‘80s heartthrob enjoys his little paradise in Batangas

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GABBY Concepcion, the teen heartthrob who fluttered many girls’ hearts and who subsequently came back to star in GMA-7 teleseryes, seems to be living the ideal life in his little paradise in Lobo, Batangas.

This, according to an interview he did with my good friend Ricky Lo of the Philippine Star.
“Actually, it’s my ‘outside’ world…outside of the city, perfect for an outdoor kind of guy like me,” the actor said in the interview. “Even as a child, I’ve always loved to be in a place like it…a dream place that I’ve been planning for a long time. The front is the ocean and the back is my farm, two worlds in one place. What more can I ask for? If this is a taste of retirement for me, I have nothing to complain about and everything to be thankful for.”

Living in his paradise, Gabby has discovered things about himself, including that he can live a provincial life.

“I don’t feel the rat race here,” he said. “The O2 is probably higher here maybe because of all the trees and the plants. I think that many good things happen with more O2 in your body.”

Gabby added that the farm is the perfect place to grow plants that can sustain your home and life. He revealed that his farm currently has okra, kalabasa, talong, oregano, saging saba, sili, dragon fruit, calamansi, malunggay and papaya.

There’s a bonus for him staying in Batangas, too. Daughter KC is staying in a Batangas farm as well during the pandemic.

“We don’t see each other as often as we’d like to since the pandemic started. When we get a chance, we do talk about anything under the sun,” Gabby related. “We talk about the past, the current and the future, and funny, relevant and irrelevant matters. We both love Batangas, indeed!”

With the pandemic comes the challenges of staying fit. Gabby revealed that his activities in the farm, along with a good diet, keeps him in shape.

“I take approximately 73 steps from the parking lot to my house. Then, I take approximately 54 or so steps from my room to the pavilion (where my kitchen is). I need to get there no matter what or else I won’t have my breakfast. LOL. Then, I need to go back for lunch and dinner. How many steps would that be?,” he said.

He added: “That routine alone makes up for my daily workout (the Stair Master workout), without even trying. In addition, planting, gardening, cleaning and fixing around here are a lot of exercise. That’s enough to work up an appetite.

“What’s my diet? All the veggies I can eat! I also eat black, red or brown rice, sweet potatoes, fish, less sugar, less meat,” he answered.

As for maintaining contact with the outside world, Gabby said that it is difficult due to the unavailability of data signal due to the topography. However, he does communicate with friends via his cell phone.

As for the recent news that co-star Marian Rivera has backed out of the Kapuso teleserye “First Yaya,” Gabby supports the Primetime Queen’s decision.

“If I were breast-feeding and needed to be locked down for three months away from my kids and family, I’d probably back out, too. It’s totally understandable. We’ve talked about the consequences. The timing of this COVID pandemic has affected everyone in more ways than one. First Yaya has a great storyline. Yes, I’m game! We are waiting for the GMA production team to reassemble,” Gabby reiterated.

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Cristine Reyes and Billy Crawford, who are currently judges for TV5’s “Masked Singer Philippines,” said in an interview for Inquirer.net that network competition is not a big deal for them, but what matters most are opportunities for work.

“I think, we all speak on behalf of every artist na lumipat or pumunta dito. We’re really just trying to spread humility as well and just be humbled na we are here and we are still given the opportunity to work,” Crawford was quoted as saying. “So the playing field para sa mga ratings, parang ‘yun ‘yung last na iniisip namin.”

Crawford added: “It’s not about where you are, kung anong network…I mean all this happens all the time. I mean it’s hard at first pero we’re just happy na magsasama-sama kami ulit dito.”

“Personally, nakakapanibago po. Ako ‘yung experience ko, alam ko first time ko po dito sa TV5, pero parang wala po akong nakikitang competition between TV5 and GMA,” Reyes said for her part. “Kasi at this moment in time, [the] whole world, kailangan… mas maging magtulungan tayo kaysa ‘yung maging magka-kumpetensya.”

Aside from Crawford and Reyes, other judges for the reality show are Aga Muhlach, Kim Molina and Matteo Guidicelli.

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