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Monday, September 15, 2008

Gabby Dela Merced FTW

Pretty Racecar Driver Gabby Dela Merced was present during Level Up!’s Advergaming launch for Crazy Kart, the country’s first and only online racing game, and BeThere, Level Up!’s FREE casual games platform, at the National Sports Grill at Greenbelt 3.

A lot of Gabby Dela Merced Fans would want to see that smile even while Typhoon Karen was pummeling the provinces and the Metro.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gaby dela Merced’s new man

While prepping to become the latest Studio 23 VJ, Gaby Dela Merced has finally found time to indulge in her other passions in life aside from racing. Lately, the former Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition housemate’sweekends have been packed with regular tournaments in Ultimate Frisbee and flag football. In was in the latter sport where she caught the eye of the guy she’s currently been seeing.

Although Gaby doesn’t want to elaborate on how serious the relationship is, she stresses that neither of them are seeing anybody else at the moment. The mystery man is a Fil-American basketball player who has been based in the country for the past five years and was a one-time model for an energy drink. It reportedly took the guy three or more attempts before Gaby would even consider going out with him. But the persistence paid off because they now look like the picture perfect couple both on and off the playing field. “Right now, we’re enjoying each other’s company,” Gaby admits.

Being a private person, Gaby admits that she would rather keep his identity a secret, but the PBB Racing Goddess stresses that she isn’t hiding him either. For the past few weeks, the two have been seen out in public often, with a closeness that doesn’t make it hard to guess that love is definitely in the air. “He makes my world more colorful,” Gaby shares. Apart from having the approval of her mom, the guy also gets along with Gaby’s close friends who say, “Iba siya. He’s really nice.”

Aside from playing in the same flag football team as Gaby, the guy has also been seen escorting Gaby to her races in Subic and Batangas—the picture of the perfect boyfriend. Gaby, in turn, also makes sure to catch his basketball games whenever she can. “Basically, we’re slowly getting into each other’s lives,” she offers. The guy also admits that it was Gaby who got him into trying out new things like Capoeira and Ultimate Frisbee. But for Gaby, one of the best things about him is that, “He lets me drive,” she says with a mischievous smile.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Gaby dela Merced keeps her options open

Former “PBB” housemate, Gaby dela Merced, is, first and foremost, a racer. She caught the public’s interest when she became one of the few Filipinas to dominate the Asian Formula Three circuit. She is the only Filipina who has competed in a full season of the series—an effort that led to a first-runner-up finish in the Philippine National Formula championship.

According to Gaby, racing gives her a sense of freedom. She was willing to dabble in any Olympic sport, then she was introduced to motor sports. It didn’t take long for her to realize what her true calling was.

But, she learned even more when she joined “Pinoy Big Brother,” where she placed third. She recalled: “I learned to share my thoughts or listen to other people’s problems. I joined ‘PBB’ for the experience—and it was worth it! It gave me direction in life!”

Then, Gaby got her taste of show business: She began hosting ABS-CBN’s “Gaby’s Xtraordinary Files.” She also appeared on Studio 23’s “Living It Up” and “Slipstream.” She even landed on the cover of FHM.

Is Gaby willing to give acting a try? She replies: “I want to keep my options open—although, right now, I’m more comfortable with hosting chores. But, I am a movie addict, and I love watching films! I realize that going into acting would require me to undergo extensive workshops—and I intend to do that soonest!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Body Talk with Gaby dela Merced

Not many girls can be as daring as Gabrielle Chanel "Gaby" dela Merced to go into a risky (some say, "life-threatening") sport like racing.

She has been at it since she was 16, the year she learned how to drive.

Those who followed the ABS-CBN reality Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Celebrity Edition 2 last year must know that Gaby has caught the public interest when she became one of the very few Filipinas to dominate the Asian Formula 3 circuit and the only Filipina who competed in the full season of the series, finishing first runner-up in the Philippine National Formula championships.

She's also a familiar face, thanks to the Creamsilk Conditioner commercial (her other commercial starrer was for Carefree Feminine Wash) that highlighted Filipinas with "power, brains and beauty." Her other endorsements include Goodyear, Standard Insurance, Oakley, Puma and Prestone.

"Racing gives me a big sense of freedom," said Gaby who is a Gemini, born on June 10, 1982. "I'm schizophrenic," she added in jest, then turning serious. "When I'm racing, I feel that the world is mine, na kaya ko lahat-lahat."

