Philippine bet Rabiya Mateo took to Instagram moments after her trending National Costume performance in the 69th Miss Universe on Friday (Manila time).
During her stage walk, the host described her costume with large blue and red angel-like wings at the back as a symbol of “courage and strength of an independent woman.”
The costume also featured three stars that represent the country’s three main island groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Speaking from her hotel room, Rabiya was in tears and apologized to netizens who expressed disappointment over her National Costume.
“Sobrang sarap sa feeling kanina na I was on stage and then I kept everybody cheering for me. I did my best during the competition,” she started.
“I just wanted to do a quick live to say I’m so sorry kung na-disappoint man kayo sa akin but I know that I did my best. I even cut my finger earlier, yung stockings ko puno na ng dugo. But I kept fighting even if I didn’t have time to retouch my hair and makeup. I was running for pins, I was running for scissors just to be able to execute the custom really well,” she carried on.
She ended her Instagram live by underscoring the purpose of the pageant and how she felt while she was walking in her national costume designed by Rocky Gathercole who died in March this year.
“In myself, I felt great when I was walking. I felt so beautiful. Nakita ko yung mga cheer ng mga judges, nakita ko yung mag sigawan ng mga Pilipino kayo nagpapasalamat talaga aka sa suporta,” she said.
She also asked for prayers not just for her but also for the other candidates vying for the Miss Universe crown.
“Tomorrow is another big fight. Pray for us that we would be able to execute our best performance because our goal really is to make our countries proud,” she ended.
At backstage during the National Costume parade, Rabiya was asked how she was feeling before she hit the stage. The 24-year-old model and physical therapist from Iloilo said “I feel like a Victoria’s Secret Angel right now. And I’m gonna fly.”
Rabiya is gunning for the country’s fifth Miss Universe crown following in the footsteps of recent winners Pia Wurtzbach (2015) and Catriona Gray (2018).
ABS-CBN will telecast the Miss Universe 2020 coronation finals live on A2Z channel at 8:00 a.m. on May 17. It will also stream commercial-free on iQiyi.