No support for Rabiya? Catriona answers accusations after her Miss Universe post


Posted at May 10 2021 07:23 PM | Updated as of May 10 2021 09:01 PM

No support for Rabiya? Catriona answers accusations after her Miss Universe post 1
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo. Instagram: @catriona_gray, @rabiyamateo

MANILA — Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray had a simple answer to followers accusing her of not supporting her compatriot Rabiya Mateo, the Philippines’ representative to the 2020 edition of the pageant.

Gray had posted last Friday a throwback photo of her arrival in Thailand for the Miss Universe pageant in 2018, as the current competition kicked off in Florida, USA.

Gray’s caption, unedited, was: “And just like that, it's @missuniverse season again! I think it’s such an amazing feat that the delegates from around the world have been able to be present in Florida, USA having overcome all the challenges that I’m sure they and their team faced!

“So shoutout to all the contestants, their teams and families who have helped in allowing each woman to strive for her @missuniverse dreams despite the current climate!
Seeing all the arrival looks so I’m reminiscing my own arrival look in Thailand. (Definitely one of my favorites!) Who are you all cheering for?”

Commenting on Gray’s post, some of her followers expressed disappointment over Mateo not being mentioned, despite their being from the same country.

“Really? You’re a Filipina. Instead of cheering for [Mateo], you ask people who they are cheering for?” one follower asked her.

Gray responded: “I’m a Filipina AND a Miss Universe. It’s a celebration of women from all over the world.”

Another follower compared Gray and another Filipino Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach, when it came to publicly supporting Mateo.

“You can at least show support to Rabiya even just through your insta story. We know Pia has shown her support!” they said.

Gray clarified that she has “reached out to [Mateo] throughout her journey privately.”

“Not everything is on display on social media,” the beauty queen pointed out.

In October 2020, Gray was one of the first beauty queens to publicly encourage Mateo, amid the controversy surrounding her Miss Universe Philippines win.

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At the time, Gray similarly said she had personally contacted Mateo.

Mateo, who is eyeing the fifth Miss Universe crown for the Philippines, is gearing up for the May 16 finals night (morning of May 17 in Manila) of the ongoing pageant in Hollywood, Florida.

Mateo is the first Miss Universe Philippines to be sent to the international competition by the new namesake organization, which acquired the local license in 2019.

Gray was crowned Miss Universe Philippines under Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc., which had been the Philippine partner of Miss Universe for half a century.

Gray, along with Miss Grand International 2016 1st runner-up Nicole Cordoves, have been training the current batch of candidates of the national Binibining Pilipinas pageant.

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