Following her coronation at this year's Miss Universe Philippines pageant, netizens attested to the humility and persistence of Rabiya Mateo.
Netizen Ramon Muñez shared on his Facebook page that Rabiya was struggling financially during her college years but through persistence, she graduated at the top of her class.
"Years ago, she stayed at our boarding house for less than a semester while she was studying at the Iloilo Doctor's College. She did not have money to pay for rent. She slept on the floor. Her roommates gave her a 'banig' so she would have something to sleep on," netizen Ramon shared.
He added, "My mum asked her if she'll be okay, and she said she'll be fine. Through hard work, perseverance, and sheer grit, she graduated cum laude and now, the 2020 Miss Universe Philippines. Congratulations Rabiya Mateo! We're proud of you!"
Meanwhile, netizen Nelly Cabales shared a conversation she had with Rabiya before, when the beauty queen was looking for a part-time job to save money for her board exam.
"You really deserve this success you achieved Rabiya Mateo. Yong SIPAG at TYAGA mo sa buhay nag bunga na. Just continue pursuing your dreams and ignore the negativity of other people!!!!! IM SO PROUD OF YOU Bunso. Our Miss Universe Philippines 2020," netizen Nelly said.
Rabiya graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the Iloilo Doctor’s College in Molo, Iloilo City. She graduated cum laude and passed the Physical Therapy Licensure Examination in August 2018.
She was announced as the Miss Universe Philippines winner on October 25 at the Baguio Country Club.
This is just the beginning of something great. Grateful to all the people who helped me from Miss Iloilo up until Miss Universe PH. Thank you for all the love and support especially to my Rabiyanatics. Palangga ko kamo tanan! Video: @lulux.studios @lula.films #missuniversephilippines #aribarabiya #halabirabiya
On October 31, Rabiya shared a clip documenting her journey in the pageant.
"This is just the beginning of something great. Grateful to all the people who helped me from Miss Iloilo up until Miss Universe PH. Thank you for all the love and support especially to my Rabiyanatics. Palangga ko kamo tanan!" she posted.