She may have failed to bring home the crown, but Filipinos were more than proud of Rabiya Mateo, the Philippines' candidate to the 69th Miss Universe pageant.
The 24-year-old beauty queen from Iloilo bowed out of the competition after failing to crack the Top 10 on Monday, May 17.
Even so, both her fellow Filipina beauty queens and former Miss Universes Catriona Gray and Pia Wurtzbach agreed that Rabiya gave pride and glory to the country.
Catriona, who won Miss Universe in 2018, wrote in a tweet: "Woooow this year is intense!! Sending Rabiya all of our love! She made our country proud! 11 Year consecutive semi-streak Pilipinassss."
Woooow this year is intense!! 😲 Sending Rabiya all of our love! She made our country proud! 💛 11 Year consecutive semi-streak Pilipinassss 🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭 #MissUniverse— Catriona Gray (@catrionaelisa) May 17, 2021
For her part, Pia, who brought home the Miss Universe crown in 2015, said: "RABIYA WE LOVE YOU thank you for pouring your heart for the Philippines. We see your heart Queen."
"You made us so proud! We know you put your heart into this and we love you! Mabuhay ang Pinay!" she added.
RABIYA WE LOVE YOU thank you for pouring your heart for the Philippines ❤ We see your heart Queen #MissUniverse— Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (@PiaWurtzbach) May 17, 2021
Asidefrom Catriona and Pia, Filipino pageant fans also expressed their support for Rabiya.
Oh my god. Rabiya Occeña Mateo, we know you fought REALLY HARD. Nothing could compare to it — we're beyond proud of you and your heart. You will forever be our Miss Philippines #MissUniverse— Angelique Manto (@AngeliqueManto) May 17, 2021
you may not be crowned as a miss universe, you still a queen ! it doesn't matter if you lose today cause representing our country is a win already !! ily and keep slaying queen 🇵🇭 ❤️ #RabiyaMateo #PHILIPPINES #MissUniverse pic.twitter.com/A2IdCJDjHS— nochu⁷ (@dionykoo_) May 17, 2021
We are still proud of you, Rabiya Mateo! You are still our queen! ❤️— JERRY P. TREÑAS (@jerry_trenas) May 17, 2021
Candidates from Peru, India, Brazil, Dominican Republic, and Mexico made it to the Top 5 of Miss Universe.
As of writing, the 69th Miss Universe coronation night is still ongoing at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Fans from the Philippines can watch it live on A2Z channel.
Aside from Catriona and Pia, other Miss Universe winners from the Philippines include Margie Moran (1973), and Gloria Diaz (1969).