Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray came to the defense of her compatriot, Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo, after the latter publicly apologized to Filipinos for her performance in the pageant’s national costume competition.
In a live video on Instagram, streamed from the pageant venue in Florida, USA, a tearful Mateo said sorry to her countrymen who may have been “disappointed” by her showing in the popular segment.
“I’m so sorry kung na-disappoint man kayo sa akin. But I know na I did my best. I even cut my finger earlier and ‘yung stockings ko puno na rin siya ng dugo. But I kept fighting,” Mateo said.
“Sana maging proud din kayo sa akin. Kasi it’s never easy pero kinakaya ko para sa inyong lahat,” she added.
A clip of Mateo’s emotional video was posted by a fan page dedicated to Gray, who was among those who shared supportive words for the candidate.
In her comment on the post, Gray wrote: “@rabiyamateo does not need to apologize! She worked that stage and PER-FORMED [clapping emoji] National costume is a segment to celebrate culture and a country’s identity, but isn’t a part of the scoring towards the crown. Kaya laban lang, Queen!”
Gray earlier on Friday drew mixed reactions when she publicly shared her top picks in the national costume competition — a list that excluded Mateo.
Mateo is eyeing to bring home the fifth Miss Universe crown to the Philippines, after Gloria Diaz, Margie Moran, Pia Wurtzbach, and most recently, Gray.
The coronation day will be broadcast live in the Philippines on A2Z Channel 11 on Monday, May 17 at 8 a.m.