Rabiya Mateo waxes emotional at Miss Iloilo comeback

Rabiya Mateo waxes emotional at Miss Iloilo comeback

/ 08:52 AM January 18, 2024

Rabiya Mateo in Iloilo

Rabiya Mateo (front, second from left) with Miss Iloilo co-chairs Pangging Rosales (front, left) and Sarah Peña (front, second from right), and her co-host Nicole Cordoves. Image: Arnold Almacen, City Mayor’s Office

ILOILO CITY—Rabiya Mateo returned to the Miss Iloilo stage four years since becoming its first titleholder in 2020, and the beauty queen-turned host and actress fondly looked back on her pageant beginnings as she hosted the ceremonies that chose the city’s bets to various national competitions for this year.

She hosted the 2024 Miss Iloilo pageant’s coronation show held at the cultural center of the West Visayas State University on Jan. 13, together with 2016 Binibining Pilipinas Grand International Nicole Cordoves, who joked that they collected the lumber inside the hall that witnessed Mateo’s triumphant pageant debut.


“Baka iyong footprints ko nandito pa (perhaps you can still find my footprints here), partner!” Mateo bantered. “Ano ba iyan, ang aga-aga ng gabi, pinapaiyak mo ako (oh my, the night is still young, but you’re already making me cry),” she told Cordoves.


“With a grateful heart I’m home. I’m back, Iloilo. And I just want to say thank you to the Miss Iloilo organization, [co-chairs] Ms. Pangging [Rosales], Ms. Sarah [Peña], sa inyo nga tanan hindi ko kamo maisa-isa, pero, (to all of you, I cannot mention you one-by-one, but) thank you so much for changing my life four years ago,” Mateo said.

“January 23, 2020, I won the title and the rest was history. Kaya damo gid nga salamat, Iloilo (so thank you very much, Iloilo). Back then I represented Balasan, Iloilo. And I always had this one thing in mind, I really want to make the Ilonggos proud,” she shared.

Mateo said that when she participated in the first stand-alone Miss Universe Philippines pageant, it appeared impossible for a newbie from the province like her to win. “It was considered even a miracle for me winning,” she said.

“My humble beginnings, it really trained me, the values in life, the wisdom, the experience that I need to share with the universe. And I might not be able to win the crown at the Miss Universe competition, but I felt like I won in life,” Mateo continued.

The evening concluded with a convincing victory for American-Filipino heptathlete Alexie Mae Brooks, a member of the Philippine national team from the town of Leon in Iloilo, who wants to follow in Mateo’s footsteps and compete in the Miss Universe Philippines pageant.

Miss Iloilo

Newly crowned Miss Iloilo Alexie Mae Brooks plants a kiss on the forehead of her grandmother ‘Lola Basing’ after her coronation. Image: Arnold Almacen, City Mayor’s Office

The Miss Iloilo pageant chooses the city’s representatives to various national competitions, but it has yet to announce the contest where Brooks will be fielded. The announcement will be made this week, as the hosts mentioned during the coronation show.


Aside from the Miss Universe Philippines pageant, the Miss Iloilo organization will also send delegates to the Binibining Pilipinas, Miss Philippines Earth, The Miss Philippines and Reyna ng Aliwan competitions.

Four “Heartfelt Queens” were also proclaimed alongside Brooks, who will all receive their respective national pageant assignments, too—Nicklyn Jutay from Tigbauan, Angel Jed Latorre from Sta. Barbara, Raniella Louise Aquila from Cabatuan and Hamda Judicpa from San Miguel.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: Beauty Pageants, Rabiya Mateo

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.