A daily devotional for beauty queen-turned-TV host Rabiya Mateo
Her dusky beauty and winning personality helped Rabiya Mateo clinch the title of Miss Universe Philippines 2020 and secure a spot among the finalists at the Miss Universe pageant held in Florida, United States, that year. The resulting adulation could have gone to her head, but she credits her faith for keeping her grounded.
We asked Rabiya what her favorite thing is and she said it was currently a book given to her by Patricia Tumulak, a former beauty queen (Miss Philippines-Fire 2009) and, like Rabiya, a GMA talent and TV host.
“Patty gave me the book, ‘The One Year: Experiencing God’s Presence.’ It’s actually a devotional type of book. Kasi sabi n’ya, napanaginipan daw n’ya ako and I was struggling in the dream. The details of her dream were unclear, but it was so timely because I was also going through a personal struggle then. She said it helped her seek guidance on what to do especially when facing problems,” Rabiya said.
Letting go and letting God
When Rabiya was handed the book, she felt that God was speaking to her through Patricia and recognized it as a form of grace. “I remember there was one date in June where the topic was about letting go and letting God. It was something I could relate to because I’m the type of person that wants to control everything. When things don’t turn out the way I want them to go, I get really frustrated. Pakiramdam ko parang nasisira ang araw ko or minsan, nagkakaroon ako ng self-destructive thoughts kasi gusto ko palagi, on my own terms.”
Rabiya, who admits to being a longtime book lover and “nerdy-nerdy” even as a student, said that she would read the book every morning before going to work or starting any activity that day. “It’s like my time to meditate and to thank God for all the many graces and blessings I’ve received. Yes, may mga pagsubok nga, may mga struggles tayo, but this book would always remind me to be grateful and to change the lens of my outlook, so I can have a deeper understanding that I am at this point in my life where God has given me a lot of graces.”
Rabiya keeps the book next to her bed to remind her of her faith. “It’s hard to lean only on your own understanding. Minsan, kung saan-saan ka dinadala ng pagkakataon, but with God’s grace, nakikita mo ang totoong joy sa buhay. This book is a reminder of God’s love. It’s a very beautiful gift. Kahit new year na ngayon, inuulit ko s’yang basahin. Kahit same ’yung scripture, this time makikita mo naman ang different aspect of that lesson. Ibang point of view naman, and that’s why I really love this book.” INQ