Aside from bagging the Miss Universe crown, Rabiya Mateo is hoping to see her father in the USA when she goes there to compete for the 69th Miss Universe pageant.
“This is my first time I'm gonna be outside of the country. Yes I'm so excited. It's been my dream to go to US because I really want to see my father,” she said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
Rabiya remarked that she remains hopeful that she could meet her father because she knows his name.
The last news that Rabiya heard about her father is that he is now working in America as a doctor.
“I'm not closing the book. I feel there's still hope. And maybe when I'm there I might find him because I have his name, I know his name and his birthday," she said.
She added, "So maybe I can have a track of where he is if he’s alive or not. Something like that, can I do that kaya. I just want to know if he’s alive or not I'm not even sure if he has an idea that I won Miss Universe-Philippines."
Rabiya was raised solely by her mother in the Philippines. However, her mom will not be able to fly abroad with her to see her compete.
“She is in Iloilo right now I told her I cannot take her to the USA because she is old and I want her to be safe, so she might be supporting me virtually,” she said.
After winning the Miss Universe-Philippines crown last year, Rabiya shared that one of the reasons she joined pageants is that so that she could find her dad.
She said that she was inspired by the story of former Miss Universe-Philippines Gazini Ganados who was able to meet her dad during her reign.
“Sabi ko, I am 23 and I am not getting any younger, gusto ko sana malaman kung nasaan ba 'yung daddy ko, if okay lang ba siya. Kasi kung hindi, kung kailangan niya ng anak, pupuntahan ko siya at aalagaan ko siya," she said in an interview in Magandang Buhay in November last year.
“Siya po 'yung nagpangalan sa aking Rabiya which means queen or princess. Ino-offer ko din po ito sa kanya kahit hindi ko siya kasama, 'yung fact kasi na someday sa lahat ng achievements ko, sa pag-aaral ko, sa ginagawa ko ngayon, malalaman niya. Mare-realize niya na kahit wala siya, napalaki ako ng maayos ni mama kahit mag-isa lang mama ko,” she added.