Of hasty departures and fab arrivals: Rabiya Mateo continues Miss Universe 2020 journey
Rabiya Mateo, 2020 Miss Universe Philippines

Of hasty departures and fab arrivals: Rabiya Mateo continues Miss Universe 2020 journey

Earl D.C. Bracamonte (Philstar.com) - April 13, 2021 - 5:18pm

MANILA, Philippines — While continuing her self-imposed quarantine in Los Angeles, following the Miss Universe guidelines, Miss Universe 2020 Rabiya Mateo, continues training sessions with her Miss Universe Philippines team, led by its creative director Jonas Gaffud.

"The sudden decision to leave early was because of restrictions in the country. We planned so many things in the past three weeks - more photo shoots, interviews, fittings, and a grand send-off presscon for Rabiya. These were all cancelled because of the Covid-19 situation. With all that is happening, it makes me wonder why some people are blaming us for not doing what is 'tradition.' We don't even have an airline sponsor (which we understand due to business losses). But thank God there are angels around who have been helping us," shared Gaffud in his social media account.

Rabiya, who left with her MUP team, was seen wearing a pearl-encrusted barong over a form-enhancing palazzo pants. Designer Chino Christopherson, together with Marc Rancy, who created the look, said that "a woman who can pull off wearing a barong exudes confidence."

On her second day in Los Angeles, fans and supporters were happy to see an OOTD post of Rabiya in a teal green terno--inspired pantsuit with seashell and pearl trimmings. Like her departure look, the Day 2 ensemble was styled by the team of Rainier Dagala and Em Millan.


A post shared by Rabiya Mateo (@rabiyamateo)

In creating Rabiya's "Filipina with a Heart" ensemble, designer Marlon Tuazon said that "a Pinay of any age or shape is sexy when she has a sense of purpose; where she derives her advocacy. If she can convene with sense and conviction about relevant issues here and abroad . . . That is sexy!"

Prior to joining the first Miss Universe Philippines pageant, Rabiya was a lecturer in a review center for Physical Therapy graduates who would be taking their licensure exams. This exposure to many students gave Rabiya the confidence to talk easily to a crowd of people.

On her third day, May 12, Rabiya will be joined by Miss Universe 2020 Vanessa Velasquez in a pre-pageant activity with the pageant 's official skincare sponsor, O Skincare. Both girls will be recording plugs to introduce the skincare products and how beauty queens use them.

"One week before the coronation night, I will give them (all the candidates) their regimen - how to make themselves more beautiful, how to make their skin glow on stage, and what else they need to do. I will give them skincare tips," proprietress Olivia Quido said during an online colloquy with The STAR entertainment editor Ricky Lo.

The allowed live audience capacity to the May 16 final show is limited to 25% of the venue's full capacity. Stay tuned for more updates in the weeks and days leading to the coronation night.

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