March 20, 2023
MANILA – Reigning Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel of the United States will be visiting the Philippines in May due to a “huge event” of the Miss Universe Organization.
Gabriel, who is half-Filipino courtesy of her father who was born and raised in Manila, announced her Philippine visit on the Texas-based lifestyle show Houston Life, hosted by her friend Derrick Shore.
During the TV program, the Louisiana-based beauty queen again proudly stated that she has Filipino blood and that as a child she would go on vacation in the Philippines with her father.
“I cannot believe it, it warms my heart. I grew up going to the Philippines as a child and just going on a vacation there, and to actually be somewhat of an inspiration to the people in the Philippines now is amazing. Actually, I will be visiting the Philippines soon, in May. We’re gonna have a huge event there, as Miss Universe, so I’m really excited,” she said.
“So for all the Filipinos tuning in, I cannot wait to meet you,” she added.
Since becoming Miss Universe in January, Gabriel has been staying in New York. But because of her homecoming in Houston in Texas, she said that one of the top five things she would be doing, especially now that her birthday weekend is coming along is, to have some friends over and eat her favorite Filipino treats such as ensaymada pastries and sinigang soup in a Filipino restaurant.
In a previous interviews, Gabriel mentioned that while she grew up in the US, her heart has always been Filipino, a trait instilled in her by her doctor father, Remigio Bonzon “R’Bon” Gabriel, whose name she inherited as well.
A fashion designer by profession, Gabriel is the first Filipino-American to be crowned Miss Universe and Miss USA. The US still holds the record with 22 uninterrupted placements from 1977 to 1998.
The Philippines’ Celeste Cortesi, meanwhile, did not place in the Top 16 of the pageant, breaking the country’s 12-year streak of securing a spot in the Miss Universe semifinals. This streak started in 2010 courtesy of Venus Raj who finished fifth in the competition held in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the US that year. EDV