Rabiya is Queen

Published October 30, 2020, 3:53 PM

by Jules Vivas

And Iloilo is currently the center of the universe

In Spanish colonial times, Iloilo was known as “The Queen City of the South,” a title that now belongs to Cebu.

But following the recently concluded Miss Universe 2020 pageant, Iloilo is the queen’s city again because it is the city of Rabiya Mateo.

Rabiya in Arabic means Queen.

Photo by Marco Alcaria, make up by Raymond Galang, hair by Donna Abitria, accessories by Chris Munar, and styled by Dom Moreno

All eyes are on this phenomenal young woman and on the province and city she represents. The physical therapist and lecturer grew up poor and without a father, but her circumstances notwithstanding, she grew up kind and determined to succeed in life, eventually earning the “Filipina” crown—and in these interesting times to boot.

Photo by Paul Frederick

“Even though you’re struggling, you can still become a symbol of hope,” says 23-year-old Ilongga in the preliminary interview of the competition.

This week’s Panorama tells of the tale of Rabiya, whose name is Arabic for queen, and her queendom, Iloilo.