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Filipino-American

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R’Bonney Gabriel, the first Filipino American Miss Texas USA, is crowned winner of Miss USA

  • Miss Texas R’Bonney Gabriel, a 28-year-old Filipino American fashion designer, was crowned Miss USA 2022 at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Nevada on Monday night. 
  • Gabriel made history as the first Filipino American Miss Texas USA. 
  • She will represent the U.S. at the upcoming Miss Universe pageant in January 2023.

Editor’s note (10/4/22): A previous version of this article claimed that R’Bonney Gabriel is the first Asian American Miss USA — however, that distinction belongs to Macel Wilson. We regret the error. We have updated the story to reflect that R’Bonney Gabriel is the first Filipino American Miss Texas USA.

R’Bonney Gabriel, the first Filipino American Miss Texas USA, was crowned the winner of Miss USA.

‘We support, honor and thank you’: Biden shares gratitude to Fil-Am community for Filipino American History Month

FAHM
  • President Joe Biden and the first lady recognized the contributions and heritage of Filipino Americans in celebration of Filipino American History Month (FAHM) this October.
  • The Filipino American National Historical Society themed this year’s commemoration as “Celebrating Our History and Legacies: 50 Years of Filipino-American Studies, 40 Years of the Filipino-American National Historical Society and 30 years of Filipino-American History Month.”
  • “We support, honor, and thank you for all you have done to help fulfill the promise of America for all of us,” Biden tweeted.

President Joe Biden expressed his gratitude to the Filipino American community in celebration of Filipino American History Month (FAHM) this October.

On Sunday, Biden and the first lady recognized the contributions and heritage of Filipino Americans.

Va. Filipino community leader fatally hit by driver suspected of driving under influence of marijuana

  • Rosa Blanco, a 76-year-old Filipino American community leader, was walking on a crosswalk at Virginia Beach Town Center when Nathan Poole, 24, crashed into her and another woman with his pickup truck on Aug. 22.
  • Blanco was pronounced dead at the scene. The other victim in her 70s suffered from broken ribs and a fractured foot, but she is now in stable condition.
  • Poole was arrested for driving under the influence. Additional charges for him are currently pending.
  • Blanco served in leadership roles in Filipino organizations in her community. She also taught math in Norfolk and Virginia Beach schools.
  • To honor Blanco, peers and community members hope to reopen the Philippine Cultural Center of Virginia, which is an institution that Blanco helped build.

A Filipino American community leader in Virginia was fatally hit by a pickup truck whose driver has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI).

Rosa Blanco, 76, and another unidentified woman, 79, were walking a crosswalk near Constitution Drive at Virginia Beach Town Center when Nathan Poole, 24, crashed into them with his vehicle at around 4 p.m. on Aug. 22.

Filipino American MMA fighter takes down NYC man accused of six separate unprovoked attacks

  • Ro Malabanan, a Filipino American mixed martial artist, reportedly witnessed a man sucker-punching a construction worker in SoHo, New York City, on July 27.
  • Malabanan chased after the attacker, later identified as 28 year-old Samuel Frazier, and subdued him until police arrived, according to reports.
  • Frazier was accused of assaulting six men along Broadway in SoHo prior to the incident.
  • The New York Police Department has arrested the assailant, who has been charged with two counts of assault.

A Filipino American mixed martial artist reportedly stopped an attacker after witnessing him hit another man in an unprovoked attack in New York City.

Ro Malabanan, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, was heading to work when saw a homeless man, later identified as 28-year-old Samuel Frazier, sucker-punch a construction worker in SoHo on July 27, according to reports.

‘Superstore’ star Nico Santos confirmed to be in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’

NICO SANTOS
  • Filipino American actor Nico Santos has been confirmed to be part of “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3,” the latest installment in the popular superhero franchise from Marvel Studios.
  • “We wrapped a month ago but I’ve thought about my time on set every day since. THANK YOU @jamesgunn for your genius, kindness and for fostering and creating such an incredibly FUN world to work and play in,” Santos wrote on Instagram.  
  • Known for his roles in “Crazy Rich Asians” and the NBC series “Superstore,” Santos will be joining the film’s ensemble cast featuring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone and Will Poulter.
  • The film, written and directed by James Gunn, also stars Oscar nominee Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”) and Daniela Melchior (“The Suicide Squad”).

Filipino American actor Nico Santos has been confirmed to be part of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” the latest installment in the popular superhero franchise from Marvel Studios. 

Santos is best known for his memorable roles in “Crazy Rich Asians” as Oliver T’sien and in the NBC comedy series “Superstore” as Mateo Liwanag. He also recently starred in the animated film “Wish Dragon” and the HBO Max animated series, “The Prince.”

