Filipino-American beauty queen and Miss USA 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel will be visiting the Philippines soon to do charity work.
In an interview with TFC News, R’Bonney shared that she will be in the country this coming December.
"We actually have a trip planned with Smile Train, which is a cleft based organization to do charity work, so I’m actually looking forward to going to the Philippines in December," she said.
R’Bonney, whose father is from Manila, is the first Filipino-American to be crowned Miss USA. She revealed that she feels proud to represent her heritage on the pageant stage.
"Miss USA, me, as well as Miss Teen USA, Miss America and Miss Universe are all Asian and that just makes me so proud of who I am, to share the story with the world, our culture, and let people know what we do, what we're all about," she said.
"We're very hard-working, and adds to the diversity. Representation is so important, especially for young girls to look up and see and say, 'hey there's a woman that looks like me.' And I hope it inspires girls all over the world," she added.
The beauty queen also said that she feels thankful to her Filipino supporters for joining her in her journey.
"Maraming, maraming salamat sa lahat ng tulong ninyo. I will be working very, very hard to not only represent Filipinos but Filipino Americans at the Miss Universe stage," she stated.
R’Bonney joined her first pageant in 2020. The fashion designer said that fellow Filipinos Catriona Gray and Pia Wurtzbach inspired her to enter the world of beauty pageants.
"It kind of just happened organically. I was never familiar with pageants and what they stood for I was more a model in the fashion world and I met somebody at a hair shoot that said 'hey, you should do a pageant,” she said.
“I started diving in deeper looking at beauty queens, Catriona Gray and Pia [Wurtzbach] and former Miss USAs like Deshauna Barber and I love the way they can communicate and speak and be so dynamic and that's what really drew me into it," she added.
R’Bonney was crowned Miss USA on October 3 in Reno, Nevada. She represented the state of Texas in the pageant. She is also the first Asian-American to win the Miss Texas USA title.
The 28-year-old beauty queen has always been vocal and proud of her Filipino heritage.
"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," she said in an interview with ABC News.
R’Bonney will represent the USA at the upcoming 71st Miss Universe pageant which will be held at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 14, 2023.
She will compete against beauty queens from all over the world including Miss Universe Philippines winner Celeste Cortesi.