Rabiya Mateo: Poised for Miss Universe crown

by Arniel C. Serato
Apr 23, 2021
Rabiya Mateo PEPtionary
Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo: "I will promise that I will do my very best to bring home the fifth crown for the Philippines but most especially for my Iloilo City.”
PHOTO/S: Courtesy: @tjmedrana / @mark.caceres.photography / @sevenbarretto on Instagram

Inaabangan ng pageant aficionados ang lahat ng bagong updates mula kay Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo, ang pambato natin sa Miss Universe pageant na gaganapin ngayong taon.

Si Rabiya ay kinoronahan na Miss Universe Philippines 2020 noong October 25, 2020 sa Baguio Country Club sa Baguio City.

Rabiya Mateo wins Miss Universe Philippines 2020

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Siya ang kauna-unahang nakakuha ng titulong Miss Universe Philippines sa ilalim ng Miss Universe Philippines Organization (MUPO), na ang hinirang na national pageant director ay si Shamcey Supsup, ang Miss Universe Philippines 2011 at Miss Universe 2011 3rd runner-up.

Limampu’t-limang taong hinawakan ng Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) ang local franchise ng Miss Universe Philippines mula sa Miss Universe Organization (MUO).

Pero nitong nakaraang December 2019, iginawad ang prangkisa sa grupo nina Shamcey.

Ngayon, nasa Florida, U.S.A. na si Rabiya para sa gaganaping Miss Universe 2020 pageant sa darating na May 16, 2021.

WHO IS RABIYA MATEO?

Si Rabiya ay ipinanganak noong November 14, 1996 sa Balasan, Iloilo.

Ang kanyang pangalang “Rabiya” ay common sa mga Muslim, na nangangahulugang “princess” or “queen” naman sa Arabic.

Ang kanyang mga magulang ay sina Christine Occeña at ang Indian-American national na si Mohammed Abdullah Syed Moqueet Hashmi.

Young Rabiya Mateo with mother and father

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Naghiwalay ang dalawa noong limang taong gulang pa lamang si Rabiya.

Meron siyang isang kapatid na lalaki, si Alamgir "Mokmok" Mateo, na isang physical therapist.

Si Rabiya ay nagtapos ng elementarya sa Balasan.

Sa Saint Candida School sa Iloilo naman siya nagtapos ng high school kung saan naparangalan siyang first honorable mention, best in communication, at performer of the year.

Rabiya Mateo high school graduation photo

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Nagtapos siya bilang cum laude ng kursong Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy mula sa Iloilo Doctors' College noong 2018.

Rabiya Mateo college Rabiya Mateo photo

Bago pa ang Miss Universe Philippines, sumali muna si Rabiya sa kanyang kauna-unahang local pageant noong 2020 na Miss Iloilo.

Rabiya Mateo wins Miss Iloilo 2020

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Siya ang itinanghal na winner doon kaya siya ang naipadala sa Miss Universe Philippines 2020 finals.

RABIYA'S HUMBLE BEGININGS

Nagpatotoo ang ilang mga kakilala ni Rabiya sa hirap na pinagdaanan ng beauty queen mula sa Iloilo City bago nito naabot ang tagumpay.

Una na rito ang hirap na pinagdaanan ni Rabiya noong nag-aaral pa ito kolehiyo.

Ayon sa kanyang classmate at roommate na si Kryszia Tanalgo, umalis si Rabiya sa inuupahan nitong boarding house dahil mahal ang renta.

Lahad ni Kryszia sa kanyang Facebook post noong October 27, 2020: “This was the time she's having a problem with her previous boarding house with rent issue.

“She was near being kicked out so I asked her if she wants to transfer in our BH with less cheaper rent fee and she did.

“She transferred hastily one afternoon near dark with all her clothes, just clothes, so we lent her the banig and pillow for temporary use so she could sleep with something that night..."

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Dagdag pa niya, nagpursige raw talaga si Rabiya sa pag-aaral at sa pangarap nitong maging modelo noong college pa sila.

“She struggled so much to reach where she was right now.

"[Juggling] between her studies and modelling career at the same time, she did it.

“She made it. I know, we know as her boardmates she deserved more good things in life.

“As her roommate and classmate, her efforts and perseverance when studying before pays off with her current success.

