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    Get to know Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo

    MANILA, Philippines – Miss Iloilo Rabiya Mateo was crowned as Miss Universe Philippines 2020 during the pageant’s coronation ceremony held at the Baguio Country Club’s Cordillera Convention Hall on Sunday, October 25.

    Rabiya Mateo wins Miss Universe Philippines 2020 | Image Courtesy: Miss Universe Philippines Facebook page

    The 23-year-old beauty queen bested 45 other candidates representing cities and provinces nationwide. She was also hailed Best in Swimsuit in the preliminary competition held on October 21.

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    During the pageant's Q & A portion, Rabiya was asked where do pageants stand during a crisis.

    Rabiya's answer was, “As a candidate, I know I’m not just the face of Iloilo City, but I am here carrying hope and as a symbol of light in the darkest times."

    "And as of the moment, I want to help my community. I want to use my strength to make an impact and that is the essence of a beauty pageant. It gives us the power to make a difference,” she added.

    Rabiya was further asked to pick a person she would like to see on a Philippine peso bill, she quickly named her fellow Ilongga, the late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, whom she even described as “the best president we never had.”

    Rabiya said, “For those who don’t know, she was an Ilongga, but what I admired about her is that she used her knowledge, her voice, to serve the country."

    “And I want to be somebody like her. Somebody who puts her heart, her passion into action. And after all, she is the best president that we never had," she added.

    Beauty and Brains

    Rabiya graduated as cum laude at the Iloilo Doctors' College in 2018, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy and passed the PRC board exam in August 2018. She became a reviewer for those aiming to take board exam on physical therapy.

    She admitted she was raised in a broken family. Rabiya shared that she didn't grow up with her father who is half-Indian and Half-American. Her Ilongga mother raised her and her brother.

    "I grew up with a simple childhood," she shared.

    She said growing up she had big aspirations in life and her mother would keep her focused more in her studies.

    Advocacies

    Rabiya also actively participates in various community service. She joins the BULIG of the Jazmin Foundation to help raise funds for the PPEs of frontliners. They also extended assistance to pedicab drivers who lost their income amid the lockdown.

    Rabiya helps cook for frontliners | Photo Courtesy: Instagram/Rabiya Mateo


    Once a week, Rabiya also volunteers to personally help make PPEs at the Iloilo Science and Technology University. She also helps cook food for the packed meals donations for frontliners.

    Last May, she conducted a food donation drive for the benefit of the victims of the fire incident in their evacuation center located at the University of Iloilo.

    "The challenges may be overwhelming but the opportunities to do meaningful work is much greater. With your help, I will strive to be a role model, a rallying point, and a harbinger of hope because the Filipino is phenomenal," Rabiya said.

    — Sally, The Summit Express

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