The fourth among six siblings from, Gaby admitted without any apology, "a broken family," she has a positive outlook in life. "We exist to be happy and, if possible, to make other people happy, don't we?"

A busybody, Gaby learned one important lesson inside the Big Brother house - that is, to slow down.

"I'm forever racing, not only on the tracks but in everyday life," she said. "Inside the Big Brother house, I realized that I needed to change my lifestyle. You see, I'm the type of person who lives a chaotic life. I often schedule three meetings a day. I'm always racing with time."

During this body talk at Annabel's restaurant, Gaby ordered fish fillet with French Fries and iced tea.

Is really that risky?

"You know, any sport is risky. In basketball, when you lay up the wrong way, you can break a bone. You just have to take the necessary precautions. During a race, I wear all fire-retardant gears - helmet, suit, gloves."

Is racing an expensive sport?

"Kinda. Medyo masakit sa puso if I add up the expenses."

Off the track, what car do you drive?

"Now? Integra Honda. My first car was a second-hand Rav4, passed on to me by my dad."

What kind of driver are you, offensive or defensive?

"I'm an aggressive driver."

How many injuries have you sustained so far?

"Oh, just a few minor ones."

Aside from racing, what other sports do you dabble in?

"Flag football and ultimate disc. When I was in grade school and high school, I was a member of the basketball team. I've been doing capoeira (a Brazilian martial arts)."

What kind of workout do you do?

"Aside from capoeira? I go to the gym; I do mostly cardio exercise. I have a trainor, Joe Pagulayan."

What part of your body is most vulnerable?

"My throat. I'm having acupuncture for that."

What part of a guy's body do you notice first?

"His deltoids."

What about your diet?

"I eat anything edible. I love to indulge, I love eating."

What's usually for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

"Hmmm, for breakfast I usually have juice consisting of pineapple, orange, apple, cucumber and carrots. When my mom gets to convince me to eat, I have a bagel with organic butter and preserve. It really varies when it comes to lunch or dinner. It depends on how I feel or what I'm craving for. Like if my body is recuperating from a heavy work, I make it a point to eat a lot of meat or eggs for protein. Or if I have an extreme race coming up, I load up on carbs a couple of days before. Or when I'm running late."

And for snacks?

"Snickers, Snickers! Or I grab fastfood."

Any food that you avoid?

"No dairy products for me. Bad for my asthma."

What vitamins do you take?

"Berocca and Lifewave."

How much water do you take every day?

"I make sure I take eight glasses. No soda for me. I also take a lot of juices. Coffee? No. Tea? Yes, sometimes."

How much sleep do you get per night?

"I try to get eight hours."

Do you snore?

"I wouldn't know. I sleep alone."

Do you talk in your sleep?

"I used to as a kid."

Do you sleepwalk?

"I used to as a kid."

Are you a pillow person?

"Yes, I am. I love to hug pillows."

What's the last thing that you do before you go to sleep?

"I watch TV - Discovery Channel, AXN or CSI. And then I put my celfone on 'silent' mode."

And the first thing that you do when you wake up?

"It depends on what I have to do during the day."

You are always out in the sun. Any protection?

"I apply a tanning oil."

How do you cope with stress?

"I get a massage. Or, if I am frustrated or irritated, I listen to the soundtrack of Rent. I've been listening to it so many times that I have memorized the songs."

Any nightlife?

"I usually spend nights doing capoeira. I seldom go to parties."

Name three guys you think have nice bodies.

"David Lacasse (a gymnast). Rich Harden (a basketball player). Lance Armstrong (the cancer-survivor biker)."

And three women...

"Issa Litton. Sarah Fisher (racer). Marian Jones (track-and-field athlete)."

Monday, January 7, 2008

"Pinoy Big Brother" Big 4 reveal their plans after leaving Bahay ni Kuya

Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition 2 Big 4—Ruben Gonzaga, Riza Santos, Gaby dela Merced, and Will Devaughn—made their first public appearance in The Buzz yesterday, January 6, after coming out from Bahay ni Kuya.

WILL DEVAUGHN. Fourth placer Will Devaughn revealed his thoughts about leaving the Big Brother house, his appreciation of the show, and of course, his true feelings for co-celebrity housemates Riza Santos and Ethel Booba.

