There are only a few days left before the 2020 Miss Universe coronation event, happening on May 16 (May 17 Manila Time) at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
As expected, pageant enthusiasts from all over the world are rooting for their favorites, with Filipino fans hoping for the Philippines’ bet Rabiya Mateo to be the country’s fifth Miss U winner after Gloria Diaz, Margie Moran, Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray.
According to Fil-Am beauty specialist Olivia Quido-Co, Rabiya is among the candidates making a good impression ahead of the finals. Olivia, also fondly called Miss O, is the CEO and founder of L.A.-based O Skincare and Med Spa, the official skin care partner of the 69th edition of the Miss Universe competition.
During a virtual presscon last May 8, Oliva shared that she had the opportunity to interview international beauty queens, including Rabiya.
“When I was with her, on- and off-cam, I truly felt that she’s a good girl. She would tell stories from the heart, ‘yung mga pangarap n’ya sa buhay kinukwento n’ya (rin),” said Olivia.
According to her, Rabiya has that quality that makes her stand out from the rest. “She’s focused on the goal as in literally focused talaga s’ya kung ano ‘yung mga gagawin n’ya. She knows when it’s time to ‘pack up’ and that’s also the (piece of) advice to her by Pia Wurtzbach. It’s true that you should know when it’s time to rest, na may mga time na hindi bubuhos dapat ang lahat ng energy sa pre-pageant.”
Through her interviews, the skin expert was able to discover more of the candidates’ personalities. She described Miss Belize (Iris Salguero) as “very transparent.”
“She comes from a small country but the way she tells her story; how she talks really comes from the heart. I truly enjoyed talking to her kasi parang kwentuhan lang na walang halong Miss Universe factor.”
Meanwhile, the first time she met Miss Peru (Janick Maceta del Castillo), she instantly noticed her catwalk and ability to carry herself in front of other people. “You can see on social media that she really has the looks, the poise and the grace that when she walks, you know she’s a beauty queen.”
Olivia said that Miss Australia’s (Maria Thattil) vibe is a plus factor. “I would also like to be friends with Miss Australia because she’s so kikay. Kung maging kaibigan mo s’ya, parang lagi kang tatawa. She’s not ashamed to post her video showing her walking gracefully but at the end, natalisod s’ya. She’s laughing so hard and she even posted on her Instagram how funny that scene was. Miss Australia is very smart but the comment she loves to receive from people is that she’s funny.”
Olivia was also amazed by the massive following of Miss Thailand (Amanda Obdam) on social media. “For example, while we were doing live on Facebook, 65,000 people were watching and when we went live on Instagram, her fans were also there.”
For her though, it was Miss Canada (Nona Stevens) who shared the most interesting story. “Pinamigay s’ya at the age of six years old and 26 years later, she met her mom and the rest of her family for the first time. I think many cried when they heard her story. She’s happy to have finally met and embraced her parents but at the same time sad to see their living conditions, to the point na wala silang mainom na tubig.”
Olivia continued, “Through that story, you’ll realize that everybody is going through some challenges so we, as human beings, should learn to respect one another. I totally agreed with Miss Canada when she said that we should respect people regardless of color and race.”
Speaking of color and race, Olivia marveled at Rabiya’s patriotism. “All the candidates express their love for their country, that’s a given, but Rabiya whether on-cam or off(-cam), laging nandun ‘yung goal to bring honor to the country at nasa puso n’ya na mapasaya ang mga Pilipino.”
Equally admirable is Miss Singapore (Bernadette Belle Ong), who recently became a top trending topic among Pinoy netizens because of her connection to the country. “I actually came from the Philippines, I was born and raised up there until the time I was 11 years old,” Belle said in a video posted on Miss Universe’s Facebook page.
In another video on Miss Universe Singapore’s social media accounts, she said her advocacy for migrant workers’ rights was inspired by overseas Filipino workers. “I realized a lot of migrant workers from the Philippines aren’t really represented properly here in Singapore.”
Olivia also shared Belle loves Filipino cuisine, mentioning Pinakbet, Dinuguan and Bicol Express as her favorites.
Small wonder, the beauty queen’s one-on-one interview with Olivia was flooded with positive comments mostly from Pinoy supporters. Olivia didn’t realize at first that Belle could speak Filipino fluently. “Ang galing rin n’yang kumanta,” she enthused.
Perhaps by this time, Olivia had already met the 74 candidates of the Miss Universe tilt to discuss proper skin care with them which the organizers dubbed as “Beauty Day.”
The Miss Universe winner will receive a year’s supply of skin care packages from O Skin Med Spa. Using top-of-the-line ingredients from different parts of the world, Olivia’s skin care products have earned the reputation of dramatically replacing surgery for curing skin problems.