Ilongga beauty queen Rabiya Mateo won the hearts of many for her answer at the first-ever Miss Universe Philippines 2020. Right now, little is known about the representative of the country to the prestigious pageant. And so, we did some digging. Here’s what we know so far about the half-Filipina, half-Indian beauty:
She also wowed with her Q&A answer at the Miss Iloilo Universe 2020 pageant
Crowned at the West Visayas State University, Rabiya slayed the question and answer portion during the Miss Iloilo Universe 2020 when she honored the “hablon” weaving industry of her province and promised to bring it to the international arena.
“If I were to be crowned tonight, it will be such an honor to bring to the global community our very own hablon which represents dedication, hard work and creative side of every Ilonggo. Aside from that, I want to show to the world that I am a queen today because of my province and with that being said, I want to prove to everyone that I am a true Ilongga with a heartfelt beauty.”
Rabiya means 'princess' but everyday, she wakes up trying to become the queen of herself. ❤️ Thank you for much @ramsilvacouture_ for styling and dressing me up. PS My MUP journey has not yet started but I am extremely amazed with all the support I've been receiving especially from those people I don't personally know. I just want to thank everyone for those kind words. It means a lot to someone like me who is new to this pageant world. ❤️
She’s a licensed physical therapist
Having finished Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy at the Iloilo Doctors College, the Iloilo native graduated Cum Laude. She’s also working as a coordinator and lecturer for a Manila-based review center.
She’s been helping out a lot of people during the pandemic
She has been helping out those in need during these trying times — reaching out to fire victims amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, among others.
“It's really devastating to hear that during this COVID-19 crisis some Ilonggos had lost their homes earlier this morning around 2 am due to fire incident that occurred in Brgy. Ortiz, City Proper. We are praying for everyone's safety and mental peace in this most difficult moment,” she wrote.
It's really devastating to hear that during this COVID-19 crisis some Ilonggos had lost their homes earlier this morning around 2am due to fire incident that occurred in Brgy. Ortiz, City Proper. We are praying for everyone's safety and mental peace in this most difficult moment. I just want to thank Tito Lars and Tita @primadonna1105 of Lars Buko Batchoy for spearheading our food donation drive earlier in the evacuation center of the fire victims. For donations, you can send me a personal message here on IG or contact me @ 09564804143. (Last two photos courtesy of Panay News📸 ) #batoiloilo
Rabiya also joined forces with Miss Universe Philippines-Antique — a close friend of hers — to distribute relief goods in her town during the pandemic.
“As the reigning Miss Iloilo, I aspire not just to become the face of my city but also the symbol of courage, hope and unity. Together with MUPH-Antique who is also a very close friend of mine, @joecelrobenta , we were able to spend the day repacking donations for the residents of Brgy. Nabitasan, Lapaz, Iloilo City,” she wrote in an Instagram post.
As the reigning Miss Iloilo, I aspire not just to become the face of my city but also the symbol of courage, hope and unity. Together with MUPH-Antique who is also a very close friend of mine, @joecelrobenta , we were able to spend the day repacking donations for the residents of Brgy. Nabitasan, Lapaz, Iloilo City. #batoiloilo #missuniversephilippines #halabirabiya #AribaRabiya #beautifultransformation #phenomenalwoman #muphiloilocity #beyondcoastlines
She trained under Aces & Queens
Rabia trained under the same beauty camp as Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Miss World 2013 Megan Young, Miss Universe 2013 3rd runner-up Ariella Arida, Miss World 2011 1st runner-up Gwen Ruais, Miss Universe 2011 third runner-up Shamcey Supsup, and Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up Venus Raj.
“After women, flowers are the most divine creations.” - Christian Dior Photographer: Marco Alcaria Make up: Raymond Galang Hair: Donna Abitira Stylist: Dom Moreno Team Aces and Queens #MissUniversePhilippines #MUPHIloIloCity #HalaRabiya #AribaRabiya #PhenomenalWoman #BeautifulTransformation #AcesAndQueens
She takes pride in being Ilongga
During the question and answer portion at the Miss Universe Philippines competition, Rabiya paid homage to former Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago who happens to be born and raised in Iloilo as well.
“If I were given the chance, I want to use the face of Miriam Defensor Santiago. For those who don’t know, she was an Ilongga. But what I admired about her is that she used her knowledge, her voice to serve the country. I want to be somebody like her, somebody who puts her heart, her passion into action. After all, she is the best President that we never had,” she said.
Asked about where pageants stand during this time of crisis during the pandemic for her second question, she answered: “As a candidate, I know I am not just a face of Iloilo City but I am here carrying hope and as a symbol of light in the darkest of times. As of the moment, I want to help my community. I want to use my strength to make an impact. And that is the essence of beauty pageant. It gives us the power to make a difference.”
Been busy for quite some time but dont worry, I'm still here guys. ❤ HMUA: @sephmadrid28 Stylist: @dommoreno_ Shoutout to @drtoledoph! Love you! #MissUniversePhilippines2020 #MUPHIloiloCity #halabirabiya #aribarabiya #phenomenalwoman #beyondthecoastline #beautifultransformation
The Miss Universe Philippines pageant used to be under the Araneta group’s Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. until it became an independent group.
The Philippines has produced four Miss Universe titleholders over the years namely Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margarita Moran in 1973, Pia Wurtzbach in 2015, and Catriona Gray in 2018.
Gazini Ganados passed on the crown today, October 25.