MANILA — Despite not bringing home the fifth Miss Universe crown for the Philippines, Rabiya Mateo believes her stint in the pageant is “a beautiful start for something new.”
Mateo spoke candidly about her top 21 finish in an Instagram live video from Bolivia’s Lenka Nemer D’rpic, moments after Mexico’s Andrea Mexa was crowned Miss Universe 2020.
“Actually, it’s just one girl who’s going to be crowned, but I know in my heart, every one of us, we are alright even without that crown,” Mateo said.
When Miss Bolivia shared that the candidates have also gained new friendships “for life,” Mateo agreed, adding, “And the impact that you make on other people is [also for life].”
“It’s not every day that we get to represent our countries, so this is really a great opportunity for all the girls. We are happy to be here,” Mateo said.
A clip of Mateo’s appearance in D’rpic’s live session was published by Rabiya Universe, a fan page dedicated to the beauty queen.
While Mateo was unable to clinch the crown, she continued the Philippines’ streak of its Miss Universe representatives placing in the top 20 to its 11th year.
In that past decade, the Philippines has won the Miss Universe crown twice — in 2018 with Catriona Gray, and in 2015 with Pia Wurtzbach.
In total, the Philippines has four Miss Universe titlists, which also include Gloria Diaz in 1969, and Margarita Moran in 1973.