MANILA -- Pia Wurtzbach believes that Rabiya Mateo is on the "right path" as she aims for the Philippines' fifth Miss Universe crown.
Wurtzbach had a virtual conversation with the Miss Universe Philippines 2020 titleholder on Tuesday night via "Queentuhan," her pageant-themed show with fellow beauty queens Bianca Guidotti and Carla Lizardo.
Visibly impressed by what she heard throughout the program, the former Miss Universe praised Mateo for her "self-awareness" and determination to learn and improve.
"Alam mo kung saan ka possible na ma-trigger, alam mo kung saan ka dapat mag-train pa. Ang laki ng self-awareness mo which is so important because you have to have that open mind, that you need to keep learning. Hindi ka dapat makuntento na, 'Ah nanalo na ako, okay na 'to. Ito na 'yung formula ko.' Pero parang na-notice ko sa 'yo na sobrang open mo to learning and inoobserbahan mo rin 'yung sarili mo na, 'Ito dapat gawin ko, ganito, ganyan.' Which is so good and so important for a person who wants to keep improving and wants to win," she said.
"I think you're on the right path already, Rabiya. You don't need a lot of work. What I mean [by] work, alam mo 'yung parang may mga babaguhin pa sa way of thinking mo or training mo," she added.
Wurtzbach went on to refer to Mateo as their "bunso" as she gave her blessing.
"May all the stars align for you, Rabiya. You are our bunso... So bunso, make us all proud," she said.
During the interview, Mateo said she is set to start training for Miss Universe soon, admitting that she is "not yet in my best fighting form."
"I want to have the best body. Iyon sana, that's my target. I'm aware that my frame is kind of small. And 'yung mahirap kasi sa akin, even though I eat a lot, hindi ako lumalaki. So I really need to hit the gym and to have those weights," she said.
"Right now sinasabi we have this target na arms, hips, body," she continued. "And sabi ko nga, nai-inspire ako to do that kasi I know myself, I'm not gonna settle for less. I'm gonna push myself to improve kasi Pilipinas na 'yung dala-dala mo eh."
Mateo said the Miss Universe Organization has yet to reveal a final date for the pageant, but she happily told the hosts of "Queentuhan" that she has been communicating with some of this year's candidates.
More specifically, she said she has been getting along with Miss India.
"Meron na po kaming WhatsApp na group, kami pong lalaban for Miss Universe 2020... Pero as of the moment po 'yung nakakausap ko talaga is si Miss India kasi napakabait niya. And maybe because I'm also half-Indian and I'm looking for my dad, so somehow we have this connection," she said. "But I'm excited to meet all of the girls."
When asked about the kind of reign she would like to have as Miss Universe Philippines 2020, Mateo replied: "I want it to be more connected with my community po sana... I want to be involved with different schools, with different programs kasi it's just gonna be one year... I want people to remember me as somebody who actually did the work, and not just a beauty queen who is beautiful."
"Now is my time to share my strength and my experience, and my story to the people. So sana talaga I will be blessed with a lot of programs for the benefit of the Filipino community."