She dazzles in Mark Bumgarner ahead of the Miss Universe Philippines 2023 coronation night.
R’Bonney, a Filipino-American raised in the United States, has visited the Philippines many times to explore the area her father grew up in; for her, what makes this particular trip truly special is the crown she currently holds in her possession.
“I’m thrilled to be back in Manila and for the first time as Miss Universe,” she tells Vogue Philippines. “I can’t wait to see my family and friends that I visited here every summer growing up. It has been amazing thus far—the warm and amazing love Manila has given me during this trip.”
Upon landing Wednesday night, R’Bonney was a glittering vision in Mark Bumgarner for the pageant’s Fashion and Charity Gala held in Okada Manila. The official attire called for “Modern Filipiniana,” and her take on it was no less than a diamanté-encrusted terno with ribbons of blue gems snaking across the bodice.
As Instagram commenters rushed to akin her to a Disney princess, she says she had a blast.
“It means a lot to me that I feel so welcome to wear the traditional terno,” R’Bonney says. “Mark created a lovely modern version that I felt beautiful in and am honored to wear. I always appreciate a uniquely crafted design, and Mark knows how to make a woman feel like a queen!”
Designer Mark Bumgarner took to Instagram to repost the photo from the Miss Universe account, captioning it, “Love our terno on you! And welcome home.”
Throughout her stay in Manila, R’Bonney will be making several appearances in connection with Miss Universe Philippines and wearing loved Filipino designers along the way—like this pleated pink gown by Francis Libiran on Friday, draped over one shoulder and made to move with the body.
Saturday’s coronation night will also see the special guests Miss Universe President Paula Shugart, JKN Global Group CEO Anne Jakrajutatip, and Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi, who R’Bonney is “thrilled” to be reunited with.
Earlier this week, the beauty queen also paid a visit to the Philippine Band of Mercy hospital with Miss Universe impact partner Smile Train where she witnessed the good work of operations performed on children born with cleft lip and palate deformities, rounding off her heartfelt homecoming.