Miss Universe Philippines 2020 was crowned today, October 25, in new normal-style ceremonies held at the Baguio Country Club.
Rabiya Mateo of Iloilo City, whose name means princess or queen, was crowned by outgoing Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados after beating 44 other girls for the coveted title.
Mateo only managed to land in the top 20 last year in the Binibining Pilipinas pageant.
During the final question-and-answer, Mateo was asked: “If you could create a new paper currency with the image of any Filipino on it, dead or alive, who would it be and why?”
She then said that she will choose the late Miriam Defensor Santiago to be the new image for the paper currency, “If I were given the chance, I will use the face of Miriam Defensor-Santiago. For those who do not know, she was an Ilongga but what I admire about her is that she used her knowledge and her voice to serve the country.
“And I want to be somebody like her. Somebody who puts her heart, her passion into action. And after all, she is the best president we never had.”
Even before she started the pageant, Mateo volunteered to cook meals for the front-liners of the Iloilo Doctors’ Hospital during the pandemic.
She also shared her time with the Jazmin Foundation’s BULIG to raise donations for frontliners and pedicab drivers’ PPEs who lost their source of income during the lockdown.
The lovely face and elegant walk of Rabiya Mateo won her the chance to represent the county to compete in Miss Universe 2020.
Ysabella Ysmael of Parañaque won first runner-up while the second runner-up was Michele Gumabao, Quezon City; the third runner-up was Pauline Amelinckx, Bohol; and the fourth runner-up was Kimberly Hakenson, Cavite.