MANILA — Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo and 2nd runner-up Michele Gumabao appeared to be on good terms Tuesday as they took part in a relief program, after the controversy that hounded the inaugural edition of the pageant.
Mateo and Gumabao, along with the rest of the top five candidates, participated in a relief operation benefiting victims of Super Typhoon Rolly in Bicol — their second activity as a group after the pageant in Baguio City.
The beauty queens helped repack “thousands of sacks of rice and canned goods,” according to Mateo, under Frontrow Cares, the charity arm of pageant co-producer Frontrow.
At one point during the activity, Mateo and Gumabao spoke with each other as they bundled goods, as seen in a video shared by Frontrow president RS Francisco on Instagram.
In a separate photo, also from Francisco, Mateo and Gumabao were seen flashing smiles beside each other.
The activity that gathered the top five queens, including Mateo and Gumabao, came just a day after the latter released online a half-hour video detailing her heartbreak over the intrigues that hounded Miss Universe Philippines.
In her video, Gumabao said, “I heard things I never should have heard, witnessed things I never should have witnessed as a candidate.”
She, however, did not detail what those were.
Gumabao’s emotional statement came a week after another candidate, Sandra Lemonon, posted cryptic messages casting doubt on the integrity of the pageant, as she mentioned seeking “justice” over supposed “cheating.”
Lemonon has yet to disclose details or substantiate those accusations, despite teasing she would “spill the tea” at the right time.
Gumabao, in her vlog, did not directly pertain to Lemonon’s own issue with the pageant. She, however, clarified that she congratulated Mateo through text message, despite leaving the pageant’s viewing party early and skipping the top five’s pictorial at the coronation venue in Baguio.