It’s official! The Filipina-Indian beauty Rabiya Mateo from Iloilo City was crowned Miss Universe Philippines at an event on Sunday.

The new version of the beauty event — which was part of online reality show ‘Ring Light’ — took place at Baguio Country Club in Baguio. According to Manila Bulletin, 23-year-old Mateo is a graduate of bachelor of science in physical therapy and has even prepared meals for frontline workers during the pandemic.

In an earlier interview with ‘Ring Light’, Mateo, who was raised by a single mother after her father left them, talked about growing up poor.

“My graduation day was the greatest payback as I formally received my Latin honours. I want every poor child to experience such a thing. With proper knowledge of the things around you, of your purpose in life, and of what you are fighting for, you are going beyond being educated. You become empowered and able to empower others,” she said in the introduction video according to Rappler.

Ysabella Ysmael from Paranaque was named first runner-up, while Michele Gumabao from Quezon City was the second runner-up. Mateo will represent the Philippines at the yet-to-be scheduled Miss Universe pageant.

Old yearbook photos give us a glimpse into the character of people before they were famous: Were they studious? Were they honor students? In the case of newly crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo, she was both.

College year book photo: Rabiya Mateo

Mateo graduated high school from the Saint Candida School in Iloilo, one of the institutions around the world run by the Congregation of Hijas De Jesus.

Her yearbook writeup reads:

“A girl with glamorous smile. Every boy is mesmerized with her sophisticated looks. The darling of Year IV-Saint Agnes. Those shimmering tan skin catches everyone’s attention especially the boys. She has a towering height. When she starts speaking, you should ready your handkerchiefs for your nose might bleed. She is a very sensitive person so be careful with the words you choose. She is sweet like sugar. That’s what makes Rabiya “Byang”: Brilliant, Youth, Admirable, narcissist and Gorgeous (sic).”