MISS UNIVERSE PHILIPPINES 2020 had recently held the coronation night at the Baguio Country Club in the city of pines. Although it was held without a live audience due to the Covid-19 pandemic, excitement and flair filled the air as 45 candidates flaunt their wit and poise in their bid to win the title.
Rabiya Mateo from Iloilo City was crowned as the Miss Universe Philippines 2020. Maria Ysabella Ysmael who hails from Parañaque City got the 1st Runner-Up place. 2nd Runner-Up was given to Michele Gumabao of Quezon City. Pauline Amelinckx from Bohol bagged the 3rd Runner-Up position. Finally, Billie Hakenson of Cavite was crowned the 4th Runner-Up.
Rabiya winning the crown was sort of expected. If you have been monitoring her Instagram account, you would see her posting tasteful and classy photos. I was also honestly impressed with her genuine dedication to the cause she supports. If you want to know more about her, read on!
Early Life and Education
Born January 11, 1996 to an Indian father and an Ilongga mother, Rab or Byang had a tough childhood. Her father, who was a doctor, left them when she was very young. This left her mother with the sole responsibility of raising her and her brother who she fondly calls MokMok.
She got her education at the St. Candida School of Iloilo Hijas De Jesus, where she excelled academically as a student. She then pursued her bachelors degree at the Iloilo Doctors College majoring in Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. She also graduated with latin honors – Cum Laude!
Rabiya likes to keep her family and private life a secret. During her free time, she loves to spend quality moments with her friends and family.
WORK LIFE BEFORE MISS UNIVERSE PH
Prior to joining and winning the pageants, she has been known to work as a review coordinator and lecturer at SRG Manila Review Center, putting her knowledge and degree useful. In fact, Rabiya already passed the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) board assessment in 2018. She also had a penchant in modelling. She has been interested in furthering her modeling profession after she received her higher education.
Growing up from a poor family, where her single mother had to raise them after her father left, Rabiya became passionate in participating in charity work. She has been active in a lot of charity work particularly in the light of the Covid 19 pandemic – from repacking donations to preparing meals for our front line workers.
She won the Miss Iloilo Universe 2020 that was held at the West Visayas State University Cultural Center. For this, she represented Iloilo City at the recently held Miss Universe Philippines 2020.
One of Rabiya’s most iconic moment during the pageant was the question and answer portion when she was asked which Filipino could be placed as the image of a new currency. As an Ilonga, her answer is expected, choosing a fellow legendary Ilongga Miriam Defensor Santiago. But what came after was applause worthy. She explained her answer saying that what Miriam Defensor Santiago did for the country, using her voice and her knowledge and citing her as an inspiration, which was fully justifiable. She even called her : “best President that we never had”.
Rabiya is set to represent the Philippines in the upcoming 69th Miss Universe pageant. However, the pageant organization is still set to make announcement on the venue and other details. Due to the Covid pandemic, some countries opt out of the pageant.
Regardless, we are all excited and hopeful that Raboya, with her glamor, charm and intelligence would bag the crown. If ever she did, she will be the 5th Miss Universe hailing from the Philippines. To Rabiya, we are all here to support you!