The first ever Miss Universe Philippines pageant just crowned its queen. 23-year-old Iloilo native Rabiya Mateo will be representing the country in the international competition whose schedule has yet to be announced. The morena’s confident and candid presence onstage, endearing personality, and graceful intelligence wowed the judges and netizens alike. It's no surprise that the proud Ilongga took home the crown. 



Here are the 10 things you absolutely need to know about Rabiya Mateo, Miss Universe Philippines 2020.

1. She struggled financially while growing up.

    In a video posted by GMA Network, the beauty queen admitted that she grew up in poverty and graduating college was the ultimate achievement and gift she could give her mom, who solely supported their family.

    2. She’s a fan of Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

    In the Q and A round, Rabiya mentioned that the iconic lawmaker was someone she looked up to for her intelligence and passion. She also said that Miram was the best president the Philippines never had.

    3. She has an Indian father and Filipina mother.

    In a heartfelt Instagram post, Rabiya mentioned that she hasn’t seen her father in years, but cherishes this baby photo of her with her dad.

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    View this post on Instagram

    This is the first time that I'm going to post some photos of my Dad. We were not together for a very long time and I almost forgot how you look like. Good thing my Aunt had saved some of our photos together and I will be honest that I got teary eyes the moment I saw them. Mokmok is like a xerox copy of yours. You guys have the same color, the features, and the hairline????????????. I became a strong independent woman today because of the situation that happened in the past but I never blamed you for it. I will continue to be a breadwinner to our family, a good daughter to Mama, and a good role model to Mokmok. I will push myself to a new and greater limit every single day so that when the time comes and we meet again, you will tell everyone how proud you are that I'm your daughter and who knows, when that day comes I might be a doctor like you. I pray that wherever you are, you're surrounded by people who love you and take good care of you. I hope you still think about me because I always think about you. Happy Father's Daddy and I miss you so much. ?? PS, I grew up to be a happy person even I have that RBF(resting baby face) back then.????????????

    A post shared by Rabiya Mateo (@rabiyamateo) on

    4. She’s a physical therapist.

      In an interview with YouTuber Tita Lavinia, Rabiya mentioned that she’s a licensed physical therapist. She also graduated cum laude from the Iloilo Doctor’s College back in 2018. But instead of practicing clinically, she chose to teach at review centers in different provinces.

      5. Her IG followers have ballooned to more than 200K as of writing.

      Her followers include Miss Thailand 2020 Amanda Obdam!


      6. She’s actively helping medical frontliners in Iloilo through various charities and NGOs.

      A scroll through her Instagram will show you just how passionate Rabiya is about helping her fellow medical workers through the pandemic.

      View this post on Instagram

      During this quarantine period, I realized that I am beyond blessed to have a roof on top of my head, that I can eat three times a day and I am safe together with my family inside our home but I can't stop asking myself, "What else can I do to help my community? What can I do for Ilonggo frontliners?" I've been working with several organizations and local charitable institutions already here Iloilo to collect for monetary donations for the benefit of our frontliners and pedicab drivers but I wanted to be more involved and to do something personal for our amazing heroes. Yesterday, together with the help of Miss Primrose and Sir Lars of Lars Buko Batchoy, we were able to cook and prepare meals good for 50 persons with a budget of less than PHP 700( Yes, you don't need a big amount of money to help. All you need is initiative and the right kind of people.) The food was given to the Radiologic Department of Iloilo Doctors' Hospital. NEXT TARGET: Meal good for 100 pax PS, I used to be really shy to post my volunteer work on social media since the start of tge quarantine period but then I realized that it is really a powerful tool and you'll never know who will be inspired with your simple ways and actions. #batoiloilo

      A post shared by Rabiya Mateo (@rabiyamateo) on

      7. The Miss Iloilo pageant was her very first pageant, and Miss Universe Philippines is her second beauty contest.

      In the same interview with Tita Lavinia, Rabiya shares how she had to adjust to pageant requirements—like paying more attention to her hair, makeup, and wardrobe.

      View this post on Instagram

      This one's for you, Iloilo. ?????? Wearing: @ramsilvacouture_ Photos: @bong.tan #missuniversephilippines #missiloilo2020

      A post shared by Rabiya Mateo (@rabiyamateo) on

      8. Rabiya is represented by famous beauty queen boot camp Aces and Queens.

      Aces and Queens is the same team who helped Pia Wurtzbach and Venus Raj through their Miss Universe journeys.

      9. She looks up to former Miss Universe Philippines 2011 Shamcey Supsup.

        Rabiya tells Tita Lavinia that she was in highschool when Shamcey won and she admired the current Miss Universe Philippines pageant director for her intelligence. Pageant fans also are comparing her beauty to the Miss Universe 2011 third-runner-up. 



        10. She won Best in Swimsuit during the preliminaries and final comeptition.

        Rabiya also slayed the final swimsuit competition with her powerful and charismatic walk wearing a sexy bikini set by Furne One.

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