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Read Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo's Winning Answers Here!

'I know I am not just the face of Iloilo City but I am here carrying hope as a symbol of light in the darkest times.'
PHOTO: FACEBOOK/MISS UNIVERSE PHILIPPINES
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Rabiya Mateo of Iloilo City is this year's Miss Universe Philippines! But before she was given the crown, Rabiya and the rest of the Top 5 were asked two questions each, the first one was individually picked by the contestants backstage, and the second was given to them on-stage.

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Here are their answers below!

Rabiya Mateo, Iloilo City (Miss Universe Philippines 2020)

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Question 1: "If you will create a paper currency with the image of any Filipino on it, dead or alive, who will it be and why?"

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Answer 1: "If I will be given the chance, I will use the face of Miriam Defensor-Santiago. For those who don't know, she was an Ilongga, but what I admired about her is that she used her knowledge, her voice to serve the country. And I want to be somebody like her, somebody who puts her heart, her passion into action, and after all, she is the best president that we never had."

Question 2: "This pandemic has made clear our priorities, essential and non-essential. Where do pageants stand in this time of crisis?"

Answer 2: "As a candidate, I know I am not just the face of Iloilo City but I am here carrying hope as a symbol of light in the darkest times. And as of the moment, I want to help my community, I want to use my strength to make an impact. And that is the essence of beauty pageants. It gives us the power to make a difference."

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Ysabella Roxas Ysmael, Parañaque (First Runner-Up)

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Question 1: "To a child who has never seen a pageant, how would you describe a beauty queen?"

Answer 1: "I would tell that child that a beauty queen is somebody who is, first and foremost, a human being. She's somebody that is proud of who she is, but most importantly, she is somebody that brings hope. When she wears that crown on her head, it's not just because she's the most beautiful girl in the room, but it's because she's the woman who inspires hope. She's the woman who inspires love and productivity and somebody being authentic. And a beauty queen is somebody that you should always look up to."

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Question 2: "This pandemic has made clear our priorities, essential and non-essential. Where do pageants stand in this time of crisis?"

Answer 2: "In my experience with the pandemic and being in one of the most prestigious pageants in the Philippines, I have realized that pageants are something that can give Filipinos hope, and it's something that can give Filipinos something to look forward to. It's something that we as Filipinos, as a pageant-loving nation, it's something that we're so proud of, it's something that gives us life. And that's the relevance of what the pageant is. We help each other out, we help other people, and we help ourselves grow. We help each other prosper through any negative aspect."

    Michele Gumabao, Quezon City (Second Runner-Up)

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    Question 1:  "If you are under strict quarantine and isolation, what is the most important mobile app for you and why?"

    Answer 1: "The most important app during this whole quarantine was my bible. Having faith in the midst of this pandemic was very vital to me, not only for my mental health but also for my sanity. It got me through the toughest of times. I was able to get through others through the toughest of times, and it keeps me centered, and it keeps me grounded. And that is the most important thing I would need in a pandemic."

    Question 2: "This pandemic has made clear our priorities, essential and non-essential. Where do pageants stand in this time of crisis?"

    Answer 2: "As we all know, pageants are a very very inspiring event, not only to the Philippines but to every country who supports pageantry. It is important to stage a pageant and to show the Philippines that we are much more than our setbacks, than our failures. And that we are able to overcome any adversity. Having a pageant symbolizes hope, and right now on this stage, that is who we are. Thank you."

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    Pauline Cucharo Amelinckx, Bohol (Third Runner-Up)

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    Question 1: "What factors influence you in deciding on what to buy or post online?"

    Answer 1: "The factors that help me decide that is basically, what I want to put out there, what I want to show the world about myself, how I want to portray myself. What matters most is that we know who we are, that we are true to our authentic selves, and that we always try our best to show and share that to the rest of the world. And hopefully, inspire them to do the same."

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    Question 2: "This pandemic has made clear our priorities, essential and non-essential. Where do pageants stand in this time of crisis?"

    Answer 2: "I think pageants are now an amazing platform to show that not all our dreams are canceled, they're just put on hold. And for us, we're lucky that we're still able to make this one dream come true: to stand here, to spread hope, to rally people together in action and conversation, and spark change. And together, I'm sure we can make a positive impact out there on this stage. That is the essence of beauty pageants in the time of the pandemic."

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    Billie Hakenson, Cavite (Fourth Runner-Up)

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    Question 1: "What advice will you give to a first-time voter for the 2022 elections?"

    Answer 1: "We have fought long and hard for our right to suffrage, and this is not something that we should waste. For us to be able to complain and be able to appreciate the things that we have as Filipino citizens, we have to vote. We have to participate in selecting our leaders. Thank you."

    Question 2: "This pandemic has made clear our priorities, essential and non-essential. Where do pageants stand in this time of crisis?"

    Answer 2: "I am someone who is usually an independent person, but because of this beauty pageant, I realized that I needed to ask for help, that I needed to reach out to people. And the same goes for everyone else: to be able to survive something as big as this pandemic, altruism should be practiced and cooperation is always the key. Thank you."

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