"I'm absorbing everything," replied Will when asked by Ruffa Gutierrez about his thoughts after leaving the Big Brother house. "In every little detail that I learned in the house, I feel it now. It's a life lesson in three months—a complete life lesson."

Ruffa kidded, "Three months where nagpatibok ka ng dalawang puso sa loob ng bahay ni Kuya?"

With that, the studio audience grew wild as Will grinned, as if remembering the good old days.

Ruffa asked, "Kay Ethel at kay Riza, kanino ka ba talaga in love ngayon na nasa labas ka na ng Bahay ni Kuya?"

"Yung dalawa talaga, ah, ibang-ibang tao. Si Ethel talaga, explosive, expressive, that's what I like about her. Si Riza naman mabait, matalino, church-oriented. So yung dalawa, it really depends. In love? Hindi pa," said Will.

If that's the case, then who would he consider knowing more now that there's no camera pointed to his direction?

Will smiled and said, "Si Riza, kasi I think I can learn a lot from her even if she's younger than me. Pero I enjoy our small talk and I know, ibang usap na."

Changing the subject, Ruffa asked, "Ikaw ba, Will, were you really thinking na papasok ka sa Big Four? Siyempre ang dami mong competition sa Bahay ni Kuya. What made you stand out?"

"Hindi ko alam, parang me and Riza and, syiempre, me and Ethel. Baka si Gladys [Guevarra] din, e, parang sort of put a twist into it as Kuya would say."

Where does Will Devaughn go from here?

"For me, dahan-dahan lang whatever I'm doing. So, sana more movies and more endorsements. I'm just happy to be here and to be part of the Big Four," Will said with a grin.

GABY DELA MERCED. Dubbed as the Racing Goddess, Gaby finished third among the Big 4. The hot racer responded to news about her being courted by Derek Ramsay.

"Magkaibigan po kami. We're really good friends," she explained.

How about Diether Ocampo? Rumor has it that he courted her, too.

Gaby laughed, "Matagal-tagal ko na siyang kilala, and good friends din kami. Dapat tutulungan ko nga po siya sa foundation niya."

Her decision to join PBB was completely supported by her dad, although her mom had her doubts. Why was that?

"Hindi kami mapanood sa mga shows and sa mga narining daw niya na, pagkarinig niya na 42 cameras, e, napraning siya. Pero nung nalaman niya kung paano pinalabas yung show, e, more than happy sa nakita niya," said Gaby.

What are her plans now that she's outside the Big Brother house?

"Gusto ko talagang kumarera sa U.S. Pareho pa rin yung pangarap, pero sigurado pabalik-balik ako," she answered.

Gaby was known to have always sacrificed herself for her housemates inside the House by volunteering to exit. What was she thinking?

Gaby explained, "Well, yung sa first voluntary exit, e, naramdaman ko na nawala ako ng direksyon. Yung kay Mommy Yayo [Aguila], e bago pa siya umalis at napag-usapan yung four hundred thousand, e, kinausap ko si Big Brother at sinabi ko na kung kailangan ng kapalit, e, I was willing to do it."

RIZA SANTOS. This FHM Babe finished second place, but that's just the beginning for Riza as she starts the New Year with loads of projects and the possibility of finding love with fellow PBB housemate Will Devaughn.

Boy Abunda wasted no time in getting straight to the point concerning the PBB love triangle between Riza, Ethel, and Will. He asked, "Mahirap bang karibal si Ethel Booba? You know Ethel likes Will. Na-bother ka ba at crush ni Ethel si Will?"

"No, Ethel is not a task," Riza said. "Hindi po ako na-bother, kasi medyo I'm very mahiyain."

Boy asked, "Sino si Will sa iyong buhay? Papayagan mo bang mahalin ka ni Will Devaughn?"

"Kung may isang pipiliin ko sa mga housemates, e, definitely si Will kasi I like to get to know him better," Riza said.

How about Polo Ravales and Mark Bautista? Did they woo her, too?

"Kaibigan. They're both my friends," answered Riza.  

Boy also asked: "Mark, Polo, Will—sino ang bibigyan mo ng pagkakataon na ligawan ka?"

"I definitely like to get to know Will better," Riza shyly said.

With that, Will stepped on the stage and sat beside Riza, much to the delight of Boy and The Buzz's studio audience. Now that they're face to face, what would they want say to each other?

Will spoke first, "Honestly, ito ang unang araw, di ba, [outside PBB] so sana we get to know each other more. Ito yung totoong test, so simula na."

