Ariella Arida to Rabiya Mateo: 'Keep the momentum going'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 14) - Miss Universe 2013 third runner-up Ariella Arida has one piece of advice for the country's bet to the 2020 pageant Rabiya Mateo: "Keep the momentum going."

"She's really doing great! I can see the confidence and energy. Keep the momentum going," Arida said in an interview with CNN Philippines' The Source on Friday.

"Confident ako na she's our representative. From the videos, photos na ina-upload ng mga fans and supporters there in Florida, I could feel she's glowing, she's having fun and has all the confidence talaga," added Arida, who was one of the judges when Rabiya bagged the Miss Universe Philippines title last year. "She's embracing everything, makikita naman sa performances."

[Translation: I am confident that she's our representative. From the videos and photos uploaded by the fans and supporters in Florida, I could feel she's glowing, she's having fun and has all the confidence. She's embracing everything. You can see it in her performances.]

Arida also lauded the 24-year-old Ilongga beauty who just flaunted a Philippine-flag inspired outfit with a touch of Victoria's Secret designed by Rocky Gathercole for the national costume segment of the 69th Miss Universe competition.

"Yung kay Rabiya parang (Rabiya donned her outfit like a) Victoria Secret model. I know how heavy that is and I commend her for being able to walk with that costume gracefully," she said. "It was executed very well."

Mateo has also just finished her closed-door interview with an all-women panel on the same day. She and other pageant hopefuls will eventually compete in the swimwear and evening gown competition under the preliminaries. Under this round, the Top 20 semi-finalists will be selected and will be trimmed down to the Top 10 who will battle for the Miss Universe title.

Arida expressed confidence Mateo will make it to the final Q&A round, where finalists will be trimmed town to the Top 5 during the coronation night.

"I know diretso na 'yan sa (I know she'll make it to the) final Q&A. I would always say to all the girls, the technique during the final Q&A is to speak from the heart," she said. "And of course, don't forget to have fun."

Competing with 73 other pageant hopefuls, Mateo seeks to bag the fifth Miss Universe crown for the Philippines and join the elite group of former title holders Gloria Diaz, Margarita Moran, Pia Wurtzbach, and Catriona Gray.

This year's pageant will be held at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida on May 16 (May 17 in Manila).