four Miss Universe title holders Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran Floirendo (1973), Pia Wurtzbach (2015) and Catriona Gray (2018).

Mateo’s royal court is composed of first runner-up Ysabella Ysmael of Parañaque, second runner-up Michele Gumabao of Quezon City, third runner-up Pauline Amelinckx of Bohol, and fourth runner-up Billie Hakenson of Cavite.

When asked the Top 16 Q&A question “Throughout this journey you've discovered that you are a phenomenal women who is conditioned for greater. How can you create a positive and lasting impact to the world around you?”, Mateo, a cum laude graduate and university valedictorian of Iloilo Doctors’ College, responded:

“First of all, I need to stick to my core, which is being passionate about educating people. I am a lecturer and I've been pursuing this because this education had helped me to have that comfortable life that I and my family deserves and I wanna push people, I want them to achieve greater things in life through me and I know that with Miss Universe, anything is possible because I am a phenomenal woman with a heart.”

Avid pageant watchers and aficionados, politicians, and former beauty queens were quick to weigh in on Mateo’s win. Below are their reactions.

Photos from Miss Universe Philippines 2020

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Welcome to the sisterhood Queen @rabiyamateo. ❤️ @themissuniverseph

A post shared by Gazini C. J. Ganados (@gazinii) on