Rabiya Mateo advises successor to be 'tough' vs. online hate

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 2) - Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo advised her successor to be tough amid the negativity on social media.

Although she trained on how to deal with online bashers, Mateo said she did not expect it would be hard not to notice negative comments about her.

"I was meant to be trained for situations like these. But when I was in the situation, it was 10 times hard pala (it was 10 times harder than I expected). Kasi (Because) sometimes you try to build your confidence and then with one comment that you see on social media, parang lahat ng efforts mo na-invalidate (it feels like all your efforts were invalidated)," she told CNN Philippines' News.PH.

"Pero na-realize ko (But I realized), this would be my advice to the next Miss Universe Philippines...be tough. You need to have a tougher mind in trying to handle things around you kasi sobrang hirap dahil sa social media (because social media would make it hard)," she added.

The 24-year-old beauty from Iloilo City continued the country's 11-year placement in the Miss Universe pageant, after she landed in the Top 21. Despite failing to bring home the fifth crown for the Philippines, Mateo said she has no regrets at all.

"I realized a lot of things and one of them is that ginawa ko yung best ko (I did my best) during that journey and kung hindi ko man siya naiuwi, alam ko sa sarili ko na that I did my part (even if I did not bring the crown home, I know I did my part)," she said.

Mateo added that her Miss Universe journey led her to "self-awareness."

"There's a lot of self-awareness I guess, because during this journey, with the social media that we have, andami talagang negative comments about my look or what I wear (there were many negative comments about my look or what I wear)," she said. "So always remember to listen to that voice inside you, because you will find peace and happiness once you follow yourself."

The Miss Universe Philippines has already opened the applications for the 2021 edition of the pageant.