Venus Raj had nothing but great words for Miss Universe Philippines 2020 winner Rabiya Mateo whom she described as “driven.”
Maayong Adlaw, Pilipinas! Today is the most beautiful day in the Universe! I’m inviting you all to watch the finals of Miss Universe Philippines 2020,9AM at GMA or Empire.ph Photog: @pixelbymarco Make up: Raymond Galang (@raymsgalang) Hair: Donna Abitria Accessories: Chris Munar (@christophermunar) Stylist: Dom Moreno (@dommoreno_) #RabiyaMateo #MissUniversePhilippines #MUPHIloiloCity #PhenomenalWoman #AcesAndQueens
In an interview with G3 San Diego, the Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up said she has always admired Rabiya for being beautiful and an intellectual at the same time.
It’s been a week since I won Miss Universe Philippines but there’s a lot of blessings that came to me. I would always start and end my day with a prayer to thank God for leading me to the right kind of people. I would also pray to Him to toughen my heart and spirit as I go along each day. I just wanna give a huge shoutout to my amazing team behind these photos. MUA: @carissacielomedved Hair Stylist: @florenz_hair Dress: @mikeeandrei Stylist: @misskeithmanila RM: @airxmnz @darricckk And most especially to Ashtie @bessiebesana, thank you for letting us borrow your place. I love you! #missuniversephilippines #aribarabiya #halabirabiya
“To be honest, hindi ko talaga alam ang kuwento ni Rabiya. Hindi ko talaga alam ang story behind the beautiful face and the intellect. Parang she’s beautiful, she’s an intellectual woman … pero hindi ko alam ang kuwento behind it,” she said.
Venus, who shares many similarities with Rabiya when it comes to heritage such as having both Filipino and Indian roots, admitted that she didn’t know much about Rabiya before the Iloilo native won the competition.
It is notably interesting that Rabiya won ten years after Venus Raj joined the Miss Universe pageant.
“But then, after the coronation, we started talking, I started asking questions to some of the people from the organization and they mentioned to me the story of Rabiya. Sabi nila, ‘Oy half Indian siya, very similar ‘yung kwento niyong dalawa’. Sabi ko ‘Hala, hindi ko alam ‘yun.’,” she said.
Describing Rabiya as “driven,” Venus said she’s happy to know a young person from the province like her won the pageant.
“But it’s so nice to see that … I think she’s also young. I think she’s 23, if I’m not mistaken. Someone like her from the province won the competition and alam mong driven siya,” she said.
Iloilo, this crown is for you! I still can’t believe it happened. I’m still in shock right now and I’m still trying to absorb everything. I just wanna thank all the people who had helped me in this journey. To the Mateo Family, everyone from Balasan, my classmates from BCS, St. Candida School and Iloilo Doctors’ College, co-interns from SPUI especially to Anny Yu, my bestfriends, Acel, Andrea, Mimi and Karen Alerta, my #TeamBactung, Mama Dette, Raping, Toto and Inday Meggy, to Lula family especially to Bling, Remjo and Mara, to my make up artists Benjie, Gio Forbes, Maki Gu and Migz, to my stylists Dom, Josh and Nung Ryan, designers like Sir Bo, Paul Conte, Ram Silva(ily), Mamang Jet Salcedo, John Lee, Tata Blas Pinuela, Sir JunG Candelario (The best!), Sir Andrew Bugna and Sir Sidney Eculla, thank you so so so much. For most of the projects we have, I couldn't even pay you guys a single cent and you still helped me because you are the kindest people on Earth. I share this crown with each and every one of you! P.S. There’s still a Part 2 and 3 of my appreciation post. I wanted to make sure I would be able to mention everybody who helped me :)
Surprised to find out that it’s Rabiya first national competition, she said: “That’s amazing if it’s her first national competition. That’s amazing to know. She’s so driven. And I think ‘yun naman talaga ang gusto ni Rabiya … to win the crown. And she deserves the crown and I was there and I saw how she performed.”
Asked about Rabiya’s chances in the upcoming international pageant, she said: “I think Rabiya has a very sultry face. Ang galing how she expressed herself without even saying a word. And when she walks, it’s as if she’s conveying a message without saying words yet. So I think it’s one of the edges that maybe she can probably use sa international competition.”