ILOILO CITY, May 17 (PIA) - - Ilonggos including top local chief executives of the city and province of Iloilo, have shown their full support for Ilongga beauty queen Rabiya Mateo, who is currently in Hollywood, Florida, USA vying to bring home the Miss Universe 2020 crown.
The 24-year -old Ilongga whose family hails from Balasan, Iloilo is representing the Philippines in the prestigious beauty tilt after she won the Miss Universe Philippines 2020 competition in October last year, where she represented this city as Miss Iloilo Universe 2020.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Trenas, on his Facebook page, asked Ilonggos to support Mateo's journey for the crown.
"We are very proud of Rabiya Mateo as she raised the flag of the country and as she proves the famous quote 'Basta Ilongga, gwapa.' Not just beautiful but has expressed the courage despite all odds in Miss Universe pageant," said Trenas on his post after the Miss Universe 2020 National Costume Show on Friday, May 14.
Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr. also showed his support for Mateo in her bid to win the coveted crown.
"Let us support her sa ano man nga paagi nga mahimo naton. Number one to boost her morale and her confidence para mabal-an niya nga the Province of Iloilo kag ang tanan niya nga kasimanwa is behind in her campaign to regain the Miss Universe Crown para sa bilog gid nga Pilipinas (Let us support her by all means we can. The number one that can boost her moral and confidence so she will know that the province of Iloilo and all her fellow Ilonggos are behind her in her campaign to regain the Miss Universe Crown for the entire Philippines)," said Defensor in a post on the province's Facebook page.
On the other hand, the Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. (IFFI), through an official statement released, showed their solidarity with the Ilonggo community and the rest of the country in praying for Mateo's victory.
"But to us, Rabiya is already a winner! We have all witnessed how hard she has tried her best and we are confident that she will represent us with dignity and honor," wrote IFFI, the organizer of Miss Iloilo 2020.
The 69th Miss Universe is set on Sunday night - Monday morning in the Philippines. (JSC/laf/PIA6 Iloilo)