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.
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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Miss Universe Philippines 2020 — Rabiya Mateo of Iloilo ?? Winning the pageant takes a lot of hardwork, dedication, but I would say that destiny also plays a part on it, based on my experience. To Rabiya who is also our Miss PLDT Home winner, continue shining and remember your purpose why God gave you the crown. Always remember to #RediscoverTheQueenWithin you cos this journey is a continuous process of learning, failing, persevering and triumph. Welcome to the sisterhood. ? @pldthome @themissuniverseph #MissUniversePhilippines #MissUniversePhilippines2020
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Wala akong photo of the winner haha! But congratulations Miss Rabiya of Iloilo you did a wonderful job. We will be supporting you in the @MissUniverse stage as you raise our ?? #MissUniversePhilippines— MJ Lastimosa (@MJ_Lastimosa) October 25, 2020
congrats to our new Miss Universe Philippines! And thank you for all the kind words regarding my hosting. It was a big honor to be part of the pageant. Pageant fans are among the hardest to please and I hope I’d was able to pull that off. Hopefully we can do it again next year!— KC Montero (@KCMontero) October 25, 2020
I congratulate Ms Iloilo Rabiya Mateo as, Miss Universe Philippines 2020.The Ilonggo community is truly proud of her achievement. She is an epitome that Iloilo can truly level-up and rise above challenges during these times.She is indeed a phenomenal woman with heartfelt beauty. pic.twitter.com/7WqzAbVBHd— JERRY P. TREÑAS (@jerry_trenas) October 25, 2020
Congratulations to my kasimanwa, Ms. Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo of Iloilo! Wear that Filipina crown with grace and confidence as you represent our country in the world stage? #MissUniversePhilippines#MissUniverse2020#MissUniverse#Iloilo pic.twitter.com/Z5MYc4EJTL— GRACE POE (@SenGracePOE) October 25, 2020
LITERALLY WOKE UP TO RABIYA BEING THE NEW MISS UNIVERSE PH ?— Jasper (@JapDaniels) October 25, 2020
The night before her finals night, i just told her to rest but she said “No Doc session pa tayo one last time”
Before ending our call she said:
“The next time we call doc, Miss Universe PH na ako”
Just as the first beauty queen of the Philippines, Pura Villanueva, was an Ilongga, the newly crowned winner of the first Miss Universe Philippines pageant, Rabiya Mateo, is also an Ilongga! ❤️#MissUniversePhilippines #MissUniversePhilippines2020#RabiyaMateo #IloiloCity pic.twitter.com/uX2AA6Qpk5— KEN of NEOS ACNH (@NoldeyyMoldeyy) October 25, 2020
Was rooting for Miss Davao and Miss Cavite but infairness to Miss Iloilo City Rabiya Mateo, she really had the best answer among the 5. Plus, her beauty is so ethereal and is surely a Miss Universe caliber. Congrats! #MissUniversePhilippines pic.twitter.com/D2pzuHLi2n— Alphina (@maleedus) October 25, 2020