The Miss Universe coronation night has come and gone with our queen Rabiya Mateo proudly carrying our flag to the Top 21. Pinoys everywhere, no matter what level of pageant-crazy they are, have been congratulating the 24-year-old non-stop since. And Mateo hasn't forgotten to reply! She posted a touching thank you to Filipinos everywhere on her personal IG account on May 17.
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"It was such a beautiful moment to represent you, Philippines. I am forever honored to be part of the legacy, of our history," she wrote in the caption accompanying a pic of her absolutely slaying in a yellow bikini during the Miss Universe competition.
"In my heart, I did everything I can," Mateo continued. "I trained really hard to be physically fit. I would have sleepless nights trying to read articles to be updated. I made a lot of sacrifices people can't sometimes see. Early call time. Late night rest. Trying to be sane and motivated. It was a challenge but it made me so much stronger everyday."
She ended her message with "Salamat mga kababayan! Mahal ko kayo!" and a shoutout to her creative director Jonas Antonio Gaffud.
Meanwhile, Twitter has been on fire with support for Mateo. Former Miss Universe titleholders and Philippine candidates all gave Mateo a shoutout, with Pia Wurtzbach telling her "We know you put your heart into this and we love you!"
Some Well-Deserved Fun After Miss Universe for Rabiya Mateo
Mateo then let us in on how she was celebrating post-Miss Universe on her IG stories—and yup, food is involved! The Miss U rep was in Florida, U.S.A., for the pageant with her team and several former Miss Universe candidates. It looks like they celebrated with a huge Pinoy fiesta complete with a barrio set-up. Check out MJ Lastimosa's post.
Mateo posted a peek at the Pinoy-style fiesta on her IG, along with stories celebrating the Miss Universe run. Then she added in a cheeky little "Gusto ko na mag Samgyup" referring to the usual way Pinoys call Korean BBQ. We totally get it. Now quick, somebody prep a huge set-up for the queen's homecoming!
*This story originally appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.
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