What a dope way to start Filipino American History Month! Miss Texas representative R’Bonney Gabriel was crowned Miss USA 2022 last night (Oct. 3) at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, NV. The 28-year-old trailblazer is the latest Filipino American titleholder to win the pageant and represent the USA in the annual Miss Universe extraordinaire.
“Oh my God, it’s an honor,” Gabriel shared with Houston Life. “I’m getting messages on Instagram and just social media of Filipina girls and women telling me they’re so excited, they’re so happy.” “They’re crying tears of joy because they are inspired to go after pageantry or something,” the model added. “Like I’m paving the way for them to just go after whatever they want no matter what it is. So it’s an honor.”
Gabriel, who is a well-recognized fashion designer, drew inspiration from her parent’s multi-cultural background when creating her Miss USA interview outfit. “I designed this to pay tribute to my parents,” she posted on Instagram. “My mom is from Beaumont, TX and my father is from the Philippines. They got married in Manila Philippines. I hand-painted the same flower design from my mother’s wedding dress onto my sleeves and tied it in a traditional Maria Clara Filipina collar shape. I have immense gratitude for the opportunities [sic] my parents provided me and wanted to express my love to them through this.” Best of luck, R’Bonney Gabriel!
Photo Courtesy of R’Bonney Gabriel’s Instagram