Ang pagpunta ni Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo sa Los Angeles, California, kahapon, April 9, ang unang out-of-the-country trip nito.
Kaya hiniling niya kay Miss Universe Philippines Creative Director Jonas Gaffud na magkasama sila sa biyahe.
Ikinuwento ni Jonas na ang mga health restriction sa Pilipinas ang dahilan kaya napaaga ang pagpunta nila ni Rabiya sa Amerika.
Binanggit din niya ang mga nakanselang schedule ng reigning Miss Universe Philippines dahil sa COVID-19 situation sa bansa.
"The sudden decision to leave early was because of restrictions in the country. We wanted to leave on April 20, to isolate for 14 days (self-imposed because there are no quarantine rules in Florida I think) prior to checking in at the Miss Universe Hotel venue,” ani Jonas sa kanyang Facebook post ilang oras matapos ang pagdating nila ni Rabiya sa Los Angeles.
"We planned so many things the past three weeks: more photoshoots, interviews, fittings, and a grand send off presscon for Rabiya. These were all cancelled because of the covid situation. We are a very responsible organization and we care for the safety of everyone, specially the Queen.
“With all that is happening, it makes me wonder why some people are blaming us for not doing what is the 'tradition.' Yet, we were able to stage a pageant last year which produced this beautiful lady from Iloilo.
“By the end of March, the organization was carefully planning everything. We had no choice but to the get the earliest day possible to leave the country. Since flights are either being cancelled or fullybooked. So April 9 it is.
“We don’t even have an airline sponsor (which we understand due to the business losses). But thank God there are angels around who have been helping us. (Whom we will thank all soon).
“Before leaving we prayed together with Albert Andrada. A reminder is that we are not just doing this for ourselves, and for our country. We are all here to glorify His name, the Lord our God."