LOOK: Rabiya Mateo’s Philippine flag-inspired national costume at Miss Universe 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Philippines’ bet Rabiya Mateo proudly showed off her national costume at the preliminaries of the Miss Universe 2020.

Rabiya Mateo’s Philippine flag-inspired national costume
Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo
Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo sashayed in her national costume | Photo courtesy: Lazada

The beauty queen sashayed at the runway on Friday, May 14 (Manila time) wearing a Philippine flag-inspired national costume which was designed by the late Rocky Gathercole. The avant-garde designer started working on Rabiya's national costume early this year but unfortunately, he died last March leaving the design unfinished.


Design council head Albert Andrada said that Gathercole was able to finish 75 percent of the project. They decided to gather a small group to continue and finish the costume, also as a tribute to the late designer.

Meycauayan-based jewelry designer Manny Halasan was tapped for the headpiece and other accessories for the national costume.

According to Andrada, the final product is a “collaboration between Manny and the late Rocky Gathercole.

Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo national costume
The Philippine-flag national costume was a collaboration between Manny Halasan and the late Rocky Gathercole | Photo Courtesy: ABS-CBN

Halasan described the inspiration behind Rabiya's national costume. He said, “It’s very avant-garde, very modern. Pag nakita mo siya it represents the whole country, makikita mo yung Pilipinas and also ma-iinspire ka kasi ma-iimagine mo ang hopes and dreams ng bawat Pilipino."

The national costume has two huge feathery wings with the blue and red colors of the national flag. It has three yellow stars with Rabiya in the middle like a "lady reaching for the stars."

During a short interview before heading to the runway, Rabiya admitted feeling like a superstar model with her huge wings. She said, "I feel like I'm a Victoria's Secret angel. I'm gonna fly."

Fans can vote for Rabiya to win national costume here. Voting closes on March 15, at 11:59 p.m.

You can also watch the national costume competition here:

The 69th Miss Universe competition will be held on May 16, 2021 (May 17, 8 am Philippine time).

— Sally, The Summit Express

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