MAYNILA — Nagwagi ngayong Linggo sa kauna-unahang Miss Universe Philippines pageant ang pambato ng Iloilo City na si Rabiya Mateo.
Dinaig ni Mateo, isang 23 anyos na Filipino-Indian, ang 45 iba pang kandidata para maging kinatawan ng bansa sa darating na Miss Universe pageant.
Isang licensed physical therapist si Mateo, na nagtapos ng cum laude sa Iloilo Doctors College.
Sa question and answer portion ng timpalak, sinabi ni Mateo na sakaling mabigyan siya ng pagkakataong maglagay ng sinumang Pinoy sa papel na pera, ilalagay niya ang mukha ng stateswoman na si Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
"For those who don’t know, she was an Ilongga. But what I admired about her is that she used her knowledge, her voice to serve the country. I want to be somebody like her - somebody who puts her heart, her passion into action. After all, she is the best President that we never had," aniya.
Tinanong din si Mateo kung ano ang tingin niya sa mga pageant ngayong panahon ng krisis.
Sagot niya: "As a candidate, I know I am not just a face of Iloilo City but I am here carrying hope and as a symbol of light in the darkest of times. As of the moment, I want to help my community."
"I want to use my strength to make an impact. And that is the essence of beauty pageant. It gives us the power to make a difference," aniya.
Samantala, narito naman ang mga runner-up:
- 1st runner-up - Maria Ysabella Ysmael ng Parañaque
- 2nd runner-up - Michele Gumabao ng Quezon City
- 3rd runner-up - Pauline Amelinckx ng Bohol
- 4th runner-up - Kimberly "Billie" Hakenson ng Cavite
Binati naman ni Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray si Mateo.
"Welcome to the sisterhood! Excited to witness your journey," ani Gray.
Nagpaabot din ng pagbati si Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas kay Mateo.
"She has just proven that Ilonggo women are gwapa inside and out. Truly, an Ilongga that upholds our brand as the City of Love will always stand out in whatever endeavor we take," ani Treñas.
"We wish her luck in her next journey. Rest assured Iloilo City and its people will be behind her all the way," dagdag ng alkalde.
Ito ang unang beses na nagkaroon ng Miss Universe Philippines pageant dahil dating kinokoronahan ang pambato ng bansa sa ilalim ng Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc.
-- Ulat nina Shiela Reyes at Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News
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