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Gabby’s fruitful second coming

Gabby Concepcion shows his Asian Star Prize from the 12th Seoul International Drama Awards for his work in Ika-6 Na Utos. Photo by Honey Orio-Escullar

MANILA, Philippines — Gabby Concepcion didn’t expect to bag this year’s Asian Star Prize at the 12th Seoul International Drama Awards for the GMA drama series Ika-6 Na Utos, the second Filipino actor to bring home the bacon after Dennis Trillo last year.

“I never thought that I would win an international award. But maybe it’s a gift, thank you,” he said.

In the same event, he related his encounters with some Korean big stars and producers.

“Mabait naman sila but the experience is different. It’s like you’re in a different world. Para akong nag-uumpisa ulit because nobody recognized me there.”

Gabby said he was able to make small talk with Park Bo Young (Best K-Drama Actress) and Park Bo Gum (Best K-Drama Actor) — through their interpreters — during a dinner tendered after the awarding ceremony.

Gabby added that some movie producers from other countries asked for his contact number. Is it possible for him to do an international movie soon?

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“It was unexpected. My doors are open to anything pero dito na lang muna ako (sa Philippines).”

Gabby recounted how he thought that his career was over when he left showbiz in the ’90s.

“The reason why I came back was just to be with my sick dad. I didn’t think that I would still have a career here. Then, when I was offered a movie and a TV series, I told myself, ‘Okay, meron akong income while waiting for my Dad (to get well).’”

When his dad died, Gabby thought that it was time for him to go back to his family in the US where they were based. But it didn’t happen because his projects came one after another.

“So, pinauwi ko na lang dito yung family ko kasi naging tuloy-tuloy na yung projects. I just felt overwhelmed. Bonus na lang ito (award),” he added. “I’m just so thankful with what’s happening to me because I know, sabi nga nila, in showbiz, you’re only as good as your last project. So, talagang iniigihan ko na dahil baka ito na yung huli ko.”

If winning an award serves as any validation for his effort and struggles, Gabby said it really did pay off. That’s why he is dedicating the award to his family, the Ika-6 na Utos cast and crew, and to his Kapuso family.

“To continue what you’ve been doing… to keep what you love, magta-tiyaga ka talaga. Because we do this for the people that we love. I’m willing to do whatever role being offered to me because I’m here to work. Like what my father used to say, ‘Nandyan ka na lang din, galingan mo na.’ I keep it as my constant reminder.”

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