Credit grabbing? Comments as Pinoys cheer for USA bet R’Bonney Gabriel

January 15, 2023 - 5:01 PM
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R'Bonney Gabriel
R’Bonney Gabriel, Miss Universe USA 2022 poses for a portrait after being crowned Miss Universe at the conclusion of the 71st MISS UNIVERSE Competition® on January 14th, 2023 at the New Orleans Ernst N. Morial Convention Center airing LIVE on The Roku Channel in English and Telemundo in Spanish. Contestants from around the globe have spent the last few weeks touring, filming, rehearsing and preparing to compete for the Miss Universe crown. (Miss Universe Press/Benjamin Askinas)

Talks about Filipinos supposedly “credit grabbing” American bet R’Bonney Gabriel‘s win as Miss Universe 2022 was opened on social media.

These discussions came after the 28-year-old Houston native, who has a Filipino for a father, bested more than 80 delegates in the 71st edition of the pageant held in New Orleans, Louisana.

Meanwhile, Philippine bet Celeste Cortesi fell short to enter the semifinals despite being a frontrunner in some pageant communities.

“Isipin na lang natin na [at least] si Miss USA, half-Filipino at nasa Top 16 [siya],” a Twitter user previously commented before the grand coronation.

“Congratulations, Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel from Texas, USA!!! Parents [niya], papa [niya] Pinoy, so nakaka-proud din, para din tayong nanalo!!!” another Pinoy from Facebook wrote.

“Miss UNIVERSE 2022 is USA!!! R’Bonney Gabriel. Half Pinoy yarn Pinoy pride. Congrats sa’yo at sa buong Team USA! Congrats Rian Fernandez, Enchiong Cambay, RF atelier at Patrick Isorena,” a different Facebook user said.

Some online Filipinos reminded their fellow citizens to refrain from claiming R’Bonney’s win due to her Pinoy heritage.

“Uhaw na uhaw ang mga Pinoy sa global validation and that #PinoyPride is toxic. USA won and she brought HER country to that stage. Do not claim her win as ours, please. It’s cringe-worthy,” a Twitter user wrote.

“[Miss]USA’s victory highlights [something about] Filipino’s toxic credit-grabbing mentality. Imagine, you won without their support during prelims (even though they’re aware that you’re 1/2 Filipino), but they’re acting as if they supported you throughout the process. Amanacayo, mga accla!” another user wrote.

“Remember when Australia tried to claim Catriona and the [the] Philippines got mad. Don’t be a hypocrite (laughing-with-tears emoji). Congrats to Miss USA. #MissUniverse2022,” content creator Oliver of Otakoyakisobo tweeted.

When 71st Miss Universe backstage host Catriona Gray won the pageant in 2018, other Pinoys aired their disappointment at how some Australian publications reported her victory.

Among the most famous was a newspaper with the text “Miss Universe Philippines.” The word “Philippines” was crossed out and replaced with “Queensland,” an Australian state where she was born.

“When Catriona competed in Miss World way back [in] 2016 and she didn’t get the crown, Australia didn’t give any recognition [to] her. And now that she won Miss Universe, this… tsk tsk tsk!” a Pinoy wrote before.

The former beauty queen was born in Australia to a Scottish-born Australian father and a Filipina mother.

At that time, Catriona responded by sharing an Instagram Story of herself with the text, “Filipina.”

In one of her interviews post-coronation, Catriona also said that she does not feel weirded out for competing against Miss Australia’s Francesca Hung despite being a Filipino-Australian.

She stressed that she is “Miss Philippines.”

READ: Catriona on Australia’s claim over Miss Universe win: I am Miss Philippines

‘Proud to be half-Filipina’

R’Bonney’s father is Philippine-born Ramon Bonifacio, who immigrated to the USA to study and with the hopes to “pave a new life for himself,” according to her.

He met country woman Dana Walker, a Texan, and the rest is history.

R’Bonney made history when she won the Miss USA 2022 title by representing Texas. It was the first that a Filipino-American from that state had won the title.

She previously said she is proud to have represented Filipino heritage in the pageant.

“I’m a Filipina-Texan. My dad is from the Philippines, he came on a college scholarship with $20 in his pocket and my mom is from Belmont. They’re a match made in heaven,” R’Bonney said before.

“I love that I can represent Filipinas, my culture, and pave the way. I hope other women, Asians, can be inspired to join pageantry or any other field they may not see themselves in at first. They can break that glass ceiling, absolutely,” she added.

After the coronation, the beauty queen thanked Filipinos for supporting her in her journey to the crown.

“Mabuhay, Philippines! Mabuhay, Filipino fans! Maraming, maraming salamat sa lahat ng tulong ninyo. The support is everything, I feel it in my heart, I heard it in the room, it was an amazing energy,” R’Bonney said.

“The Filipino blood is so strong. We are hardworking, we’re fun and we’re determined, and I am so proud to be a half-Filipina,” she added.

RELATED: Who is Miss Universe 2022 Filipino-American Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel?