From the back to the top, no hypes nor popularity stopped Ilonggo Rabiya Mateo from taking the crown in the first-ever Miss Universe Philippines, 25 October 2020 held in Baguio City.
It was indeed a slow but steady race for Mateo.
From less prediction appearances during the start, to slowly igniting the fire on her “..I am red.. ” statement during preliminary interview, to now winning the MUP crown, Mateo is a true testament that slow but steady will most likely win the race.
Her bi-racial, Fil-Indian beauty is a standout.
You can’t help but look at her face every time she enters the stage.
Her Indian heritage does not also overpower her Filipino features, which is a good thing, just like past Filipino queens with foreign bloods.
Her walk, confidence was very evident.
Their swimsuit matched with a very couture and unique coat by Furne One was AMAZING!
She worked that coat perfectly, showing enough skin at the right time.
Also she chose the best swimsuit cut for her body.
Change. Her. Gown.
That was my biggest concern.
Too much cloth. Too much cloth. TOO MUCH CLOTH.
The cape should have been left behind.
Make it simpler with a slit. No cape.
However, it really didn’t affect her chances.
Then came the Q&A.
In a country, considered by fans around the world to be “The Land Of Braincells”, for sure it will be a fun fight.
It was, indeed, a fight to watch, especially that the top five were women who were considered to be on top in the preliminary interview.
But, here’s the thing, only Mateo gave a strong stand, a strong answer that wowed many, including me.
I wasn’t a fan of her. BUT I found myself clapping for her answer, especially on the first question.
Being a pageant fan for ten years, I’ve seen the change in the Miss Universe organization.
From wanting a model during “The Trump Era” , to a spokesperson, now, as expressed always by Lu Sierra, MU coach.
IMG, the organization that now runs MU from 2015, headed by Paula Shugart is looking for a woman who can speak with conviction to represent, to influence, and to push through causes that she and the organizations are supporting.
Mateo gave it to us. Her answers cemented her win.
The girl has a stand, unlike the rest of the ladies, who gave general, safe, less impactful answers.
Mateo is a full package.
With a little, just little more fixing on her mannerisms during she talks on stage, and styling, we will have one phenomenal woman ready for the fifth crown.
And of course, the new MUP organization will never fail “the best fans in the world”, us Pinoys.
They know that the universe is watching.
And after seeing Mateo’s performance, for sure, the universe is shaking.
Let the real battle begin!