Jerry Donato – The Philippine Star

February 14, 2022 | 12:00am

Gabby Concepcion reprises his vice-president-turned-president role in the First Yaya’s book two titled First Lady. The veteran actor banks on his commanding and charismatic presence t breathe life into Glenn Acosta, who has become a married man now, graduating from being a single parent. Gabby’s flair for acting in a romantic-comedy will be showcased again as the Kapuso TV series premieres tonight.

“You have to be, I believe, nice to everybody on the set,” answered Gabby when this paper inquired him about staying long in show business in a brief virtual one-on-one. “Like my father used to say, ‘Habang paakyat ka, kaibiganin mo lahat dahil pag-baba mo sila rin ang makikita mo…’ Of course, you have to be humble all the time. You can’t be perfect. You can’t make everybody love you or like you. But at least try not to, you know, hurt anybody’s feelings, and get along with everybody.”

Complementary to that work attitude is an actor’s commitment to deliver the goods.

“Do your job, do what is expected of you to do,” added Gabby, who reflected that there are many other factors for one to have and enjoy an enduring career like luck, hard work, dedication and building relationships with people. This assessment was grounded in his experiences that he had on TV and movie sets, as well as stories that he read and heard.

Gabby’s career, which jumpstarted in the ‘80s, with a break in the latter part of ‘90s and a comeback in the latter part of 2000s, is a solid proof that the above secrets make up a formula that works. After all, the local tinseltown will also find a place for actors who have the passion to continue the tradition of storytelling through moving images.

If actors like Gabby are able to provide an inspired performance, it’s also because of the material being presented to them.

“Ang ending talaga, I believe, is the story,” shared Gabby, who also acknowledged the concerted and cumulative efforts of everybody behind the show. “People watch us because of the characters that we play in the story, we give justice to it. Dapat may puso yung character mo because ikaw ang babalikan in the future.”

Gabby and the rest are on the same page to give audiences a good piece of entertainment, which also reflects GMA’s commitment. All have to perform and collaborate, especially if there are aspects like lines that can be enhanced.

“The intent is to make sure that not to pry on the intellectual contribution of the writers and the producers, but to add on to what can possibly be done to help and enhance the flavor,” said Gabby. “And that’s what really I’ve been doing and wanting to do. So that I don’t only perform as an actor, but I can contribute to the benefit of the whole project, as a whole, not just to my character. I appreciate the ears that were lent to me by the production (people) and I thank them for that.”

This environment makes the work thrive and conducive for actors and other creatives to better their craft. Gabby would like to continue working with GMA “and everybody that I’ve been working with right now. I’m really happy with the production,” said he. “I’m happy with the director, I’m happy with everybody in the team, the actors, the crew, the staff. They’re friendly, accommodating and very accepting.”

So, the First Lady team had the drive to continue working, shared he, “It’s fun to work, parang hindi ka nag-ta-trabaho. That’s what’s nice about this First Lady that started with First Yaya, maybe that’s the reason why we have season two. We radiate that energy to our audience.”

Gabby is always in his element to be the leading man of Sanya Lopez, who also deserves a pat on the back for playing Yaya Melody, now the wife of President Glenn.

“Hindi ko alam kong bakit nangyayari yun (I don’t know how it happens),” said he of his effective onscreen chemistry with leading ladies. “I thank the Lord for giving us that blessing… I always appreciate my leading ladies for accepting the projects, kasi pwede naman nilang hindian na makakasama nila ako, although kauumpisa ko lang ng showbiz nung 2008 nung bumalik ako.” Gabby is thankful that fans and industry colleagues have welcomed and supported him.

For the recent successes he has reaped and the creative space he has been given, Gabby attributes them to the people he has worked with. Through them, his acting talent is being enjoyed and appreciated by viewers of different generations.

“Hindi ko magagawa ang lahat ng yun kung hindi ako pinagbibigyan ng aming mga writers, mga directors, mga producers para mailabas yung gusto natin sana i-contribute dun sa magiging character, sa storya (I wouldn’t be able to do all of it without the consideration and chances given by the writers, directors and producers to share my contribution to my character and the story),” said he, who shared that there’s an offer for him and daughter KC Concepcion to do a US tour this year.

With the rate his career is going, viewers will see him more on TV, and as he put it, “Ang uso ngayon is teleserye.” But it’s also nice to see him acting in a film, just like what he and KC did, along with Jericho Rosales, in I’ll Be There, whom Gabby described as “a very good movie,” and if one may add, with a relatable narrative and heartfelt performances from the actors. That work between Gabby and KC can also be done in a family drama TV series.

For now, Gabby will take on President Glenn character, who will be joined by new dramatis personae, played by Alice Dixson, Francine Prieto, Samantha Lopez, Isabel Rivas and Rocco Nacino in a special role.

Still at it, Gabby is an epitome of a Filipino leading man, whose acting can traverse genres and whose career continues to thrive.

(First Lady airs weeknights after 24 Oras on GMA Telebabad.)





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