LOS ANGELES/MANILA – Still in the United States, beauty queen Rabiya Mateo is pressing her search for her American father.
She admitted that her father is one of the reasons why she is staying longer in the United States after representing the country in Miss Universe pageant in Hollywood, Florida.
The Ilongga beauty queen made the disclosure in a virtual interview with television host Boy Abunda as reported by ABS-CBN.
Before flying to the US, Rabiya said she knows his father’s name and date of birth.
Rabiya said she feels there is still hope and she is not giving up on the possibility of meeting him.
“I just want to know if he’s alive or not I’m not even sure if he has an idea that I won Miss Universe Philippines,” she said in Manila.
In the interview with Boy Abunda, she said she is “taking steps” to look for her father in the US, and is hoping to meet him nearly two decades since he abandoned them.
“It is also my favor to the [Miss Universe Philippines] organization, if I can stay a bit longer,” she said in the ABS-CBN report. “Kasi this is my first time to be outside of the country, and I really want to make memories. I really want to meet people. And also, I’m planning to look for my dad,” she said.
“I’m actually doing some steps, and I have numbers na rin of my possible dad,” she revealed. “Pero every time I try to ring it, hindi sumasagot. So let’s see in the coming days.”
“I know I’m going to meet him,” she told Boy Abunda.
She said in the interview she remembers her father, an American of Indian descent, as “a sweet guy.”
She went on to declare that she is a “daddy’s girl” even if she only got to spend a few years with him.
“Naaalala ko talaga, I was five or six at the time, pinaupo niya ako sa lap niya because aalis na siya pa-US. And then he said, ‘Be a good daughter to your mom. I’m going to be back.’ ‘Yun ‘yung memories ko of him,” she said as reported by ABS-CBN.
“Even though ‘yun na ‘yung nangyari, iniwanan na niya kami, he abandoned us for what, 19 years? I still love him and I still long for him,” she said as she called on anyone who knows him to help her find out where he is and how he can be reached.
When asked if she ever got mad at her father for not delivering on his promise to return home, Mateo replied: “Hindi, Tito Boy. Kasi kahit sabihin pa natin na hindi acceptable ‘yung reason niya, may reason pa rin siya. And tatay ko pa rin siya eh.”
“It’s all in the past. It molded me to become a stronger woman,” she stressed as ABS-CBN reported.
Meanwhile, she admitted she is now in a complicated situation in relation to her long-time boyfriend Neil Salvacion amid reports that she has broken up with him.
In the same virtual interview with Boy Abunda, the Miss Universe Philippines 2020 titleholder admitted that they are currently in a “complicated situation,” which she hopes to resolve when she returns home.
“It’s a complicated situation and we need to talk about things when I go back to the Philippines,” said Rabiya.
She admitted that she and Salvacion are still friends despite their current situation.
“I still try to contact him but we need to have this space… as of the moment,” she explained.
The Filipina beauty queen went on to express optimism that things can still get better, saying they have gone through something similar in their seven years as a couple, ABS-CBN reported.
“I’m not closing any doors. We’ve been in this kind of situation before. We’ve been together for seven years, and who knows po?” she said.
After weeks of speculations, Rabiya Mateo’s boyfriend later confirmed as GMA News reported that they are no longer together.
In an Instagram story last Friday, Neil Salvacion shared a note saying he and the Miss Universe Philippines titleholder were “not together anymore.”
“The real thing is, we’re not together anymore, but we’re both okay,” he wrote. “[M]oving forward, we talked and we’re both happy with our own lives. We both believe that God placed us in this kind of situation for a reason, and that is for the better,” he stated/
In his post, Neil also addressed their critics. “Spreading rumors without even knowing the real story is just too much,” he said.
“We don’t deserve all the negativities manifested towards us, [especially] towards Rab, “he added as GMA reported.
Social media users earlier noticed that Rabiya and Neil had unfollowed each other on Instagram amid rumors of their split.
The beauty queen addressed the rumors, saying they were in a “complicated situation.”
“We need to talk about things when I go back to the Philippines, but we’re friends. I still try to contact him but we need to have this space together as of the moment,” she said.
“But I’m not closing any doors. We’ve been in this kind of situation before. We’ve been together for seven years now. Who knows?”
According to a PEP.ph article in November 2020, Neil, who works as a nurse, is Rabiya’s first boyfriend.
As rumors of her breakup with Salvacion surfaced last week, some netizens speculated that Mateo has a budding romance with former “Pinoy Big Brother” housemate Andre Brouillette after being spotted together in the US.
She said that there is no malice in her photos with Brouillette, and pointed out they only got to meet each other thrice.
“Nahihiya ako kay Andre, it’s because ‘yung photos na kumalat, that was the first time that I was able to talk to him. The first one was before my sendoff to Miss Universe. The second was during the competition, and [the circulating photo] was the third time. Sinundo lang nila ako sa airport,” she said.
Mateo and Brouillette have a common mentor. Brouillette is part of Mercator Talent Agency, which was founded by Jonas Gaffud. The starmaker is also the creative director of Miss Universe Philippines organization. (Jeanne Michael Penaranda with ABS-CBN, GMA News)