Bagamat nahihiya pang magsalita noong una ay hindi naging mahirap para kay Gab Valenciano ang aminin sa PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at iba pang press ang ilang buwan nang napapabalitang relasyon nila ng Kapuso actress na si Isabel Oli.
Kanina, August 31, sa Mesa Restaurant sa Quezon City, kung saan naganap ang press conference ng ama ni Gab na si Gary Valenciano para sa bago nitong album na With Love at TV special na mapapanood sa ABS-CBN Sunday’s Best ngayong September 4, ay hindi na naiwasan ni Gab na sagutin ang tanong ng press tungkol sa kanila ni Isabel.
"Well, you know what? I guess you can say that [we’re official], kasi I am committed to her.
"And I’m sure, siyempre, kapag committed yung isang tao, siyempre yung isang tao committed din.
"So, I guess you can say it’s pretty much official. Yeah," nakangiting sambit ni Gab.
Ayon mismo sa young performer at music arranger, iba ang pakiramdam niya ngayon sa piling ni Isabel—ang kanyang first girlfriend after two years of being single.
Sagot ni Gab nang tanungin kung bakit mas pinili niyang umamin kaysa itago ang kanilang relasyon ni Isabel, "I think, for me, it’s not something to be ashamed of.
"She’s gotten to a point when she doesn’t really need to worry about who she’s dating.
"Ako, I never really cared about who I’m dating. If I feel something, sasabihin ko.
"But I think among all the guys she’s dated, and among all the girls I’ve dated, I guess we can both say that this is the most easy and most genuine relationship that I’ve been in."
Humigit-kumulang dalawang buwan na raw silang "steady" ni Isabel.
Kuwento ni Gab, una silang nagkakilala through common showbiz friends a few months ago.
Doon na raw nagsimulang ma-develop ang pagkakaibigan at pagtitinginan nila.
Ayon pa kay Gab, "Dati ko pa siya crush, e. Kaya nga ang sabi ko parati, ’love at first billboard.’
"Kasi nung first billboard niya, sobrang nung nakita ko yun, in my mind, [I admired her na].
"Kasi nung time na yun, I was only 17 or 18. [It was her] Sugo days, di ba? So it was a phase na ganun lang, crush ko lang.
"And then finally I met her, and hindi lang pala siya beautiful face. She was really a beautiful person inside and out."
Bukod sa kagandahan ni Isabel, ano pa nga ba ang mga katangian ng dalagang model-turned-actress na nagustuhan niya?
"The qualities na nagustuhan ko sa kanya is her simplicity. Di ba, people say mga Cebuana, e, simple lang? Well, with her the theory is right.
"It’s her simplicity that really got me kasi iba, e. Talagang pag nakita mo siya sa TV, iba talaga pag [kaharap mo] na.
"Parang she’s quiet, she’s not artistahin ang dating.
"So I guess yun and, of course, when I found out that she was Christian also, yun talaga yung nag-seal ng deal."
Dahil pareho silang busy with their showbiz commitments, paano ba sila nagba-bonding ni Isabel?
"Well, we all know naman that her dad is not doing so well, medyo sick yung daddy niya. So our bonding right now is more with the family.
"We don’t really get to go out as much, dinner-dinner lang.
"But when you talk about out of town, mga movies, we don’t get to do that as much; which is understandable.
"I mean, I want her to be with her family and I want to be there for her for her family also.
"And I guess when it comes to time, family comes first and I understand that.
"So, yung mga bonding namin, for me, dinner is good enough.
"Even if I see her once a week, makita ko lang siya, okay na with me."
MEETING THE PARENTS. Inamin din ni Gab na naipakilala na niya si Isabel sa kanyang pamilya. Sign kaya ito na talagang seryoso na siya kay Isabel?
"When I see talaga a girl that [I like] or a potential girlfriend, I make sure that’s the first thing I do.
"I introduce them to my parents not because I [want to get married] but because for me, family is very important.
"I wanna make sure that they get to know the girl that’s making me happy, that she’s the reason why I’m like this.
"Kasi, I’ve been single for two years and iba talaga, e. Even my friends tell me there’s a different Gab that’s coming out right now.
"I want my family to see that. I don’t want to just keep telling my family like, ’Yeah, you know, she’s really nice.’
"No, I want them to see it for themselves."
Ayon kay Gary Valenciano, na nagsalita rin tungkol sa relasyon ng kanyang anak, ay masaya ang buong Valenciano family para kay Gab dahil ngayon ay mayroon na uli siyang girlfriend na nagpapasaya at nagbibigay sa kanya ng inspirasyon.
Dagdag pa ng tinaguriang Mr. Pure Enery, hindi siya mangingiming bigyan ng "blessing" si Gab sakaling mapagdesisyunan nito na mag-propose ng kasal kay Isabel.
May balak na nga bang mag-propose si Gab kay Isabel?
"Hindi, we’re not in that level yet," sagot ng ASAP mainstay.
"But, for me kasi, when you date someone, it’s not for the sake [of dating]. You date someone because you feel that that person has the potential to go a long way and then maybe one day get married.
"So, I can’t naman say na it’s not in my mind kung siya ba or hindi.
"But if you’re saying na kung may plans na ng kasalan, maybe it’s not yet now.
"But I am with her because I feel that I can be with her.
"Even with my exes, even if it didn’t work out, at one point siyempre inisip din natin na ’you’re the one, you know, I love you.’
"But this time, it kinda feels a little bit different.
"I think it’s because I’ve learned a lot of lessons in the past and I’m excited to go on this adventure kasi alam mo na, e.
"Siyempre may mga times na you fail, but you know how to pick yourself up.
"Hindi na parang dati na bagsak ka lang nang bagsak and then bahala na, sige, break na lang tayo. Now, ’let’s work out things.’
"You know, if yung strength mo, weakness ko, then you help me. Kung strength ko, weakness mo, then I’ll help you.
"Ganoon na kami ngayon."
ISSUE WITH THE EXES. Speaking of exes, parehong may history of showbiz realtionships and bad breakups sina Gab at Isabel na hanggang ngayon ay napag-uusapan pa rin from time to time.
Hindi kaya makaapekto ang mga ito sa kasalukuyan nilang relasyon?
"Siyempre pinag-usapan namin yun and I laid out my cards.
"Sabi ko sa kanya, ’This is what happened, ito yung pagkakamali ko and it’s either you take me or you accept me for who I am, or you believe in my past.’
"And I told her talagang nagkamali talaga ako sa past ko. But I’m willing to make things right and hindi ko naman intensyon [ang mga nangyari noon].
"Yung mga weaknesses ng mga tao, hindi naman nila intensyon yun. Sometimes you just need to work at it.
"So, I told her, I promised her that I’ll be better not just for her but for her entire family as well."
Parehong nasa GMA-7 sina Isabel at ang ex-girlfriend ni Gab na si Rachelle Ann Go.
Kumusta naman sila? Nagkita o nagkausap na kaya ang dalawa tungkol kay Gab?
"I think so. I’m sure naman nagkikita sila kasi siyempre sa Party Pilipinas, you know, [magkasama sila doon].
"But si Isabel naman kasi, she’s a very mature woman. She’s not a girl, she’s a woman.
"You know, she’s been through the worst and for her, balewala lang for her. If I see an ex, then I see an ex.
"That’s the same thing with me. If I see an ex of Liv’s [nickname for Olivia, tunay na pangalan ni Isabel] or whatever, it doesn’t affect me kasi tapos na yun, e.
"What’s most important is now and how we get to tomorrow."