Rabiya Mateo is confident her "agimat" will boost her chances of bagging the country's fifth Miss Universe crown this year.
What is it?
On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, Rabiya revealed at a virtual press conference that she borrowed pair of earrings from Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.
The 24-year-old Ilongga beauty queen said she had to muster the guts to send Pia a message requesting for any item she can borrow and use at the pageant as her lucky charm.
Rabiya then recounted her visit to a fortune teller who told her that using an item belonging to a past winner would bring her luck.
She said, "This is a funny story po, kasi parang may hula na sabi, 'If you really want to win, dapat manghingi ka ng gamit from the former Miss Universe.'
"Like kay Miss Pia, kay Catriona [Gray], Gloria [Diaz], or Margie [Moran]. Ako talaga hindi na nahiya. Nag-message ako kay Pia, kay Miss Pia.
"Sabi ko, 'Miss Pia, baka may something ka naman na maipapahiram sa akin.'
"I mean, there's nothing wrong about it, you know. I just want to make sure to grab that chance. At least wala kang pinalagpas na pagkakataon.
"And Miss Pia is so... she's so kind. Pinahiram niya sa akin yung earrings na ginamit niya during Miss Universe. So parang yun yung agimat na dala-dala ko ngayon."
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PIA AND SHAMCEY'S ADVICE
Aside from Pia's earrings, Rabiya has also taken to heart her advice to stay away from the negativity on social media.
Rabiya said, "She told me not to open my social media anymore. Just post something and then close it right away. Because you don't want to disturb your inner peace.
"It's very important. The competition, it's a mental game and if you really want to win, you really need to protect that peace."
Rabiya, however, did not say when she plans to wear Pia's earrings. So far, she has worn several pieces from Luna by Drake Dustin and Christopher Munar.
She also recalled the words of Shamcey Supsup, who placed as third runner-up at the Miss Universe 2011 pageant and is currently the national director of Miss Universe Philippines Organizations.
Rabiya said, "She would always remind me to enjoy this journey. Because just like Miss Shamcey, we both share this trait of being competitive.
"And sometimes, we tend to zone out. We just think about the competition and how much we wanted to win. But now, it's about enjoying and flourishing those moments in which you can build connections to different people all over the globe."
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Rabiya will be competing with 73 other candidates from all over the world for the Miss Universe 2020 title.
Zozibini Tunzi from South Africa will pass on the title to her successor at the pageant's grand coronation night on May 16, 2021 (May 17 in the Philippines), at Seminole Hard Rock & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.