“I want to be part of the movement of good content in the digital age,” declares Gabbi Garcia
Unless you’re actively looking for her—or your radar is well attuned to her strides—you’re not likely to notice that the girl you passed is 20-year-old actress and singer Gabbi Garcia. We don’t mean that in a bad way. She’s just not the type to call attention to herself, not in the way she walks, dresses or converses with those around her. No demands are made, just the occasional request and when it’s time to put her A-game on, you better know she brings it.
Let’s Start at the Very Beginning
Gabbi is far from being new to the scene, having joined several talent searches and beauty pageants when she was a youngling. Yet despite her years on stage, becoming a contract-artist at the age of 15 came as a shock to her. It happened—not to sound too much like John Green—slowly and then all at once. It was, at first, just an invitation to a VTR audition with GMA Network, which quickly spiraled to three call backs and then a contract signing that would put anyone on cloud nine.
We know her name, her face, have seen that glint in her eyes as she stands before a mic or a camera. We’ve been witnesses to her thus-far glory days, including but not limited to: an international campaign with Pantene, becoming an endorser for Pond’s Philippines and Bench, as well as landing lead roles in Encantadia and the recently concluded Pamilya Roces.
This is the part where you can say the rest is history, but a quick conversation with Gabbi makes it clear that her best is still in front of her.
“You have to
balance it out.”
Left: Tulle dress by EUSTACIA, Right: Pleated tube top by DANIELLE STAPLES
Eyes on the Prize(s)
Having said goodbye to the set of Pamilya Roces at the tail end of 2018, Gabbi admittedly misses the cast, crew and director Joel Lamangan. But as a firm believer in the necessity of balance, there’s a subtle sort of relief that comes with contentedly closing a project, which in this case takes form in freedom and breathing room for other opportunities.
“I don’t want to be bombarded with work, work, work and then forget about my social life or my family,” she explains. “For me, that’s your core; [so] you have to balance it out.”
You wouldn’t expect to hear this from someone that’s 20 (and definitely not from someone in an industry that demands constant relevance), but the way Gabbi is able to set aside her eagerness in favor of self-care is testament to her maturity. She’s hungry, yes, but she knows what she is and what she isn’t willing to sacrifice in the name of passion-turned-profession.
Every so often during our interview, she would go back to what matters to her most: a select group of individuals that she likes to call her core—family members, trusted friends, acquaintances turned pillars to lean on. These people are how she stays grounded amidst the grandiosity of her career; they keep her sane and well-rounded and always grateful.
So what is in store for Gabbi Garcia this 2019? It’s a hard reset, as we like to call it. Imagine your smartphone rebooted, chock full of new updates; imagine walking into your favorite store after a renovation. It isn’t about a recreation or starting from scratch; it’s about moving forward, better and stronger.
Coat by A – Z, Cropped flared trousers by PATRICK LAZOL
Her Hard Reset
As it’s written, Gabbi’s resume is impressive, but her history has nothing on what she has planned. The months that will make up 2019 will be Gabbi’s to own. She has a concert that’s being planned, a movie that’s being wrapped up, and other bits and pieces we’d bet will fall into place.
“I want to be part of the movement of good content in the digital age.”
Left: Boxy coat by A – Z, Right: Checkered top and cropped flared trousers by PATRICK LAZOL
Originally penciled as a birthday celebration for December 2018, Gabbi decided to move her intimate concert to early 2019 instead. While it still doesn’t have a date set in stone, we do know what to look forward to: a different vibe to the usually-bubbly personality, handpicked songs and a softer and more personal peek into the artist.
Another thing that got her smiling was talking about her first leading role in a full-length film. Aptly titled LSS, Gabbi stars alongside Khalil Ramos in this story of missed connections, of parallel lines that are cruelly destined to never meet face to face. With the special participation of Ben & Ben, Gabbi’s decision to take on the project was simple: the script she described as relatable, the music naturally catchy and the people behind it amazing—director Jade Castro included, of course.
But there’s more to the battle than an anticipated concert and a starring role in a movie.
The last few years, which an outsider might describe as having been kind to Gabbi, were not all rainbows and roses. After all, this “fucked up” industry isn’t kind to teenagers and only the brave and strong-willed can make it to the other side. Gabbi isn’t unscathed, her skin is scarred. She’s accepted more than her fair share of negativity, disbelief and doubt. She’s been on the receiving end of hateful comments, written by those that troll just for the sake of trolling (and refuse to accept any variant of beauty that doesn’t spell fair and busty). And yet, she stands with the poise of a woman that has not been on the receiving end of negativity and speaks with the wisdom of someone much older than her twenty years.
Checkered top and cropped flared trousers by PATRICK LAZOL
“I turn their negative comments into something beautiful.
I turn it into something inspiring.
I want to let people know that an artista is also human.”
Gabbi, as our conversation and her years in the public eye have proven, has this uncanny ability to turn torment into a lesson. Call her one thing and she’ll return to you with a mouthful of kindness. Tell her she’s this and she’ll patiently explain why it’s beautiful. She’ll speak for the ones that look like her, sporting sun-kissed skin throughout the year and loving her body because it’s hers; she’ll be the voice that’s melodious yet refuses to be silenced.
Sticking to the Story
Yes, there is a lot in store for Gabbi Garcia this year and yes, we cannot wait to witness her hard reset. We cannot wait to hear her music, meet her characters and welcome a side of her that the public rarely gets to see. But the things that set her apart from her contemporaries—her grace, her understanding of what’s important to her, her no-holds-barred ability and insistence to be hands-on with her projects, her patience and her strong but humble stance—these will all remain. And we can’t wait to see it all unfold.
Starring Gabbi Garcia
Photography Koji Arboleda
Art and Art Direction Alexandra Lara
Interview and Cover Story Adie Pieraz
Styling Cath Sobrevega (assisted by Kt Landingin and Jem Arboleda)
Makeup Jason Delos Reyes
Hair Mark Anthony Rosales
Produced by Wonder
Shot on location at New Monarq Creativx Studio