Direct from Florida, USA, Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo fielded questions from invited members of the press during a virtual send-off conference on Wednesday with Miss Universe Philippines (MUP) National Director Shamcey Supsup-Lee.
The 24-year-old model and physical therapist, as confirmed by MUP Creative Director Jonas Gaffud, will be wearing the creations of two world-renowned Filipino designers for the 69th edition of Miss Universe.
For the Preliminary Competition and Finals, Rabiya will wear a gown designed by the Dubai-based Furne One of AMATO Couture, who has dressed the likes of Beyonce, Ariana Grande, and Jennifer Lopez. Furne One also designed the swimwear of the Top 16 candidates of the inaugural Miss Universe Philippines pageant.
For the National Costume Show, the Philippine bet will be parading in a costume created by the late avant-garde designer Rocky Gathercole who had designed dresses for famous celebrities such as Tyra Banks, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Nicki Minaj.
Meanwhile, at the online conference, the Fil-Indian beauty said that she was saddened by uncalled-for remarks on racism that involved Filipino fans. She said that she had apologized personally to Miss Canada Nova Stevens and Miss Thailand Amanda Obdan over degrading insults made by some Filipinos whom she said was ‘not a reflection of who we are as Filipinos.’
The National Costume Show and Preliminary Competition will be held on May 13 and May 14, respectively, while the Finals at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, to be hosted by Mario Lopez and Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo, will be on May 16 (May 17 in Manila).
The pageant will air live in the country on A2Z channel at 8:00 a.m. and will stream on iQiyi commercial-free.