R'Bonney Gabriel Is the First Filipina Texan Named Miss Universe — Who Are Her Parents?

Sam Bramlett - Author

Jan. 15 2023, Published 2:10 p.m. ET

R'Bonney Gabriel won Miss Universe on Saturday.
Source: Getty Images

R'Bonney's father is Filipino and her mother is from Texas.

R'Bonney Gabriel made history on Saturday when she earned the title of Miss Universe as her parents looked on from the crowd, but who are they? Bonney is 28-years-old and the daughter of Remigio Bonzon "R. Bon" Gabriel, and Dana Walker.

Besides working as a model, R'Bonney also designs clothes, having majored in Fashion Design and Fibers at the University of North Texas. R. Bon and Dana's daughter made history because she's the first Filipina Texan woman to win the Miss Universe title, so let's find out more about them.

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R'Bonney has had a busy and successful year. She's won not only Miss Universe 2022, but before that Miss Texas 2022 and Miss USA 2022. She only began to participate in pageants in 2020, but even in her debut at Miss Kemah USA 2020 she placed in the top 5. Clearly, she's excellent at pageantry, largely thanks to the support of her parents, who can often be seen alongside her or in the crowd cheering her on, holding large pictures of her face in the air. She's the 9th American to win the pageant, and the first American to do so since 2012.

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Who are R'Bonney Gabriel's parents?

R. Bon is originally from Manila, migrating to the United States when he was 25 years old to Washington State. Eventually, he wouuld meet Dana Walker from Beaumont, Texas, and they would have four children. R'Bonney is the youngest of her siblings and is the only daughter, and fans can tell both of her parents were extremely proud of her as they saw her winning Miss Universe. While beaming with a smile and positive energy, R. Bon predicted even before the announcement that she was going to win with complete confidence.

In July 2022, R'Bonney told The Houston Chronicle, "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."

Her representation matters to a lot of young girls out there who may have never considered pageants because no one looked like them. However, it isn't the first time an Asian or Asian-American woman has won. While Macel Wilson was the first Asian-American woman to win Miss USA in 1962, before her, Akiko Kojima won Miss Universe in 1959, the first Asian woman to win the title.

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R'Bonney's victory was made possible by her supportive family. R. Bon and Dana gave her the stable base she needed to reach the heights she's at now. She's very aware of that too. "My dad moved to America from the Phillipines on a colege 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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