San Diego native Mar Velicaria puts a crown on Filipino American culture with their viral Reyna headpiece

marharlika
  • Mar Velicaria is a small business owner and social media influencer that recently went viral for their minimalist and modern Philippine accessories.
  • The inspiration for their business, Marharlika, began with the idea of combining traditional and modern aspects of Filipino culture.
  • “By creating Marharlika, it really helped give an idea that the popular accessories you see can be combined with heritage, which connect them to their families, culture, and histories. That is incredibly empowering,” Velicaria shared.
  • When asked about what advice they would give to those who looked up to them, Velicaria emphasized the need for “[taking] it one step at a time and [going] at your pace.”

Filipino American small business owner Mar Velicaria sat down with NextShark to talk about what their identity and online platform mean to them.

In February, Velicaria went viral on TikTok for their minimalist and modern Philippine accessories, garnering more than 1 million views on their most popular TikTok video.

Ballerina makes history as first AAPI soloist to play Polyhymnia in New York City Ballet’s ‘Apollo’

Filipino American ballerina Georgina Pazcoguin made history last weekend by becoming the first AAPI soloist to portray Polyhymnia in the New York City Ballet’s latest production of “Apollo.”

Speaking with Jezebel on Monday, Pazcoguin said she was grateful for being given the chance to perform at the New York City Ballet’s Spring 2022 Stravinsky Festival last weekend.

‘You’re the rice to my Chickenjoy’: Filipino American couple hold their wedding reception at Jollibee

jollibee couple
  • Filipino American couple Angelica and Robin San Felipe held their wedding reception and photoshoot at a Jollibee in Daly City, San Francisco.
  • The couple first met in college at a university in the Philippines, but their relationship only blossomed after reconnecting in California years later. The San Felipes soon became best friends who constantly met up at the Filipino fast-food restaurant.
  • “Jollibee holds a special place in our hearts,” Robin said. “It’s a special spot for us because there were multiple conversations, hours of laughter, sometimes we’d cry because of certain events but pretty much everything happened in that location.”
  • “Jollibee is our happy place. It was effortless to show our joy while being photographed,” Angelica shared.

Filipino American couple Angelica and Robin San Felipe held their wedding reception at their beloved Jollibee in San Francisco.

Thousands of miles away from the Philippines, the iconic, red-and-yellow smiling Jollibee still brings love together. 

‘Batgirl’ casts Fil-Am actress Ivory Aquino as first-ever trans character in DC Comics film

  • Ivory Aquino, a Filipino American trangender actress, was cast as DC’s first trans character “Alysia Yeoh” in the film “Batgirl.”
  • Her portrayal as Batgirl’s best friend marks the first live-action film adaptation of a DC Comics property to feature an openly trans character.

Filipino American actress Ivory Aquino has been cast as DC’s first transgender character “Alysia Yeoh” in the upcoming 2022 DC film “Batgirl.”

Ivory Aquino will portray the best friend of the titular superhero, whose alter ego is Barbara Gordon, played by Leslie Grace. The actress, who is also transgender, is making history for her part starring in the first live-action film adaptation of a DC Comics property to feature an openly trans character. 

Fil-Am NBA players Jalen Green and Jordan Clarkson share history and a hug on Filipino Heritage Night

NBA Filipino players
  • NBA players Jalen Green of the Houston Rockets and Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz shared the court on Wednesday, marking the second time in NBA history that two athletes of Filipino descent played in the same game.
  • Utah Jazz hosted a Filipino Night to celebrate Green and Clarkson’s heritage and to donate to local Filipino organizations.
  • The Houston Rockets ultimately won the game by 116-111.

The Utah Jazz hosted a Filipino Heritage Night on Jan. 19 to celebrate Filipino culture in honor of the second time in NBA history that two Filipino American players, Jalen Green and Jordan Clarkson, would share the court.

The event “Filipino Night: A Celebration of Culture and Tradition,” which took place at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, included commemorative T-shirts and in-game activities to honor the occasion. 

California’s Melissa Ramoso sworn in as Artesia’s first Asian American female mayor

Melissa Ramoso
  • Melissa Ramoso was sworn in as the first Asian American female mayor of Artesia, California, on Dec. 13.
  • The Filipino American has a longstanding career in politics, having worked with several lawmakers and Filipino American Democratic groups.

Melissa Ramoso was sworn in as the first Asian American female mayor in Artesia, California, on Dec. 13.

“It is incredible to think that there were people who didn’t want me to accept the nomination today and suppress my rising into this role,” Ramoso said in her speech on Monday, per Asian Journal. “To withhold my rising, is a belittlement to my parents, because my greatest achievement is living up to their legacy. And in these positions of power, I am constantly reminded how hard it is for a female to constantly justify herself and be looked upon for assistance.”

‘I want them to feel seen’: ‘Jelly, Ben & Pogo’ director on how Fil-Am representation validates children

PBS Kids “Jelly, Ben & Pogo” stars a Filipino American cast

Director Jalysa Leva talked with NextShark about the inspiration behind the animated series “Jelly, Ben & Pogo” and what Filipino American representation on PBS Kids means for future generations.

About the shorts: “Jelly, Ben & Pogo” (JBP) is an animated, short-form series directed by Leva. It follows Filipino American characters and is infused with Filipino culture, from the Tagalog language to Filipino food and music.