Rabiya Mateo opened up about the moment she held hands with Amanda Obdam of Thailand on stage, after ending their journey in the 69th Miss Universe pageant.
In an interview with Miss Universe skin care sponsor and fellow Filipina Olivia Quido-Co on Thursday (Manila time), Mateo said she believes she and Obdam had a connection as they experienced the same level of pressure during the competition.
"Maybe because kami 'yung two candidates na na-pressure talaga, coming from pageant-loving countries. Alam niya, alam ko rin how hard it is to please everybody around you, the fans," she explained, recalling the time they held hands on stage.
Mateo said she rooted for Obdam and Adline Castelino of India after she failed to make it to the Top 10.
"And then noong hindi rin siya (Obdam) natawag sa Top 5, ramdam mo rin kasi 'yung bigat," she said. "And when I saw her, I just hugged her. We hugged each other."
The Filipina delegate went on to heap praise on Obdam: "Amanda, she's a sweetheart, and she deserves all the love, all the attention. She's a genuine person."
Meanwhile, Mateo said she will stay a bit longer in the United States as she has "a lot of work to do."
The beauty queen is targeting to return home by July.
"I might stay here up until July because we have a lot of work to do. I really want to go back to Iloilo, it is also my opportunity to say thank you to all the Ilonggos who prayed for me, who cheered for me," said Mateo, who is set to hold meet and greet events for Filipino communities in the United States.
"And I heard I'm going to have another homecoming. Kahit 'di tayo nanalo, feeling ko ako pa rin 'yung Miss Universe ng Pilipinas," she added in jest.