Designer bares ‘missing piece’ of Rabiya Mateo’s Miss Universe nat’l costume

May 14, 2021 - 5:52 PM
A photo of the headdress by jewelry designer Manny Halasan (Manny Halasan/Facebook)

Young designer Manny Halasan shared photos and videos of the gold headdress Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo was supposed to wear during the Miss Universe National Costume show.

The event was streamed on the YouTube channel of Lazada Philippines on Friday morning.

Rabiya strutted on stage wearing an angel-like ensemble, a masterpiece of late designer Rocky Gathercole. It was inspired by the colors of the Philippine flag.

However, it turns out that the Ilongga beauty was also supposed to wear a stunning gold headdress by Manny a Meycauayan-based jewelry designer.

In a Facebook post, Manny remained optimistic that the “perfect timing” will come for him.

“I always believe in perfect timing. If it is not yet for you, let time and experience make you better and excellent. There is a time for everything,” the designer said.


Manny also expressed gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to Rabiya’s costume despite not being worn during the pageant.

“Before, I only dreamed of having my creations appreciated in local pageants and local TV. My heart would burst in happiness to see my friends and family proud. It is my way of making my Nanay Norma and Tatay Menong (grandmother and grandfather) proud and alive. That the legacy they left will continue and that I bring them with me in my journey,” the designer said.

“Having been chosen to contribute to the national costume of Rabiya for Miss Universe is a dream come true for every designer. I want to share to everyone that if you believe in your talent, work hard to hone your craft and pray for God’s guidance, there is nothing impossible,” he added.

Manny acknowledged Rabiya, Rocky, the Miss Universe Organization and other people in his message of gratitude for the support they gave.

He posted photos and videos of his work in two separate posts on his account.


In an ABS-CBN report, Miss Universe Philippines national director Shamcey Supsup-Lee explained that she brought Halasan’ headdress to the competition.

However, Mateo’s team decided not to proceed with the plan of wearing it, citing the piece seemed uncomfortable for Mateo.

“I’m pretty sure alam niyo naman na I brought the head dress, the headpiece for Rabiya but unfortunately it was nahuhulog so it’s hard for her to wear it so we decided na kung saan siya komportable because mabigat na rin kasi yung wings niya in the first place,” Supsup-Lee said.

READ: ‘Missing piece’ in Rabiya Mateo’s national costume for Miss Universe 2020 now in Shamcey’s hands

Rabiya in tears

After the national costume show, Rabiya went live on Instagram and apologized to her fans for supposedly disappointing them.

Rabiya received criticisms for her costume likened to Victoria’s Secret angels.

READ: Rabiya Mateo likened to Victoria’s Secret angel for Philippine flag-inspired Miss Universe nat’l costume

The Instagram live also circulated on Twitter.

“Sabi ko I just wanna do a quick live to tell you guys that I’m so sorry if nadisappoint man kayo sakin. I know na I did my best,” Rabiya said.

Rabiya also thanked the public for their “overwhelming.”

“Maraming maraming salamat talaga sa lahat ng nagpapakita ng suporta at pagmamahal sakin,” she said.

Rabiya’s fans later defended her and showered her with messages of support.

“Sending all my love and support to Rabiya Mateo. Nakaka-pressure talaga maging representative ng Pilipinas bilang mas mataas pa expectations natin sa beauty queens kaysa mga politiko but I hope she knows that we are behind her 100%,” one user said.

“It’s not your fault, Biyang. It was a completely avoidable design problem. Walang bearing ang Nat Cos (national costume), the real battle is just about to begin tomorrow. A pageant is as much a mental game as a physical one. Rest your heart and head. Avoid the internet!” another user said.