It’s official! The Filipina-Indian beauty Rabiya Mateo from Iloilo City was crowned Miss Universe Philippines at an event on Sunday.
The new version of the beauty event — which was part of online reality show ‘Ring Light’ — took place at Baguio Country Club in Baguio. According to Manila Bulletin, 23-year-old Mateo is a graduate of bachelor of science in physical therapy and has even prepared meals for frontline workers during the pandemic.
In an earlier interview with ‘Ring Light’, Mateo, who was raised by a single mother after her father left them, talked about growing up poor.
“My graduation day was the greatest payback as I formally received my Latin honours. I want every poor child to experience such a thing. With proper knowledge of the things around you, of your purpose in life, and of what you are fighting for, you are going beyond being educated. You become empowered and able to empower others,” she said in the introduction video according to Rappler.
Ysabella Ysmael from Paranaque was named first runner-up, while Michele Gumabao from Quezon City was the second runner-up. Mateo will represent the Philippines at the yet-to-be scheduled Miss Universe pageant.