Beauty, heart, and passion are the shining qualities we look for in an inspirational beauty queen. With that in mind, the Philippine’s bid for the 69th Miss Universe pageant, Rabiya Mateo, definitely has what it takes.
Get to know Rabiya, the Miss Universe Philippines 2020 title-holder, in this special feature!
Beautiful inside and out
Without question, Rabiya has the physical looks and body we all admire in a pageant queen. Everyone cannot deny that, especially when she guested on It’s Showtime and gave us an up close look at her majestic face and iconic walk.
During her guesting on the noontime show, we also got to know her more and saw her inner beauty shine. It was revealed that Rabiya is a fun music-loving gal who is a Sarah G popster. She also deeply values her daytime job as a lecturer at a review center for Physical Therapy graduates.
While she is becoming more famous and idolized by many, Rabiya doesn’t forget to remain humble and down-to-earth. In an episode of Paano Kita Mapasasalamatan, she mentioned that this reminder came from her beloved Beauty Queen Mentor, Gerry Diaz.
Heart of gold
Rabiya’s good nature and kind heart does not just come from her beauty queen mentor though. In her Magandang Buhay interview, she cites her mother as a main influence for who she is at her core.
Growing up with a difficult life struggling with money, Rabiya had to go through hardships like living without electricity for days or searching for ways to pay for basic needs and education. Those circumstances, however, didn’t stop her from becoming a go-getter because her mother showed her the power of grit and risk taking.
As Rabiya's mom strived to provide the best future for Rabiya even if they didn’t have money, it inspired Rabiya to voluntarily help her mother in her own way. While studying, she took on various sideline jobs such as giving out flyers or ushering events — anything to help put food on the table and pay bills.
Rabiya is in no way ashamed of the jobs she took because all she cared about was helping her mother. This also gives her motivation to give back to her mom for everything she had to sacrifice before.
Her mother also taught her to never hold hatred or bitterness towards others, even towards her father. Rabiya’s parents separated when she was young and she didn’t grow up with her father. Despite this, she never had ill feelings for her father.
Passion rooted in purpose
A pageant is not all about looks — it’s rooted in advocacy and purpose. Rabiya, right from the beginning, has truly been vocal about her advocacy for education so having a grand stage to highlight her vision is a huge opportunity.
This motivates her to do her absolute best in everything despite the various challenges that come her way. Rabiya revealed to the Magandang Buhay audience the different sacrifices she and the people around her had to make during her pursuit for the crown.
As carefree as it may look, money has to be shelled out when competing in a pageant according to Rabiya. Given that her family struggled with money growing up, she had to save and use it to invest in her journey as a beauty queen.
And even with the crown on her head, she still experiences challenges along the way. Rabiya explains that not everyone will be in full support of your achievements so there are tons of bashers out there.
Fortunately, former Miss Universe title-holders Catriona Gray and Pia Wurtzbach reassure Rabiya that it’s normal for that to happen and give her advice on how to manage it, which is to remember why she joined the pageant in the first place.
Rabiya took this advice to heart and remembered her purpose to keep her going. She also shared Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz give her the energy to do better.
Now that she is set to compete soon in the 69th Miss Universe pageant, Rabiya has been working overtime. When she was on ASAP Natin ‘To last year, the Miss Universe Philippines 2020 title-holder said that she is working on a crazy schedule in preparation for the competition, but she is definitely loving it. She’s training and honing her different skills and strives to become a relevant beauty queen by truly understanding what’s happening in the Philippines and around the world.
Let’s all support Rabiya as she represents the Philippines in the 69th Miss Universe pageant, which will air live on Monday, May 17, 8am, on A2Z Channel 11.