Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo on Monday, February 1, recalled her struggles as a student as she finally fulfilled her goal of giving back to the community.
"When I was in elementary, I did not have much," she said in her post on Instagram.
"I remember, I only had 5 pesos as my baon back then. I only had 2 notebooks for my 8 subjects. I used the same shoes from grade 4-6. I had no laptop, no internet access, and there were moments I even needed to go to my classmate’s house to borrow crayons and materials," she wrote.
However, despite these limitations, Rabiya said was "happy studying and doing my school work." At one point, she even made a promise to herself to give back once she finally reaches "that point of success."
Rabiya, 24, recently visited a public school in Cebu to personally hand out slippers as well as educational materials to 150 students.
"Zaragosa Integrated School is located on Badian Island, 2-3 hours away from Cebu City. Many students need to walk 45 mins to an hour just to get there. These kids have big dreams for themselves and their families. You can see the drive to succeed in their eyes," she said.
According to the Ilongga beauty queen, as the Ambassador for Education, her goal is to go to different schools all over the country and offer any help she can give.
"I want to share my story to those children who are experiencing the same hardships. I want to inspire and motivate them to achieve greater things in their lives," she said.