In an interview with leading pageant website Missosology, Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo answered a fan question about her thoughts on President Duterte’s remark in January that the presidency is no job for a woman because of their emotional differences with men.
“Well, I do respect the President but I completely disagree with this thought,” said Rabiya, who pointed out that the country already had two female leaders (former Presidents Cory Aquino and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo). And with that, for her, “Women are as capable as men in handling a nation.”
(President Duterte’s remark came after speculations that his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, will run in the 2022 presidential elections. The President said his daughter will not run because he told her not to.)
The country’s Miss Universe bet also cited New Zealand, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and its success in its COVID-19 response.
“We live in an era where we need to treat men and women equally. We need to give them the same opportunities,” said Rabiya.
“I won’t agree with something like this (President Duterte’s statement) because I know my capabilities and strengths as a woman and I know I can make a difference, so much difference,” she shared.
During the online show titled “Beauty Talks,” hosted by Missosology’s Drew Francisco, Stephen Diaz and Ameer Emir, another fan sent a question, “The 2022 elections [are] fast approaching, what qualities should Filipinos look for in their leaders?”
To which, Rabiya responded in jest, “People say mataas pa ang standard ng mga Pilipino pagdating sa Miss Universe kaysa sa pagpili ng mga leaders ng bansa natin.”
But on a serious note, Rabiya said, “That shouldn’t be the case.” For her, one quality that a leader must have is honesty. “An honest leader is somebody who is just, who is humane, but most importantly, he or she is accountable for what is happening in his or her country.”
Beauty pageant aficionados are already looking forward to the next staging of the Miss Universe pageant, but as of this writing, the 69th edition of the pageant still has no confirmed date, with bubbling speculations that it could happen in the first few months of 2021.
But as Rabiya revealed in her interview, her preparations are already in full swing. Most of her training, she said, is done virtually, especially for the Q&A part. The rest of her training is conducted at the Empire Studios in BGC, where every health safety protocol is observed and she and her team are tested for COVID-19 from time to time.
She also hinted on her national costume, which she said will be different compared to the past national costumes that former Miss Universe Philippines had. “I’m going to show some skin. It’s going to be festive, it’s going to be fun… (the national costume) is very me and I had inputs in producing this one.” Rabiya also shared that her costume will highlight her signature hala-bira walk.
Rabiya did not reveal much about her evening gowns, however, she said that the design would make her body look “really long” for both the preliminaries and the finale.
“Some would say they would be bothered about my height, but height is something that won’t make you win—it’s your performance, it’s how you walk, it’s your personality (that would).”
Watch Rabiya's full interview here:
Banner and thumbnail images from www.instagram.com/rabiyamateo