MANILA, Philippines — Celebrity couple Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Guidicelli wished Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo good luck for the finals.
In a video Rabiya uploaded on her Instagram account, the physical therapist from Iloilo was greeted by the couple.
"We wish you all the best. We're praying for you, we're rooting for you," said Rabiya's fellow Matteo.
"We're very proud of you! Whatever happens, do it for the glory of God," Sarah added.
Rabiya admitted to be a "popster" or a fan of Sarah G in her caption for the post.
A day before the official registration of entrants to the 69th Miss Universe competition at the Seminole Hardrock Casino Guitar Hotel in Hollywood, Florida, Miss Universe sent an email to its national directors, giving a sort of "warning" to errant contestants.
The letter reads, "Dear National Directors, it has been brought up to Paula (Shugart) and Meg (Omence) and they instructed me to send this advisory to you.
"Some of your candidates are already in Florida, and we see on social media that they are doing photo shoots, attending gatherings, and visiting with locals - as a reminder, if they show up and they do test positive, they will not be able to compete.
"We expect your contestants to be behaving in a safe and responsible manner in the days leading up to their arrival to keep their fellow contestants and (our) crew healthy.
Please reiterate this to your contestants as soon as possible. Thank you for your immediate attention."
The registration dates for the candidates' arrivals are earmarked for either May 6 or 7.
Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo said, in an online interview, that she is so excited about her arrival outfit. It was first reported by several media outfits that she was to wear a costume designed by the late Rocky Gathercole, and will don gown creations of Furne One for Amato Couture in the preliminary and final shows.
"Before, the focus was on Filipino textiles and fabrics. But now, it's on the craftsmanship and artistry," explained Rabiya on where the group of Bayanihan designers centered their creations for in her style book. Her latest #OOTD (outfits of the day) utilized the hablon textile of Iloilo.
"It feels like I'm taking a board exam again with the Filipinos expectating me to be a topnotcher. The competition is a mental game. So you want to keep it in a safe place to protect your inner self," she added.
Meanwhile, reigning Miss Universe Zozobini Tunzi was romping all over Brooklyn, walking the length of its famous bridge, before saying adieu to New York which had been her home for over a year after winning the title. It must be a bittersweet, and sentimental, trek around the city that never sleeps, one more time - gorging on gelato and pizza between stops - before she will finally bequeath the crown to the next winner on May 16.