Miss Universe R'Bonney Gabriel attends Philippines Independence Day parade in New York

Celebrations around the world mark the country's 125th anniversary of independence

Miss Universe 2022 R'Bonney Gabriel, left, and Miss World 2013 Megan Young at a parade in New York City to mark the 125th anniversary of Philippine Independence Day. Photo: @rbonneynola / Instagram; @cherryveric / Instagram
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Reigning Miss Universe R'Bonney Gabriel, Miss World 2013 Megan Young and Filipino beauty queen Venus Raj joined revellers to mark Philippine Independence Day in New York City on Sunday.

Gabriel, Young and Venus, along with actor Xian Lim, took part in a parade at the day-long event, which also included a cultural festival and street fair.

On June 12, the Philippines this year marks its 125th year of independence.

“Honouring Philippines Independence Day, my father's home country, and the spirit of Filipinos yesterday. Every time Filipinos get together, it's a party,” Gabriel shared on Instagram on Monday, along with pictures from the event.

Gabriel, 29, was born in Houston, Texas, to a Filipino father and an American mother. She won the Miss Universe 2022 crown earlier this year, becoming the first ever Filipino-American to do so.

Dressed in an embroidered Filipiniana top, characterised by oversized sleeves, Gabriel paired her look on Sunday with black flared trousers and her Force for Good crown.

Young, who became the first Filipina to win the Miss World crown in 2013, also joined the parade in a Filipiniana-inspired dress by designer Cherry Veric.

Her striking yellow dress with black lettering was inspired by New York City cabs, Veric said. Young, who paired her look with black leather boots and gloves, was joined on her float by fellow beauty queen Raj and actor and singer Lim.

Raj, who won Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2010, represented the Philippines at the Miss Universe pageant that year. Born to an Indian-American father and Filipina mother in Doha, she has since appeared in a number of TV shows and movies in the Philippines.

Her dress on Sunday, also by Veric, was inspired by The New York Times, the designer said.

Large-scale celebrations are being planned for the Philippine Independence Day anniversary. Last month, Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr issued an executive order, detailing plans to mark the landmark 125th year with festivities extending all the way to 2026.

Updated: June 06, 2023, 11:50 AM