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    Fans dismayed after Catriona Gray drops Rabiya Mateo on her national costume top picks

    MANILA, Philippines – Netizens reacted to Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray's top picks in the Miss Universe 2020 national costume competition.

    Fans dismayed after Catriona Gray drops Rabiya Mateo
    Photos from Rabiya Mateo and Catriona Gray's Instagram accounts

    It cannot be denied that Filipinos are some of the most devoted pageant fans. So, it came as a surprise to many when our very own Catriona didn't include Miss Philippines Rabiya Mateo in her own list of the best national costume.

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    On Twitter, Catriona tweeted, "Indonesia, Nepal, Peru, Thailand, Ukraine and Vietnam were my Top 6 @missuniverse National Costumes. Who were yours?"

    Many called out Catriona for allegedly being insensitive for excluding Rabiya. Some expressed their dismay that instead of encouraging Rabiya, Catriona's opinion might affect our bet's confidence in the pageant.

    A netizen commented how Catriona should have been more careful since she is an influencer.


    "Cat should have kept her opinion and not "publicize it... We all know that she is really a big influencer in beauty pageants so it will somehow affect the chances of Rabiya... Ka-sad lang,” one netizen stated.

    Another also called out Catriona for allegedly not supporting our very own candidate.


    Meanwhile, there were also those who defended Catriona for sharing her own opinion. Some said that just like everyone else, the beauty queen is also entitled to her own opinion.


    It also didn't help that earlier Catriona was accused of not supporting Rabiya. A netizen asked Catriona why she has not publicly expressed her support for our Miss Universe bet, unlike Pia Wurtzbach. Catriona replied that she has privately reached out to Rabiya to encourage her.

    Following the criticisms against her, Catriona defended herself and said her picks do not reflect her opinion on the candidate's performance.

    "My best in National Costume picks are my favorite National Costumes, not based on the candidates performance. I love the celebration of culture and a country's expression of identity which is why its one of my favorite segments! @MissUniverse," she tweeted.

    In an Instagram story, Catriona also posted about Rabiya's performance and how she is looking forward to the preliminaries.

    "20++ kgs but Rabiya Mateo carried it with such strength. If this is an insight to her level of performance, so excited for prelims," she said on her Instagram story.

    Rabiya is competing for the Philippines' fifth Miss Universe crown on May 16, 2020 (May 17 Manila time). You can watch the coronation night via ABS-CBN's livestream on A2Z channel.

    The pageant's preliminary competition will be held starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 16 (Manila time) and will be streamed live on the Lazada app.

    — Sally, The Summit Express

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