Gigi de Lana: What you see is what you get

Bot Glorioso - The Philippine Star
Gigi de Lana: What you see is what you get
The Rise Artists Studio talent fulfills two of her biggest dreams with the upcoming release of her debut album produced by ABS-CBN Music and the staging of her own digital concert under ABS-CBN Events.
STAR / File

Try asking Gigi de Lana any question and you won’t hear an answer laced with pretensions. She would rather tell anything and everything in a straightforward manner regarding issues that involve her than let everyone in on a guessing game.

The Rise Artists Studio talent said, “I’m an open book. You ask me and I’ll answer.”

Thus, there was neither hesitation nor regret when she admitted having undergone beauty enhancement — as in showbiz parlance, “Salamat po, doktor.” It’s a personal preference and a confidence booster, she stressed.

“I love myself and before anyone reacts, ‘O, you love yourself pala pero nagpa-retoke,’ well, for me if you love yourself, you want to be the best version of yourself. It’s my personal preference and I’ve decided to admit it publicly because I know people will eventually notice.”

She didn’t deny about initially having second thoughts whether she would admit it or not. “But I chose to just tell the truth because when I lie about it and then later on, the fans would find out, ang dami na magdududa na, ‘ay yung ilong nga n’ya di nya inamin, sinungaling (‘yan).’”

Gigi believes that it’s always nice for fans to know that they’ve been rooting for someone who actually walks the walk and shows who she is, whether on- or off-cam. “There will surely be lots of consequences when you lie. So, I just want to be honest to people and even if I don’t get to please them all, at least I am pleased with myself; with my decision.”

In fact, she feels comfortable showing her jolly, loud self on her and the Gigi Vibes Band’s live streaming sessions on their social media accounts. Apart from her excellent vocal tone, Gigi also has an infectious laughter.

“Dati kasi, medyo mahinhin pa, tatawa ng mahina and I would try to speak with finesse, pa-demure pa (laughs). But it’s too tough for me, so I just let people know that this is me, this is the way I talk,” she said without realizing that people will love her immensely.

Proof to that is the 266,000 subscribers (as of this writing) of the Gigi de Lana and The Gigi Vibes Band on YouTube and gaining as much as 2.3 million views during the livestream performance. Their Facebook page has now ballooned to 378,000 followers. Gigi’s Bakit Nga Ba Mahal Kita challenge went viral after hitting 15 million views.

For those unfamiliar, Gigi was a grand finalist in the first season of It’s Showtime’s Tawag ng Tanghalan in 2016. She was then known as Mary Gidget Orfano De Llana. After her stint in the show, Gigi concentrated on being a content creator through her YouTube channel aside from occasionally appearing in shows as a guest. Not long after, she and her band decided to do live streaming, dubbed as GG Vibes, on their soc-med accounts twice a week.

“We started from scratch,” recalled Gigi. “Normal lang kaming tao and we just want to make people happy, to make their lives happier.”

She and her band — composed of LA Arquero, Jon Cruz, Jake Manalo and Romeo Marquez — do livestream every Wednesday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Singing old ditties makes them more appealing to netizens from all over the world.

“We didn’t think that we’re going to reach this far,” Jon said in Filipino. “Before, we had a hard time connecting kasi ang hirap ng Internet, ‘yung halaga na P1,400 ay one week naming bubunuin. We would go live to earn that amount and for us to buy a router. And really our viewers then only numbered to 90 then it became 100, we were happy to gain 400 viewers.”

Gigi added, “’Pag umabot sa 500 sobrang saya na namin until our livestreams reached 5,000 (viewers) at dumadami pa. We are truly thankful to our audience.”

She, too, expressed delight over her latest collaboration with ABS-CBN Music. On Sept. 24, Gigi and her band will be releasing their debut single and album consisting of original songs.

According to ABS-CBN Music exec Jonathan Manalo, Gigi Vibes has submitted all-original songs to be included in the album. He was impressed at how the band was able to come up with excellent song pieces.

“Actually, sobrang gaganda and we chose those that will really define them as a band. In fact, we couldn’t decide yet what to pick as the carrier song, dahil lahat magaganda.”

Gigi is also set to headline her first YouTube Music Night concert in December that promises to be full of surprises.

“We are preparing for something big at inaareglo pa ng banda kung ano yung gagawin namin but for sure, we’ll be doing medleys and we also have guest performers.”

She, too, will also be part of the Filipino Music Festival, 1MX Dubai, that will be held live on Dec. 3.

Apart from singing, Gigi has also ventured into acting, having played a supporting role in Star Cinema’s Four Sisters Before The Wedding in 2020. This year, she officially became a Star Magic artist after her contract signing with the Kapamilya talent arm during the Black Pen Day.

During the virtual media call, Kapamilya advertising and promo head Mico del Rosario has confirmed that Gigi is now a regular in the Kapamilya Sunday show ASAP Natin ‘To as one of the members of the New Gen Z group.

“I am so thankful to Ma’am Charo (Santos-Concio, her discoverer) for the trust and for the many wonderful opportunities I am blessed with and my band,” she concluded.

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