Foreign-educated healthcare professional, Rabiya Mateo, in just her second-ever beauty pageant, has garnered the Miss Universe Philippines 2020 crown and will represent her home country in the forthcoming Miss Universe competition in December.

A licensed physical therapist, Mateo, will be the first to ever represent her country in a worldwide pageant in the time of COVID-19. The 24-year-old native of Iloilo graduated cum laude from the higher educational institution, Iloilo Doctor’s College, in 2018. She has since been teaching in different provinces in the country and volunteering as a frontline volunteer as well.

The win snaps a 55-year national pageant drought for Balasan, Iloilo, i.e. ‘The City of Love’. The last to hail from the region was Louise Vail Aurelio, back in 1965. In fact, Mateo previously had only ever appeared in a Miss Iloilo competition. She will seek to become the fifth champion to hail from the Philippines and third in the past 11 years, joining both Catriona Gray (2018) and Pia Wurtzbach, in 2015. South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi captured the universal crown in 2019.

Mateo, who won ‘Best in Swimsuit’, will next compete against 89 women from all over the world in the 69th annual Miss Universe competition, which will be held this winter. An exact date is yet to-be-announced, but the pageant is currently slotted for 7pm (ET) and will air live on FOX.

Click HERE and HERE for the source articles, courtesy of both Rappler and Yahoo!, respectively.

About Miss Universe

Featuring more than 80 delegates from around the world, Miss Universe remains one of the world’s most watched and most popular beauty pageants.

What began in 1952 – as a local bathing beauty competition in Long Beach, CA – has since grown to be showcase that puts the spotlight directly on the world’s most beautiful women.

Following the evening gown competition, judges pick the Top 10 who go on to show off their best assets in the traditional and very popular swimsuit competition, from which the Top 5 are chosen… culminating in the crowning of Miss Universe.

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