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What It Would Take For Rabiya Mateo To Bring Home The Miss Universe Crown

What It Would Take For Rabiya Mateo To Bring Home The Miss Universe Crown
Images from the Miss Universe Organization / Philstar.com / Reuters

Miss Universe is one of the most prestigious beauty pageants not only in our country, but in the whole worldthe universe, rather. The Philippines has taken home four Miss Universe crowns to date, and is recognized to be a pageant powerhouse according to this article. In fact, we are tied with the US as the second most-crowned country in international beauty pageants.

Filipinos are known to be avid fans of the Miss Universe pageant, and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray likens it to the “Superbowl.”

The level of support that Filipinos give the arena of pageantry is phenomenal,” she says.

So, what does it take for a beauty queen to bring the Miss Universe crown home?

Be prepared.

It is a no-brainer that a Miss Universe candidate has to be prepared. Getting ready for this pageant takes months or even years, and it requires a lot of discipline. Preparations include doing relevant research, taking care of physical and mental health, practicing speaking and walking, creating a social media presence, and even collecting sponsorships.

Many are aware that Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach took three tries to win the Miss Universe Philippines title in the Binibining Pilipinas pageant, and she recounts the importance of being prepared in her recent ad. Pia also shared how she trained for more than three years to get to where she was. She will always serve as an inspiration because she never gave up on her dream and continued to work on it until she achieved it. This only proves how important it is to prepare for your crowning moment.

Have an advocacy she is passionate about.

Over time, beauty pageants have changed undeniably and have given women a platform to amplify their voices and share their advocacies. Gloria Diaz, the first Miss Universe from the Philippines, shares how the landscape for beauty queens has changed. Her crowning moment in July 1969 is captured in the video clip below.

Why is it important to have an advocacy?

As stated in this article, advocacies give beauty pageants a reason to continue to exist. Pageants have now become an avenue for women to spread awareness on different issues that matter to them. Through them, delegates get to help out other women who experience abuse, oppression, or any type of struggle. It is critical for a Miss Universe candidate to have an advocacy she is achingly passionate about. This indicates that she is a woman of substance who completely understands the roles and responsibilities of taking home the Miss Universe crown.

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Show personality.

Modernized beauty pageants, especially Miss Universe, focus not only on women’s physical beauty, but also on their character. It is fundamental that the delegates show off their unique personalities. What sets them apart from the other candidates and how they can stand out are key factors to winning the crown. It is also critical that these women are honest about who they are and what they are like.


Margie Moran was crowned Miss Universe 1973. Besides her beauty, it was her answer to the final question that charmed the judges and won her the title. When asked what she’ll buy with a million dollars, she answered, “A house and lot because it's the most expensive thing and I can't afford it. If I had a million bucks, I'd buy a house and lot and live by myself and other people I love, of course.” Margie was not afraid to integrate her own personality to her response.

Have a winning wardrobe.

In the midst of pageant season, Catriona shared her pageant looks from when she was a candidate herself on her YouTube channel, explaining how important the wardrobe is to win the Miss Universe crown. During her own journey, she made sure to incorporate a little bit of home in every outfit – Filipino textiles, symbolisms, and the like.


Catriona says the wardrobe is essential in that it directly affects your confidence. “It’s really about how wardrobe makes you feel; how you wear makes you feel. Do you feel confident? Do you feel powerful? Do you feel capable? If your outfit is able to make you feel like that, then that is the winning outfit,” she says.

Filipino designers and glam teams work extra hard on each outfit our Miss Universe candidate wears -- how she showcases their masterpiece is completely up to her.

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Be confidently beautiful with a heart.

Having a winning mindset is also imperative to bag the crown. You have to walk to the stage and know you’re going to win. Pia’s answer to the final question of Miss Universe 2015 is a phrase that really caught on because it depicts the essence of a Miss Universe perfectly. To be a Miss Universe, you have to be able to exude confidence in yourself and in your heart. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing and what you believe in, it will effortlessly show. At the end of the day, this gives all your hard work a sense of purpose.

Rabiya Mateo, Miss Universe Philippines 2020, has as good a chance as anyone else. She is an ambassador for education and is extremely passionate about teaching. She came prepared despite the pandemic, and her enthusiasm to win the crown is undeniable. She even cried during an Instagram live session because she thought she let Filipinos down during the National Costume Competition. This greatly shows and highlights her dedication to bring the Miss Universe crown home.

We’re all wishing you luck on the main competition, Rabiya! You have already made us proud.

Watch the 69th Miss Universe Grand Coronation Night on May 17, 2021, 8 AM (Philippine time) for free via the A2Z channel, which is also available online through the Cignal Play app. You can also watch it in real time, along with some exclusive clips and a backstage pass for free, through the iQiyi app or the iQiyi website.

Votes are still ongoing for the Top 21 candidates, which will be announced at the final competition! Head over to the Miss Universe official website to cast your vote. For PH-based users, you may do so through Lazada Philippines, the official Miss Universe voting platform in the country.

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