Rabiya Mateo heads to US for Miss Universe

Rabiya Mateo left Manila for the United States on Friday, April 9, to represent the Philippines in the Miss Universe pageant.

"Lalaban para sa bayan ([I] will fight for the country)," she said in an Instagram post, where she shared a photo of her holding a Philippine flag, with the airport shown in the backdrop.

Rabiya was named Miss Universe Philippines in October 2020 – the first winner of the title since the Miss Universe Philippines Organization came together in 2019.

After being postponed several times due to the pandemic, the Miss Universe coronation will be held on May 16 in Florida. The winning queen will hold the title of Miss Universe 2020.

Rabiya will be participating in pre-pageant events in the lead up to the coronation. If she wins, she would be the Philippines' fifth Miss Universe titleholder, joining the ranks of Gloria Diaz, Margie Moran, Pia Wurtzbach, and Catriona Gray. – Rappler.com