Gabbi Garcia

Gabbi Garcia’s beauty pageant dream is alive and well. It’s just a matter of finding the right time, she said, because she’s not one to embark on half-baked pursuits. “That dream is really still there and I have been very vocal about it. But I will do it only when I’m certain that I can give my 100 percent focus, attention and commitment,” she told the Inquirer in a virtual conference announcing her contract renewal with GMA Artist Center.

Going digital

But with show biz projects and opportunities abound, the 22-year-old actress felt it would be unwise not to make the most out of them. “There are a lot of things on my plate at the moment. I don’t want to do anything half-hearted. I can’t enter a pageant unprepared,” she said Should the stars eventually align, Gabbi said she would be willing to take at least a year off from acting to prepare. “I will be open to doing training for my speech and communication, walking and physique. I’m really, really game and I’m up for that challenge,” she said. “The important thing is that the desire is there.”

Finding work has been tough for celebrities because of the pandemic. But while Gabbi is one of the lucky ones to have network support, she still went out of her way to expand her digital presence and audience.

Aside from her personal vlog and social media platforms, Gabbi also started a podcast called “Figure It Out” together with her boyfriend, Khalil Ramos, and a YouTube food show called “Front-Seat Foodies.”

“It’s always nice to be a well-rounded person and artist. Every day, we learn new skills. There are always new challenges, because there’s now social media on top of television. So you have to be versatile,” said Gabbi, who’s also a mainstay in the variety show “All-Out Sundays.”

Two-man team

In these challenging times, creating content with Khalil proved to be therapeutic. “The past year or so has been a struggle for all of us; we all have something to deal with. For me, being productive at home helped a lot… Khalil and I work as a two-man team, so it’s all fun. But because we do it out of creativity, we get good results,” she related. The couple recently starred in “One Million Comments, Magjo-jowa na Ako,” a made-for-television movie that’s part of “Regal Studio Presents.” They’re also teaming up for a new drama series titled, “Love You Stranger,” which had to be postponed because of pandemic-related limitations.

But the good thing is that taping and production will resume early next year. It was sad and frustrating, but we understood the situation. The team sat us down and talked to us, which we appreciated. We let each other know how we felt… But we’re one team. And the important thing is that the show will push through next year,” she said. “Thankfully, we’re given other projects to do while we wait.”

G for GL

Asked what type of roles or genres she wants to explore, Gabbi said she would like to do more action, coming-of-age and heavy drama projects. “I want to do more films and be more versatile as an actress,” she said. Doing a “girl love” drama or having another female love interest onscreen is something she’s also open to. “I would love to try a GL series. Maybe I can work with Sanya Lopez (her former “Encantadia” reboot costar), because she and I are really close. And we have already worked together. So I feel like we can have a good dynamic,” she said. Dingdong Dantes is another actor she wants to work with. “I always see him but only in show guestings. But we haven’t really worked properly together.”

Gabbi started out in the business when she was 15 years old. And while she feels that she has come a long way, she also knows that the road ahead is even longer.

“I have done a lot but there are still more things to do,” she pointed out. “I’m the only person in my family in show biz. I didn’t have connections, so I had to audition and do VTRs. But I was dedicated and eager. I’m so proud and grateful.” INQ

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