THRILLMAKER: Gloria Diaz gives Rabiya Mateo rave reviews

Published March 7, 2021, 7:08 AM

by Joee Guilas

Rabiya Mateo

Miss Universe 1969 and respected actress, Gloria Diaz believes the Philippines’ delegate for this year’s pageant has the goods to bring home the country’s fifth universal beauty title.

“There’s room for one more.  After that long vacancy, the Philippines is nagwawagaygay and she’s beautiful.  In all her pictures ang ganda ganda nya. I don’t think I’ve ever met her, but she’s beautiful in all the pictures.  I wish she makes it up there,” she said, when I recently bumped into her during a Lyka Celebrity Party in Resorts World Manila recently.

During the said event, Gloria herself was radiant and fresh, looking much younger than most ladies her age.  She admitted that the ongoing COVID19 pandemic has done a lot of good in terms of allowing her more time to take good care of herself.

“Parang with this pandemic, people get to have more time for themselves,” she explained.  “For me, I got to have a little bit more rest, more vitamins, more exercise. And I guess, things are not as stressful because even the traffic is better, which is very positive.  Well, there’s less shopping although now it’s starting to build up, especially with online.  I still go to the derm, with all the precautions.  My skin is getting better,” she added. 

Now in her senior years, the beauty queen has still been very busy both on the professional and personal fronts despite the health scourge.

Gloria Diaz

“During the whole pandemic, I got to work.  January, February this year, yan medyo quiet na ako ngayon.  But I tell you, if one is careful, I’ve not had cold the whole year!  Imagine, not a cold!  So you really just have to cover up.  Overall, I’d say I’m quite daring.  Like I’m here.   I just have a mask on.  I keep my gatherings small,” she said.

While people have not seen her lately in the beauty pageant circuit lately, she believes pageants are bound to soon make a big comeback: “There’s been a little bit of a slowdown but it will get back on its feet.  Soon.  Syempre, kahit naka-mask lahat tayo, the pretty ones still stand out.  Kahit mag-mask pa sila, you will still see the pretty ones.”

Pressed to predict what she thinks are Rabiya Mateo’s chances in this year’s Miss Universe competition, Gloria just went back to her quick-witted self and calculated the Filipina representative’s odds as: “One in 70! That’s a fair chance, right?”

The Miss Universe Organization recently announced that the 69th edition of the pageant is going to be held on May 16, 2021 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Should Rabiya Mateo successfully bag the Miss Universe crown in the said event, she will succeed South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi, who has, so far, earned the title of the longest reigning Miss Universe in history (because of the pandemic).  She will also become the fifth Filipina to bring home the title after Diaz, who won it in 1969; Margarita Moran in 1973; Pia Wurtzbach in 2015 and Catriona Gray in 2018.