ILOILO CITY— Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Occeña Mateo has vowed to become an ambassadress of goodwill for the city and province of Iloilo.
“I pledge in bringing Iloilo to the global community,” said Mateo here on Saturday.
The Ilongga, who came home over the weekend to celebrate her 24th birthday and her victory in the national beauty pageant last month, said she hopes to bring back to the country the crown in next year’s Miss Universe pageant, and also bring global recognition to Iloilo.
Mateo also expressed hope that Iloilo wins the bid to host the 2021 edition of the Miss Universe Philippines as this would help boost tourism in the city and the province.
“I can’t wait for them to experience the City of Love,” she added.
The threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) did not stop Ilonggos from attending the numerous events lined up for Mateo as many jostled for position to have a photo taken with her or just get a glimpse of the Fil-Indian beauty.
Mateo’s homecoming also coincided with her 24th birthday on Saturday, November 14. She marked the occasion by conducting an outreach program to the less fortunate community that lives at the city’s dumpsite.
Mateo was also the guest of honor in the lighting ceremony of giant Christmas trees of Iloilo Business Park and SM City Iloilo.
Mateo is a native of Balasan, a town in northern Iloilo province. She represented Iloilo City at the Miss Universe Philippines contest after winning the crown as Miss Iloilo 2020 earlier this year as part of the Dinagyang Festival.
With Mateo’s win in the national pageant, the local governments of Iloilo City, Balasan town and Iloilo province honored her with various official commendations.