Rabiya Mateo might have fell short in bringing home the fifth Miss Universe crown to the Philippines, but her fellow Pinay beauty queens are still proud of her hard work.
“Sending Rabiya all of our love! She made our country proud,” Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray wrote on Twitter after Rabiya didn’t enter the top 10 of the competition.
Catriona also pointed out that with Rabiya making it to the top 21, she was able to continue the country’s streak in the pageant’s semis. “11 years consecutive semi-streak Pilipinas,” she said.
In an Instagram post, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach also penned messages for Rabiya, Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi, and the newly-crowned Miss Universe 2020 Andrea Meza.
“We are proud of you! We know how much heart you put into this. And we love you for it,” Pia told Rabiya. “I can’t wait to see all the amazing things you’ll do when you come back home.”
“You’re future’s as bright as the sun. You are our Queen,” she added.
Miss Universe Philippines 2014 MJ Lastimosa told her “palangga” to cheer up. “The result may not be how we wanted it to be but it will never define you,” she said.
MJ, who has always been vocal about her support for Rabiya, also recalled the sacrifices Rabiya went through for the pageant.
“We know your hard work and enthusiasm for this, and please know that all of those sleepless, restless, tearful & tough days when you pushed through will never be left unappreciated,” she said.
“Gaya nga ng sinabi ko sayo (Just like what I told you) a few days ago, walk the stage with a grateful heart. It is and will always be a beautiful experience, a memory to keep, your story to tell. We love you, I love you,” she added.
Miss Universe Philippines 2011 and MUP National Director Shamcey Supsup-Lee highlighted Rabiya’s “relentless, unyielding and unstoppable” attitude. “Despite the setbacks, critics, and failures, you continued to wear the Philippine sash with pride and love,” she said.
Shamcey, MJ, and Janine Tugonon were all in Florida to cheer Rabiya on during the finals night. All 3 women once represented the Philippines in the Miss Universe pageant. Shamcey placed 3rd runner-up, MJ finished in the top 10, while Janine was 1st runner-up to Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo, who hosted the Miss Universe 2020 pageant.
“And for that, you are a winner, not just in my eyes but in the hearts of millions of Filipinos around the world,” Shamcey told Rabiya.
Hours after the pageant on Monday, May 17, Rabiya also took to her social media accounts to thank her fellow Filipinos, supporters and mentors. “It was such a beautiful moment to represent you, Philippines. I am forever honored to be part of the legacy, of our history,” she said.
The pageant night was held in Florida, USA. Mexico’s Andrea Meza won the crown. – Rappler.com