Rabiya Mateo meets other Miss Universe contestants for first time in LA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 16 2021 12:29 PM

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This was no ordinary spa day for three of the most beautiful women in the universe.

Miss Philippines Rabiya Mateo, Miss El Salvador Vanessa Velasquez, and Miss Colombia Laura Olascuaga met at the Filipino-owned O Spa and Skin Care in Cerritos, California to film a few video segments for the upcoming Miss Universe pageant. 

Mateo arrived in Los Angeles on Friday night and she hasn't been able to go out of the house where she's staying due to jet lag. 

She's also had to limit her outside exposure amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"I'm really dealing with the worst type of jet lag. Actually I haven't slept since 12 a.m. So my body is still adapting to the changes," she said. 

"It's really crazy. I'm having a hard time waking up and eating at the right time," she added. "I haven't been outside that much because I need to be isolated as much as possible, just to be safe. But I've tried several food here in California."

With COVID-19 protocols still in place, not many fans were able to meet the beauty queens. But those who came showered them with gifts. 

For Mateo, it was her first time meeting new contestants.

"It feels great," she said. "I saw Vanessa first, Miss El Salvador. And both of them, they are gorgeous, they are lovely. I am excited to meet other candidates as well."

Mateo comes into the competition knowing what a win would mean for the Philippines, a country that continues to battle a surge in COVID-19 cases. 

"I would always tell myself that this is not just my dream. This is a dream of a lot of Filipinos. It's going to be a great gift if I will be able to bring home the fifth crown," she said. 

Being her first-ever international trip, Mateo is hoping to do some sightseeing before she heads to Florida for the competition. 

The Miss Universe will be held on May 16 (May 17) in Manila, and will be aired live in the Philippines on the A2Z channel. 

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