Rabiya Mateo dons Philippine flag-inspired national costume in Miss Universe

 Miss Universe Rabiya Mateo national costume
Rabiya Mateo in her Philippine flag-inspired national costume created by the late Filipino avant-garde designer Rocky Gathercole. Photo from Miss Universe Philippines

Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo rocked the Miss Universe stage in her Philippine flag-inspired outfit during the national costume competition held at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Florida, the U.S.A.

The country’s bet strutted the Miss Universe runway on May 14, 2021, wearing 21-kilos of her large blue and red wings with three golden stars, all patterned from the Philippine national flag.

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The modern costume with Victoria’s Secret vibe was crafted by the late Filipino international designer Rocky Gathercole.

“I feel like I’m a Victoria’s Secret angel. I’m gonna fly,” Rabiya said in a short clip posted on Miss Universe Twitter account.

Though her costume drew mixed reactions from fans, the Filipino-Indian beauty thanked her online followers for the massive support she is getting.

She humbly asked forgiveness to some who did not receive her costume well but told them that she enjoyed her moment on stage while wearing them.

“I’m sorry kung na-disappoint man kayo sa akin. I know na I did my best, I even cut my finger and ‘yung stockings ko punong-puno na din ng dugo, but I kept fighting,” she told the netizens through her Instagram Live.

Rabiya positively added, “In my self kanina, I felt really great. Feeling ko nu’ng naglalakad ako I was so beautiful. Nakita ko ‘yung cheer ng mga judges, nakita ko ang mga sigaw ng mga Pilipino kaya nagpapasalamat talaga ako sa suporta”.

It could be recalled that the national costumes of her Miss Philippines predecessors Catriona Gray and Gazini Ganados also made headlines in 2018 and in 2019.

Catriona’s LuzViMinda national costume – an ensemble composed of a large Christmas lantern from Pampanga with a bodysuit designed with pre-colonial Pintados-inspired tattoos, and textiles and accessories from Mindanao – was used as a centerpiece in the Philippine Quincentennial Celebration.

Gazini’s Philippine eagle-inspired national costume created by Cary Santiago of Cebu won the Best National Costume Award in the 2019 edition of Miss Universe.

Rabiya is determined to win the country’s fifth Miss Universe crown and has promised to do well in the upcoming preliminary and final competitions happening on May 16 and 17, respectively.

Help Rabiya win the Best National Costume award by casting your vote here.

SEND MABUHAY CHEERS to Rabiya Mateo for donning her Philippine flag-inspired national costume in Miss Universe!

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Lorenzo Cruz believes that the power of beauty could help the Philippines to rise to the top. He is a travel and fashion enthusiast who loves to explore Filipino culture.