"We are very happy for her victory.”

Kalakip sa post na ito ni Kryszia ang screenshot ng post naman ni Ramon Muñez, ang anak ng may-ari ng boarding house na inupahan nila ni Rabiya.

Sabi sa post ni Ramon: “Years ago, she stayed at our boarding house for less than a semester while she was studying at Iloilo Doctor’s College.

“She did not have money to pay for the rent.

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“She slept on the floor. Her roommates gave her a 'banig' so she would have something to sleep on.

“My mom asked her if she’ll be okay, and she said she’ll be fine.”

Noon pa man daw ay nakitaan na ni Ramon ng determinasyon si Rabiya.

Saad niya, “Through hard work, perseverance, and sheer grit, she graduated cum laude and now, the 2020 Miss Universe Philippines.

“Congratulations Rabiya Mateo! We’re proud of you.”

Ramon Munez tells about Rabiya Mateo humble beginnings

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RABIYA's ADVOCACIES

Nang bigyan ang Top 16 candidates ng pageant ng 30 segundong pagkakataon na ilahad ang kanilang mga adbokasiya, binigyang diin ni Rabiya ang kahalagahan ng edukasyon.

Sabi niya sa kanyang speech, "First of all, I need to stick to my core, which is being passionate about educating people.

"I am a lecturer and I've been pursuing this because this education has helped me to have that comfortable life that I and my family deserve.

"And I want to push people, I want them to achieve greater things in life through me.

"And I know with Miss Universe, anything is possible because I am a phenomenal woman with a heartfelt beauty."

Dahil dito, hinirang siya bilang Ambassador for Education ng Miss Universe Philippines Organization (MUPO).

Nitong nakaraang Pebrero lamang, bumisita si Rabiya sa isang isla ng Zaragosa, sa Badian, Cebu.

Namahagi siya roon ng mga school supplies.

Sabi niya sa kanyang Instagram post, hindi niya makakalimutan noong bata pa siya na limang piso lamang ang kanyang baon, dalawa lang ang notebook niya para sa walong subjects, at isang pares lamang ng sapatos ang ginamit niya mula Grade 4 hanggang Grade 6.

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Lahad pa ng 24-year-old beauty queen, “When I was in elementary, I did not have much. I remember, I only had 5 pesos as my baon back then.

“I only had 2 notebooks for my 8 subjects. I used the same shoes from grade 4-6.

“I had no laptop, no internet access, and there were moments I even needed to go to my classmate’s house to borrow crayons and materials.

“Despite these limitations however, I was happy studying and doing my school work.

“I made a promise to myself that when I reach that point of success, I would give back.

“I want to share my story to those children who are experiencing the same hardships.

“I want to inspire and motivate them to achieve greater things in their lives.

“As your Ambassador for Education, my goal is to go to different schools all over the country and offer any help we can give.”

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Rabiya Mateo gift giving in Cebu Island

Sa kanyang bayan sa Iloilo, abala rin noon si Rabiya sa Feed Me and I Read You program na nakakatulong sa mga estudyante ng Feliciana Java Kelly Elementary School sa Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

Layunin ng nasabing programa na malabanan ang gutom at maturuan ang mga kabataan na hindi nakakapag-aral.

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RABIYA's RELATIONSHIP STATUS

Anim na taon na ang relasyon ni Rabiya at ng kanyang boyfriend, ang nurse na si Neil Salvacion.

Sa panayam sa kanya ni Dyan Castillejo ng ABS-CBN News ilang araw matapos siyang koronahan, sinabi ni Rabiya na si Neil ang kauna-unahan niyang boyfriend.

Rabiya Mateo with boyfriend Neil Salvacion

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Kuwento ng beauty queen, “We’ve been dating for six years. He’s my first boyfriend... We’ve been together since college."

Dagdag pa ni Rabiya, “I can make a man stay!”

Very supportive ang kanyang boyfriend sa pangarap niyang maging Miss Universe Philippines.

Bago siya lumaban sa national pageant, nagkaroon sila ng sumpaan na kahit makuha niya ang korona ay hindi niya iiwan ang nobyo.

Nakangiting kuwento ni Rabiya, “He made me promise not to leave him even if I win the Miss Universe Philippines crown.

“I have a video stating that! He made me do that.”

