Philippines’ Rabiya Mateo bursts into tears soon after the Miss Universe 2020 national costume competition

14 May 2021 | Camilla Suarez

The Miss Universe organization held the national costume competition on 13th May 2021 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel, Florida where beauty queens from all over the world paraded the stage with confidence and grace, representing their countries through their beautiful traditional and creative costumes.

Even though the competition doesn’t count towards the contestant’s scores, it is a major part of representing the country at the international platform. Every contestant gave a stunning performance with their beautiful costumes, but Philippines’ Rabiya Mateo seems to have been in a crumbling situation as she burst into tears in a live on her social media soon after the national costume competition.



A post shared by Rabiya Mateo (@rabiyamateo)


Rabiya Mateo wore an outfit inspired by the Philippine flag during the national costume competition of the 69th Miss Universe a few hours ago. Mateo's costume was created by designer Rocky Gathercole, with Halasan in charge of the headpiece and accessories. Philippines’ national costume came with a headpiece designed by Bulacan-based jeweler Manny Halasan, but the beauty queen was not spotted wearing it on stage.

Rabiya faced a lot of negativity and backlash by some Filipino fans for the same in spite of giving a spectacular performance and carrying the attire with pride and poise. A teary-eyed Rabiya said, “I’m sorry guys if I disappointed you but I did my best.”

Miss Universe Philippines national director Shamcey Supsup explained the reason behind this in an interview saying that the headpiece keeps falling off whenever Mateo tries to wear it. “It was hard for her to wear it, so we decided where she was more comfortable. The wings are also heavy in the first place. We're so sad not to wear the head gear but still, Rabiya was able to give us a powerful performance,” she added defending the Filipino queen.

Rabiya was heart-broken with the response she received after the competition, so much that couldn’t stop her emotions falling out as tears. Rabiya also shared how heavy the wings were weighing to a whopping 21 kilos, however she still managed to slay the runway with so much pride and honor.


Philippines’ Rabiya Mateo bursts into tears soon after the Miss Universe 2020 national costume competition


The pageant industry also stood up to support Rabiya as Catriona Gray, Miss Universe 2018 from Philippines also took to her social media to say, “Rabiya does not need to apologize! She worked that stage and PER-FORMED. National costume is a segment to celebrate culture and a country’s identity but isn’t a part of the scoring towards the crown.”

Rabiya has also shared about struggles of her journey in an interview. “Nobody noticed me…. When I won, I received different comments. There were people who did not expect me to do well, who thought I cheated, that’s why I needed to do well in Miss Universe, I needed to do well in this competition,” said Rabiya.

Talking about how she takes on pressure, Rabiya has previously shared how pressure helps her get better every day. “You tell me I cannot do that? I’ll turn to you and say: ‘No, I can do it. For myself,” she added. While Rabiya admitted that the pressure is immense, she was also quick to say, “I may or may not win the crown. But one thing is for sure: I’m gonna make Filipinos proud.”

Later on, Rabiya also took to her social media to share a glimpse of her performance as she wrote, “Tonight was a good night. I had fun. That’s what really matters.” Rabiya is definitely a strong-headed diva who has proved herself time and again and continues doing the same as she is a huge inspiration.

Rabiya will be competing alongside more than 70 candidates from all over the world in the 69th edition of the pageant on May 16th in Florida. She’s considered among the strongest in the pageant. Mateo is gearing up for the finals night as she eyes the fifth Miss Universe crown for the country.