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Say Hello to Candy's Lovely August Cover Girl, Gabbi Garcia

Our cover girl was meant to be this generation's Alena.
IMAGE Mark Jesalva ART Clare Magno

It's hard to believe that 17-year-old Gabbi Garcia was just in first grade when the very first Encantadia aired on GMA. Looking at her and listening to her as she talks to us make us feel like she was meant to play this generation's Alena, the guardian of the water gem.

Gabbi walks into our makeshift dressing room at 10A Alabama one June morning with the biggest smile and the sunniest disposition, ever. She didn't seem to mind how hot it was inside the room, and even goes around, greets us one by one, and introduces herself—as if we don't already know who she is, proof of how down-to-earth and unaware she is of how famous she's gotten since her first gig on GMA.

We first took notice of Gabbi when she starred alongside our Candy Cutie Ruru Madrid in My Destiny. We then paid close attention when they starred in their own show Let the Love Begin. Now GabRu are working together again as Alena and Ybarro on Encantadia. Their relationship has, of course, grown deeper which is evident on both of their Instagram feeds. Gabbi even reveals in our August cover story by Chandra Pepino that Ruru is the closest to her in the biz.

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But having Ruru for a leading man isn't the reason why we think she's meant to play Alena 11 years after Karylle first played the role. Just like Alena, Gabbi can sing (DYK that she used to be part of a band that played gigs all over Metro Manila?). She is also kindhearted, romantic, and a water baby. Surprise: She is a licensed scuba diver. At 17.

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"I became a licensed scuba diver when I was 10 years old," she told Chandra. "It helps that I'm a beach person... Now I'm an Advanced Open Water Diver. I got my license two years ago!"

How awesome is she, right? But what's even more amazing about Gabbi is how she can be both strong and kind whenever she encounters trying situations, very much like Alena. The entertainment industry, as we all know, isn't known to be kind, especially with bashers and haters who will throw harsh remarks at celebrities whenever and wherever they can. But this young lady has learned the hard way how to cope with cyberbullying—online or offline.

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To us, what makes Gabbi our generation's Alena is the fact that she believes in the good of people more than anything else, how she chooses to draw her strength from the people that surround her, and how she chooses to look at the bright side of things instead of thinking about the negativity that's going on around her—easier said than done, but Gabbi proves otherwise.

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Read more about Gabbi Garcia by grabbing a copy of the August issue or subscribing to the digital edition via App Store, Buqo, or Zinio.

PHOTOGRAPHY Mark Jesalva for Candymag.com MAKEUP Jason Delos Reyes HAIR Mark Anthony Rosales STYLING Ning Nuñez

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About the author
Ayessa De La Peña
Candymag.com Assistant Section Editor
I am Candymag.com's resident fangirl and ~*feelings*~ girl. When I'm not busy researching about what to write next on the website, I sleep, read books, and re-watch episodes of Friends.
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Katherine Go 2 days ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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