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Rabiya Mateo

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Biography

Rabiya Mateo is known for being a Filipino model, actress and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2020. She represented the Philippines at the Miss Universe 2020 pageant and finished as a top 21 semifinalist. The full name of this young beauty is Rabiya Occeña Mateo. Mateo was born on November 14, 1996 and her zodiac sign is Scorpio. 

 

Mateo was born out of a domestic partnership between her Indian American father and her Filipina mother who later on separated. According to Rabiya, she grew up in poverty. She attended the Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy Program at the Iloilo Doctors’ College and graduated cum laude. As of 2022, Mateo works at a review center in Manila as a lecturer and review coordinator. Mateo represented the Philippines at the Miss Universe 2020 pageant in Miami, Florida, United States.

 

At the national costume competition, Mateo wore an ensemble made by the late avant-garde designer Rocky Gathercole. It featured blue and red wings and 3 gold stars that were inspired by the Philippine flag. The whole ensemble weighed more than 21 kilos. It was supposed to be complete with an extravagant headpiece by veteran jeweler Manny Halasan that symbolized the Philippine flag’s sun, but she was not able to wear it because it was too big on her head and kept falling off. Moreover, the long train of her outfit proved too heavy for her to carry paired with her huge feathered wings, leading her team to make the last-minute decision to set the train aside since the chances of her falling if she went off balance in her seven-inch heels would be dangerous. It caused Mateo to spend her preparation time cutting the train and running for pins and scissors, and it did not leave her enough time to retouch her hair and her makeup, resulting in a performance many commentators reviewed as underwhelming. Just after the show, she filmed an Instagram live video to apologize to the people who were disappointed, during which she broke down crying.

 

At the preliminary competition, Mateo showed her ‘hala-bira’ walk. She donned a yellow two-piece bikini with an ankle-length coverup made of sheer fabric at the preliminary swimsuit competition. She wore an evening gown designed by Philippine-born, Dubai-based Furne One of Amato Couture at the preliminary evening gown competition. It is a yellow long gown paired with what appeared to be sun-inspired earrings which represents the sun, which symbolizes happiness, strength and vitality. The masterpiece featured a cape with citrine Swarovski crystals. At the coronation night, Mateo walked in a yellow two-piece swimsuit by Eva Sevahl at the Top 21 swimsuit competition. 

 

Mateo concluded her Miss Universe journey by finishing as a Top 21 semifinalist. Andrea Meza of Mexico won the said pageant. On September 30, 2021, Mateo crowned Beatrice Luigi Gomez of Cebu City as her successor at the end of the Miss Universe Philippines 2021 pageant. A few minutes before, Mateo unintentionally garnered the attention of the media because she tripped on the hem of her long thigh-slit gown and fell during her final walk. Many newspapers and commentators pointed out the fact that Mateo fell during her very last walk as Miss Universe Philippines 2020, while just three days afterwards Tracy Maureen Perez also fell when she was doing her very first walk as Miss World Philippines 2021.

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