Rabiya Mateo stunned everyone in attendance during the Miss Universe pageant’s national costume competition in Hollywood, California on Friday (May 14, PH Time).
The Philippines’ 24-year-old representative walked the runway in a Philippine flag-inspired ensemble complete with blue, red angel wings, and three stars – symbolizing the islands of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
“This outfit is inspired by the Philippine flag,” the host said while Mateo commanded the runway.
“The blue represents royalty, red stands for the courage and strength for an independent woman and yellow, the color of sun and stars, symbolizes freedom to choose whoever you want to be,” he added.
“I feel like I’m a Victoria’s Angel right now. I’m gonna fly,” the Iloilo beauty queen said in a backstage interview.
Mateo’s national costume was the brainchild of late avant-garde designer Rocky Gathercole, who passed away March 3 this year due to a heart attack. Gathercole designed clothes for international celebrities such as Brtiney Spears, Paris Hilton, Tyra Banks, Nicki Minaj, and others.
Meanwhile, Mateo’s accessories were designed by Filipino jeweler Manny Halasan, however, she wasn’t seen wearing the pieces while on stage.
The segment was live-streamed in the Philippines through the Lazada application. The pageant’s preliminary round will also be streamed on the app as well as Miss Universe’s official YouTube channel.
Filipino designer Furne One of Amato Couture designed the dresses Mateo will use for the preliminary leg of the 69th Miss Universe pageant.
The winner of the national costume category will be announced during the pageant’s coronation night on May 17 (PH Time) at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Florida. It will be decided through online public voting.
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Image credit: Rabiya Mateo’s Official Facebook Page