Gabby Eigenmann: "I never wanted to be a celebrity. I've been always a reliable character actor..."

IMAGE Noel Orsal

Masaya si Gabby Eigenmann na matapos ang mahigit labinlimang taon ay nabibigyan na siya ng read roles sa GMA. Aniya, "The race for me now is over. I'm not racing with anyone. Longevity lang talaga ang hanap ko." Sa kasalukuyan, siya ang bida sa afternoon series na Dading.


At 36, kuntento si Gabby Eigenmann sa buhay niya bilang isang family man.

Tatlong boys at isang girl ang anak nila ng kanyang wife na si Apple. As much as possible, nananatiling pribado ang buhay ng kanyang mga anak.

Sabi ni Gabby nang makausap siya ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) sa taping ng Dading noong July 29 sa La Concordia College sa Manila, "That's the only thing that I leave private, sa family ko.

"We're an open book, but the things that you can keep are my kids.

"Yun lang naman ang natitira—ang gusto kong itagong private."

Ito ay kahit pa parte si Gabby ng kilalang showbiz clan ng mga Eigenmann: ang daddy niya ang aktor na si Mark Gil at ang mommy niya ang dating actress-model na si Irene Celebre.

Ang grandparents niya ay mga veteran actors din, sina Eddie Mesa and Rosemarie Gil.

Ang mga uncle at aunt niya ay sina Michael de Mesa at Cherie Gil; cousins are AJ, Ryan, and Geoff; and half-siblings are Sid Lucero and Andi Eigenmann, na anak ni Mark Gil kina Bing Pimentel at Jaclyn Jose, respectively.

LOOKING BACK. Maituturing na latebloomer si Gabby, na nagsimulang maging aktibo sa showbiz at age 19.

Pero nakagawa rin daw siya ng ilang pelikula at maraming commercials noong '80s.

"Pero hindi halata, 'di ba? Kasi hindi ko naman hinangad maging superstar," sabi ni Gabby.

"I never wanted to be a celebrity. I've been always a reliable character actor, to be precise."

Pero sa ngayon, nakikitang papunta na sa kanyang "peak" ang pagiging artista ni Gabby.

"Pero sabi ko naman, hindi ko tinarget ang maging [top celebrity], ang sa akin lang naman, trabaho.

"I see show business as a profession, trabaho. Kung doktor ka, hindi ka naman magkakatrabaho kung wala kang pasyente.

"So, sa artista, kung walang suporta ng audience—isa yon, actually, pinakamalaking factor—walang kukuhang producer, walang trabaho."

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HEIGHT OF HIS CAREER. How does Gabby welcome the prospect of attaining the present status of his showbiz career that's going at its peak?

"I always keep my feet on the ground," makahulugang sambit niya.

Iwas-pressure?

"Yeah. Sabi ko nga, ever since naman, when I started in showbiz, I made sure talaga that this is how it's gonna be.

"Siyempre, I came from a family of actors.

"Dumating sa point, when I was starting, wala pa akong sariling image. They would say, 'Yung anak ni Mark Gil, pamangkin ni ganito, apo ni ganyan.'

"Ngayon, yung generation namin—me, my cousins Ryan, Geoff [Michael de Mesa and Gina Alajar's sons], 'tapos si Sid, we're trying to make a mark na people would not naman identify us away from our parents.

"But, you know, eventually, it will happen. It takes time."

"LIFE IS A CHOICE." Guiding principle ito ni Gabby bilang isang Christian.

"I dedicate everything to God para hindi ako nai-involve sa mga tsismis," kuwelang saad din niya.

"Sabi ko nga, if you put God at the center of every thing, hindi naman sa nothing can go wrong, but you are well-guided.

"I always pray for a healthy living para sa lahat ng mahal ko sa buhay."

Bahagi rin daw ito ng maturity na taglay na ngayon ni Gabby.

"Well, I started young in life, e. Naging independent ako when I was 15."

Ngayon, he is happily married and enjoying his profession within his comfort zone.

"Yes, of course!" bulalas niya.

Hinggil sa mga nakaraan niyang pakikipag-relasyon sa taga-showbiz, sabi ng aktor, "Meron naman, I'm sure, meron. Pero matagal na 'yan. Mahirap nang ungkatin."

Sa kabilang banda, ano ang komento ni Gabby tungkol sa mga kumakalat na sex videos ng mga celebrities—ang latest ay ang sa newscaster na si Paolo Bediones?

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"Wow! Kailangan pa ba 'yon? Carelessness lang naman yun, e.

"It's happens. It's either you have your own private video...

"Pero sarili mong [diskarte] 'yan, e. Kung paano mo gagawing...to keep it safe, yun lang 'yon, e."


LEGACY. Nag-share din si Gabby ng personal insights tungkol sa higit niyang mga pinahahalagahan bilang aktor.

"Honestly, for the longest time, wala naman kaming pinuprotektahang image, lalo na sa buong pamilya.

"We always want to leave a legacy in this industry not because we're living up to the intrigues or whatever.

"To the work and craft that we've shared, or should I say yung mas nakatatandang henerasyon namin, ang maiiwan nila ay yung legacy as good actors."

Proud si Gabby for having Eddie Mesa and Rosemarie Gil as grandparents.

"Oh, they're okay! Nasa States sila. Based sila doon.

"Ang Lola ko, sabi niya, gusto niyang mag-comeback. I think they're planning to come back. Baka next year.

"Sabi nga niya sa akin, 'Tanggapin pa kaya ako ng industry?'"

Sagot daw ni Gabby sa Lola niya, "Of course! Hindi naman puwedeng hindi!"

Sa sariling career niya, as noted, happy si Gabby.

"Sabi ko nga, need I ask anything more?

"Ang sa akin lang, kung anuman ang hiningi ko sa Panginoon, kung anuman ang ibigay, usually hinihigitan pa Niya ang hinihingi ko.

"Okay na ako doon. The race for me now is over. I'm not racing with anyone. Longevity lang talaga ang hanap ko."


PLANS. Bukod sa Dading, na regular niyang tinatampukan, Gabby is featured as the main villain in the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival entry Asintado by director Louie Ignacio.

Ani Gabby, "May in-offer sa akin ang GMA to dub a Tagalog version of Miracle In Cell No. 7.

"Yun ang ginagawa ko ngayon, I'm dubbing [the male lead part], aside from Dading.

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"It's a big thing because it's a Korean movie, na nagkalat talaga sa social media yung Miracle In Cell No. 7. I'm concentrating more on this, and on the show," sambit pa ni Gabby.


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