At nakuha nga ni Rabiya ang korona.

Sa hiwalay na panayam ng Bombo Radyo Iloilo kay Rabiya noong November 2, 2020, sinabi ng Ilongga beauty queen na ang kanyang boyfriend ay mula sa Sta. Barbara, Iloilo.

Malaki raw ang pasasalamat niya kay Neil na iniintindi nito ang pagiging busy ng kanyang schedule mula nang tanghaling Miss Universe Philippines 2020.

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Rabiya Mateo with boyfriend Neil Salvacion

Dagdag pa niya, isa si Neil sa nagbigay ng suwerte sa kanyang buhay.

Kuwento niya sa salitang Ilonggo, “May ara na ko migo. hahaha. 6 years na po.

“Buenas man ako sa iya. Actually proud gid siya ya noh.

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“Pero gina-intindi ya gid ko subong. Like the busy schedule.

“Gina-intindi ya nga wala na ko masyado time para sa iya.

"Ang kailangan lang gid namon ni-remind nga even before the fame, I had him already.”

Ayon pa kay Rabiya, hindi siya tutulad sa iba na kapag nanalo ng korona ay iiwan na ang karelasyon nito.

Saad niya, “Damo gahambal nga ang iban mabreak man na after having the crown.

“But we will make sure to work things out. If it's true love, it will never end.”

Si Neil ay nagtatrabaho bilang nurse sa St. Luke’s Medical Center.

THE ROAD TO PH MISS UNIVERSE FIFTH CROWN?

Sa kanyang homecoming sa Iloilo City noong November 13, 2020, nangako na si Rabiya na susubukan niyang iuwi sa bansa ang ikalimang korona ng bansa mula sa Miss Universe.

Apat ang Miss Universe titleholders ng Pilipinas: Gloria Diaz noong 1969, Margie Moran noong 1973, Pia Wurtzbach noong 2015, at Catriona Gray noong 2018.

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Rabiya Mateo homecoming in Iloilo City

Sabi ni Rabiya, “I started as a nobody in the pageant world, but I really have the heart and I really wanna win for Iloilo.

“I remember I said ‘Make Iloilo proud’ on the first screening of Miss Universe Philippines, and to some I might dream an impossible dream.

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“And there were a lot of comments saying that I will never be Miss Universe Philippines. But I choose to surround myself with people who wanted me to win.

“And I would always remind myself the glory and the honor that I will bring back to Iloilo City once I have the crown on top of my head. And Iloilo City, we finally made it.

“And I offer this success to each and every one of you.

“And now, I will promise that I will do my very best to bring home the fifth crown for the Philippines but most especially for my Iloilo City.”

Nitong nakaraang April 9, 2021, lumipad na patungong Los Angeles, California si Rabiya.

Pangako muli niya sa kanyang Instagram post bago ang kanyang flight, "Ibubuhos ko ang lahat ng lakas sa laban na ito at taas noo kong sasabihin, ‘Ikinararangal kong maging modernong Pilipina sa isip, sa puso, sa diwa, sa salita at sa gawa.’ Mabuhay ang gawang Pilipino!"

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Rabiya Mateo in LA California

Sumabak din kaagad sa pre-pageant activities ng Miss Universe si Rabiya sa Hollywood, California.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Rabiya Mateo (@rabiyamateo)

Noong April 21, lumipad na papuntang Florida si Rabiya.

May 6 ang official check-in ng mga kandidata ng Miss Universe 2020 sa kanilang hotel.

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Mabigat ang nakaatang na responsibilidad at hamon sa balikat ni Rabiya ngayong ilang araw na lamang ay maglalaban-laban na ang maraming kandidata mula sa iba't-ibang panig ng mundo.

Si Rabiya ang ikalawang Ilonggo beauty queen na magri-represent sa Miss Universe pageant.

Ang una sa kanya ay si Louise Aurelio Vail ng Jaro, Iloilo, na nakapasok sa Top 15 sa Miss Universe 1965 pageant na ginanap sa Miami, Florida.

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Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo: "I will promise that I will do my very best to bring home the fifth crown for the Philippines but most especially for my Iloilo City.”
PHOTO/S: Courtesy: @tjmedrana / @mark.caceres.photography / @sevenbarretto on Instagram
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