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Rabiya Mateo departs for Miss Universe 2020 finals
Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo
Mark Caceres Photography, Claude Villahermosa

Rabiya Mateo departs for Miss Universe 2020 finals

Earl D.C. Bracamonte (Philstar.com) - April 10, 2021 - 1:19pm

MANILA, Philippines — Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo departed earlier for mainland USA, two days from her scheduled flight on Sunday, May 11. Aces & Queens mentor Jonas Gaffud shared the no frills send off via his Instagram account.

With eight suitcases as part of her pageant wardrobe, Rabiya proudly waved the Philippine flag before entering the pre-departure area. She asked all Filipinos to vote for her so as to ensure her placement in the Top 21 semifinalists, with one slot coming from the fan votes.

The Miss Universe Philippines site even released a teaser video, featuring Rabiya in various swimwear poses, in a campaign to seek votes from Pinoy fans everywhere.

"Sana po, iboto nyo ako sa competition namin for Miss Universe. Gustung-gusto ko talagang manalo, kasi gusto kong gawing regalo ito sa ating mga kababayan," enthused Rabiya on her departure video. She also said that her Ram Silva gowns for the prelims and finals are both designed to make her look taller.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rabiya Mateo (@rabiyamateo)

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonso Wurtzbach, in her interviews with various pageant sites, said that Rabiya is the contestant to beat. Upon reaching the United States, she will still undergo further training sessions.
 
May 7 is the scheduled arrival date while May 9 is the registration. May 10 to 12 are for closed door rehearsals. The closed door panel interviews will happen in the morning of May 13, while the National Costume competition will unfold later that evening. 

The preliminary round is scheduled on May 14 while the closed door on cam rehearsals for the final show will happen the day after. Earlier on May 16, the public will see the girls in the dress or tech rehearsals while later in the evening will be the final show. Except for the crowned winner, all delegates will depart from Florida on May 17. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rabiya Mateo (@rabiyamateo)

Voting has officially started. Pageant fans and supporters living in the Philippines may vote through the Lazada app, while Filipinos in communities abroad may vote via the official Miss Universe app.

As of press time, Rabiya leads the Lazada leaderboard. But don't be complacent as the delegates from Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand are also gaining momentum.

The 69th Miss Universe pageant will unfold at the Seminole Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood, Florida. Stay tuned for updates leading to the most beautiful night in the universe.

RABIYA MATEO
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