Catriona Gray cheers on Rabiya Mateo: 'She has an amazing opportunity to rise above the hate'

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray said if there’s anything she'd want to tell newly crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo, it's that she can rise above all the hate thrown at her.

“I actually personally reached out to Rabiya. But I just want to comfort her, to know that as a Miss Philippines, there’s always people who will talk about you – positive and negative. It really comes with the territory of being a Philippine queen,” Gray said during an interview on ANC’s Headstart Wednesday, October 28.

“She has an amazing opportunity considering what her batch has gone through to be able to perform at the level that they have and what the country is still going through during this pandemic. So she has an amazing opportunity to really rise above the hate and rise above the criticism and really show people how a queen can positively impact her community such as time as this.”

Mateo, 23, won the title over heavily-favorite candidates during the finals that aired Sunday, October 25. But her victory turned controversial, particularly after Taguig representative Sandra Lemonon posted cryptic messages on Instagram stories, hinting that something unfair happened during the pageant. 

As of writing, Lemonon has yet to expound on her posts.

Miss Universe Colombia, Smile Train duties

During the interview, Gray also confirmed that she will be traveling to Colombia in November, where she will be one of the judges of the Miss Universe Colombia pageant.

"I am very excited to announce this morning that I'm traveling to Colombia next month to be an official judge of Miss Universe Colombia. I have been personally invited by the national head of Colombia. And I'm also honored to be representing Smile Train as their global ambassador and I also hope to be able to safely carry out collaborative works with Smile Train Colombia while I'm there," she said.

She also made the announcement of her stint as a judge on her social media accounts. The Miss Universe Colombia organization also announced Catriona as a judge.

Smile Train is a global organization dedicated to taking care of children with cleft palate problems. Gray worked with the organization during her stint as Miss Universe. – Rappler.com