Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel was crowned Miss Universe 2022 on Saturday. The event took place at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
She competed against Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel and Miss Dominican Republic Andreína Martínez, defeating them for the crown.
R’Bonney Gabriel was born in Houston, Texas to a Filipino father, Remigio Bonzon “R. Bon” Gabriel, and an American mother, Dana Walker. Her father, who was born in the Philippines and is originally from Manila, immigrated to Washington state at the age of 25 and went on to earn his doctorate degree in psychology at the University of Southern California.
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He later opened a car repair shop.
Her mother is from Beaumont, Texas. She has three older brothers.
In July 2022, Gabriel told The Houston Chronicle about her heritage: “It’s an honor. I am so excited to pave the way for Filipinas in pageants and Filipinos and Asian-Americans in whatever lane they pursue.”
“My dad moved to America from the Philippines on a college scholarship with about $20 in his pocket. He wanted to pave a new life for himself. He met my mom in Texas, who is a country woman from Beaumont. I’m a very proud Filipina Texan.”
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She is the first Filipino-American to win the Miss USA crown.
R’Bonney inherited her father’s enthusiasm for studies, that brought her to the University of North Texas to pursue fashion design.