IN PHOTOS: Get to know our Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo

  • Rabiya Mateo of Iloilo was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2020
  • The 22-year-old Ilongga beauty queen bested 45 other candidates and was the Best in Swimsuit
  • Raised by a single mom, Rabiya graduated cum laude with a degree in Physical Therapy

Miss Iloilo Rabiya Mateo was named Miss Universe Philippines 2020.

Image by Miss Universe Philippines via Instagram

The 22-year-old Ilongga beauty queen bested 45 other candidates. During the preliminary competition, she won the Best in Swimsuit award.

During the pageant’s Q & A portion, Rabiya was asked where pageants stand during a crisis. Rabiya’s answer was, “As a candidate, I know I’m not just the face of Iloilo City, but I am here carrying hope and as a symbol of light in the darkest times.”

“And as of the moment, I want to help my community. I want to use my strength to make an impact and that is the essence of a beauty pageant. It gives us the power to make a difference,” she added.

When asked to pick a person she would like to see on a Philippine peso bill, Rabiya quickly named her fellow Ilongga, the late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, whom she even described as “the best president we never had.”

Beauty and Brains

Rabiya graduated cum laude from the Iloilo Doctors’ College in 2018 with a degree in Physical Therapy. She now helps graduates review to pass the licensure exam in physical therapy.

Image by Rabiya Mateo via Instagram

She admitted that she didn’t grow up with her father who is half-Indian and Half-American. Her Ilongga mother raised her and her brother. “I grew up with a simple childhood,” she shared.

Advocacies

Rabiya also actively joins the BULIG of the Jazmin Foundation to help raise funds for the PPEs of frontliners and assistance for pedicab drivers. She also volunteers to make PPEs at the Iloilo Science and Technology University and helps cook food for frontliners.

Last May, she conducted a food donation drive for the benefit of the victims of the fire incident in their evacuation center located at the University of Iloilo.

Image via Instagram