Blond PinoyBy Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
It’s not every day that a 10-year-old kid leaves Vic Sotto speechless. That’s what Filipino-American Gabby Abshire did when he visited the host of the GMA 7 noontime show “Eat Bulaga” recently.
After all, it’s not a daily occurrence for, uh, anyone to meet a blond, chubby, cherubic kid who speaks Filipino like a local.
Gabby also sings rock hits like “Laklak” and folk songs like “Bahay Kubo” with incredible ease.
He spoke Thai
His Filipino mom Jing told the Inquirer that Gabby has always had a way with languages.
“When we lived in Thailand for a year, Gabby learned to speak Thai. He often acted as my interpreter there,” she recalled.
The Abshire family traveled around Asia due to American dad Jack’s jewelry business. Five years ago, they moved to Angono, Rizal. They were just supposed to visit Gabby’s grandfather, but decided to stay.
Gabby insisted that he’d rather live in Rizal than in Milwaukee, where he was born and lived until he was four years old. “Magulo po doon sa Milwaukee. Maraming away-away. (It’s chaotic in Milwaukee. There is a lot of fighting.)”
Gabby, who’s currently home-schooled, recalled that he first saw “Eat Bulaga” when he was six years old. “My mom was watching. Nanood din ako kasi mukha namang masaya. (I also watched because it seemed fun),” he recounted.
He started following “Bulaga” co-host Allan K on Twitter. “Nagulat siya na marunong akong mag-Tagalog,” Gabby said. The comedian was incredulous at first. “Then he invited me to watch the show at Broadway Centrum.”
Bossing Vic was stunned when he met Gabby. They sang a duet of Max Surban’s Visayan ditty, “Gihidlaw Na Intawon Ako (Mitulo Na),” on the show.
Gabby watches DVDs of Bossing’s old movies at home. Among his favorites are “Enteng ng Ina Mo,” “Ang Darling Kong Aswang” and “Pak Pak My Dr. Kwak.”
“I also saw his old movie, ‘Si Malakas at si Maganda’ on cable,” Gabby quipped.
Show biz calls
The boy may soon join show biz. “We’re not pushing him,” Jing asserted. “It’s all up to him.”
Gabby has no problem about being cast as the partner of either Jillian Ward and Roseanne Magan, Kapuso child stars. “Payag naman po ako basta masaya (It’s okay with me for as long as it’s enjoyable),” he said.
Mom volunteered that Gabby has received offers to guest in GMA 7 programs like “Tropang Potchi” and “Bubble Gang.” She said they’ve also received inquiries for commercials.
Jing noted that her father, who is recovering from a stroke, feels very proud when he sees Gabby on television.
Gabby’s dream at the moment is to become a doctor, “so I can help other people.”
In fact, the boy wanted to donate blood to the ailing wife of a GMA 7 driver that he met recently.
“Gabby and the driver’s wife both have O negative, a rare blood type,” Jing pointed out. “Gabby wanted to give blood, but the doctor said no because he’s too young. The boy is doing the next best thing instead: appealing to people online to help his new friend.”
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