‘I only had 5 pesos as my baon’: Rabiya Mateo looks back on hardships during school days
What help drive Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo in her passion for education are the struggles she faced as a student.
After winning the first Miss Universe Philippines pageant, the organization appointed her as ambassador for education.
With this title, the Iloilo City beauty wants to ensure students, especially those in far-flung areas, have their needs met after her own difficult experiences.
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“When I was in elementary, I did not have much. I remember, I only had 5 pesos as my baon (allowance) back then,” she recalled on Instagram yesterday, Feb. 1. “I only had 2 notebooks for my 8 subjects. I used the same shoes from grade 4-6. I had no laptop, no internet access, and there were moments I even needed to go to my classmate’s house to borrow crayons and materials.”
“Despite these limitations however, I was happy studying and doing my school work. I made a promise to myself that when I reach that point of success, I would give back,” she said. “I want to share my story to those children who are experiencing the same hardships. I want to inspire and motivate them to achieve greater things in their lives.”
Mateo accompanied her inspirational post with a photo of her showcasing school supplies and slippers donated to students in Zaragosa Integrated School on Badian Island, Cebu. She noted that a number of students walk 45 minutes to an hour just to get to school.
Raised by a single mom, Mateo has been open about the struggles she has faced, including working odd jobs while in college to make ends meet. She recalled during an interview on “Magandang Buhay” that there were times that she studied without electricity. In achieving her dreams, she credited her mom for constantly believing in her even when no one else did. /ra
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