R’Bonney Gabriel On The 5 Habits That Keep Herself Grounded

Photo by Shaira Luna

Throughout her day, the reigning Miss Universe and Vogue Philippines October 2023 cover star requires a mix of the sensory and the mindful.

R’Bonney Gabriel balances her duties as the reigning Miss Universe and designing sustainable pieces for her eponymous fashion label with grace. It’s easy to lose yourself within the onslaught of tasks and responsibilities that fill our days, but Gabriel carries tools in her back pocket to help her recenter, replenishing her mind, body, and spirit.

Over time, our daily habits turn into rituals, and rituals help create a life lived with intention. Read on to discover the five things the Vogue Philippines’ October 2023 cover star does in a day to live a happier life.

R’bonney wears CAROLINA HERRERA blazer and shirt. Photo by Shaira Luna

Practice gratitude

“My number one tip that I always tell people is to practice gratitude. I think, at the end of the day, your cup can be half-empty or half-full, but whenever I’m stressed, or feeling overwhelmed, or upset about something, I can take a step back, and just count all the things I’m thankful for. And it just humbles me, brings me back down. Whenever you can recognize even the small things and really appreciate them, I think, for me, that makes me so much happier and more joyful in life.”

Find comfort in music 

“Music is another one. I love music, it uplifts my mood. I love just jamming out to songs I can sing along to—that’s something simple that makes me happy.”

Surround yourself with positivity

“Just being around good, positive people that I can be myself around and tell jokes around [is so important]. I think who you surround yourself with is so important. Honestly, I have had the same girlfriends since high school and college, and [the] same friends that I was with before I joined pageantry. So they just always saw me at my goofiest and most imperfect. They always know how to make me laugh. We just have so many memories together, and I still hold on to all those friendships. I have a really great family and support system, even the Miss Universe team, so I really feel blessed to be surrounded by, like, hardworking people who care.”

Catriona wears a LOUIS VUITTON shirt, denim skirt and ring, FALKE tights. R’bonney wears a LOUIS VUITTON denim jacket and quilted skirt. Michelle wears a LOUIS VUITTON frayed denim jacket, denim pants and earrings. Photo by Shaira Luna

Move, move, move

“I love being active. Like, I just have a lot of energy, and if I go running or walking in the park or going to the gym or working out, doing yoga—all those things energize me, and they lift up my mood as well. [As for my favorite workout], I am like an old person. I love to just, like, wake up in the morning and walk. Like wherever I am. If it’s a hotel, I go and walk outside. I love long walks in the park. That’s something super easy, just like a morning walk with music or a podcast. And that’s a great way to start the day. But when I’m home in New York, I’m usually going to the gym and having a trainer work me out.”

Go beyond your comfort zone

“I feel like when you do something that you fear, whether that’s, like, traveling out of the country for the first time or, like, speaking in public. When you conquer that fear, there’s so much confidence and happiness that comes afterwards because you’re doing something for yourself. I always say self-doubt is a voice inside our head that is trying to convince us of what we’re not capable of doing or not meant to do. So if you can recognize that that voice is just trying to trick you and it’s not true, don’t validate that self-doubt or that type of narrative in your head, then you just never let it stop you.”

Vogue Philippines: October 2023 Issue


Photographs by Shaira Luna. Beauty Editor: Joyce Oreña. Fashion Director: Pam Quiñones. Introduction: Audrey Carpio. Stylists: Neil de Guzman, Steven Coralde. Makeup: Gery Peñaso, Jelly Eugenio, Zidjian Paul. Hair: Brent Sales, Dale Mallari, Nelly Tolentino. Nails: Extraordinail. Talents: Catriona Gray, Megan Young, Melanie Marquez, Michelle Dee, R’Bonney Gabriel. Art Director: Jann Pascua. Production Design: Justine Arcega-Bumanlag. Producers: Bianca Zaragoza, Anz Hizon. Multimedia Artist: Tinkerbell Poblete. Photographer’s Assistant: Emelito Lansangan. Stylist’s Assistants: Chelsy Estrada, Em Liesel, Geno Espidol. Production Assistant: Patricia Co. Makeup Assistants: Jannine Bance, Jelly Dy, Shua Alcantara. Hair Assistant: Rommel Hermoso. Production Design Assistants: John Amon, Jeber Cunanan, Mario Taipen, Olderico Bondoc, Rodel Bondoc. Interns: Dominique Tan, Jilliane Santos, Sofia Ante. Shot on location at The Penthouse at Twenty-Four Seven McKinley. Special thanks to B&B Italia Manila and Focus Global Inc. 

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