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'It really hasn't sunk in': Fil-Am Miss Universe 2023 R'Bonney Gabriel makes first post on Day 1 of duty

By NICK GARCIA Published Jan 16, 2023 9:41 am

Miss Universe 2023 R'Bonney Gabriel just made her first social media post, as well as a video greeting, during her first day of duty on Jan. 16, Manila time.

"I am just over the moon about having this opportunity. I cannot believe it, it really hasn't sunk in," the Filipino-American beauty queen said in the video posted by the Miss Universe Organization on Instagram.

Right after she was crowned, Gabriel said she got "whisked away" for an interview and had a "fun afterparty" in New Orleans. She also caught up with friends and family until 5:00 a.m., she added.

The 28-year-old said she's now preparing for a trip to New York, as well as the media week.

"Stay tuned," she said. "Everybody please have a blessed year."

In a separate Instagram post, Gabriel took note of having a "triple crown" for hometown Houston, country United States, and the Universe.

"These past 15 days have changed my life. I carry this new title with the strength of all the incredible women I have come across this month," she said. "It is an honor to be here, and it is my mission to make the universe proud."

The Miss Universe Organization also shared Gabriel's official portrait as the 71st queen, as well as her glorious moment on stage to commemorate Day 1 of her role.

The organization took note of Gabriel's work as an eco-friendly fashion designer, model, and sewing instructor "with an excitement for life."

"As the first Filipino-American to win Miss USA, she shares the importance of embracing your culture," the organization said. "As a voice for Asian-Americans, she opens the door for more diversity and representation in society."

Gabriel bested 83 other delegates from different countries across the globe, succeeding Harnaaz Sandhu of India. Her win marks the first time for a U.S. delegate to take the highly coveted crown in 10 years, with Olivia Culpo as the last one to bag the title in 2012.