"Malalaman natin sa takdang panahon," Riza replied.

RUBEN GONZAGA. Big Winner Ruben Gonzaga has everything laid out for him as he starts a new life after PBB. The comedian from Davao talks to The Buzz about his plans for the prize money and what he wants with his career. But first, is he planning on settling right here in Manila?

"Pag once na nakaaalis na po ako dito, e, lilipat na kami dito. By next month po, e, lilipat na kami dito," Ruben announced.  

Is the post-PBB Ruben afraid of showbiz now that he has attained national fame?

"Medyo may katog dahil once na sumikat ang tao, e, marami nang ibabato na intriga sa iyo," said Ruben.

How does he feel now that he's the first ever male winner of PBB?

"Siyempre, masaya po," a smiling Ruben answered. "Yun lang po ang sandata ko, kasi na alam nila lahat na pamilya ko ang prayoridad ko. Sa lahat ng sumuporta, salamat."

About his winnings, does he already have a plan on what to do with it?

"Unang-una ko pong gagawin, kasi may napalanunan akong bahay, e, nanay at tatay ko po sa Davao, e, bibigyan ko ng totoong bahay," Ruben said.  

Finally, the locally known comedian sent out a message to his wife by saying, "Mahal na mahal kita. Alam mo ‘yan, ha. Lagi mong isipin na kahit Big Winner na ako, e, ako pa rin si Ruben. Ang Ruben na nakilala mo, habang buhay."

To end the interview on a funny note, Boy asked Ruben if the comedian is also fit to don a sexy image?

"Ayoko talaga mag-bold," Ruben jokingly said, while slowly taking off his polo.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

PBB Celebrity Big Five?

Fresh from Ruben’s wedding this afternoon, the five remaining official celebrity housemates must take on Kuya’s new and difficult challenges, without the ‘help’ of Ethel and Mariel. Yes, Gaby, Ruben, Will, Riza and Jon will be celebrating New Year’s Day without the celebrity house guests. The two ladies thanked everyone for being such good people and wished them all the best of luck. Once on stage with Toni and Bianca, the three kids from Payatas Ethel and Mariel sponsored were awarded food carts which their families can use to earn a living. The two were also surprised when they themselves received food carts. But Ethel received a bigger surprise when her ex-boyfriend Alex Crisano appeared on stage to welcome her back to the outside world.

While Ethel was basking over Alex’s attention, Big Brother was getting down to business with the housemates and told them his first challenge. The housemate were instructed to give an X medallion to the person who doesn’t deserve to belong to the Big Four. Everyone was horrified and Riza, who was first called to do the deed, did not budge from the sofa.

” I think we are all deserving … we should be the Big Five,” Riza explained tearfully to Big Brother. Kuya then called on the others but like Riza, they all declined to name someone ‘undeserving.’ Ruben even mentioned that all of them even talked abou sharing their prizes to the 5th placer just like what they did with Yayo.

Big Brother then proceeded to the second task which was naming the Big Winner. Every one placed their star medallions on Ruben’s neck for they all felt he’s this edition’s Big Winner. For Gaby, Will, Riza and Jon, Ruben embodies what the first placer should be — he was dilligent with all of the tasks, he was a humble guy and most of all he was such a loving person, who cared not only for his family but also his friends. Ruben got teary eyed with all his fellow housemates’s testimonies. The funny man from Davao chose Gaby though as his Big Winner for he felt that the racer proved she can do anything, even tough jobs that are considered for men only.He also stated that he liked Gaby’s firm conviction on her beliefs, giving her move to save the pigs as an example.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Gaby stars as Reyna Elena

Big Brother's expensive presents for his celebrity residents were very timely because they were able to use their techy gadgets for their calendar pictorial. But of course, he provided a complete set of equipment that would make even the night shots picture-perfect! It's Thursday now so they rushed about to cover more months tonight. After the fun-filled Oktoberfest and the Celebrity Couple's Valentine's Special this afternoon, Ethel, Will, Jon and Ruben were featured for the sexy summer month. It was Gaby who called the shots here as she asked them to make their most alluring pose with fresh coconut drinks on hand. The gorgeous racer also took over the Nutrition Month where she artfully arranged the human-sized veggies for a colorful "family portrait".

Soon after that, Mariel spearheaded the preparation for their depiction of a festive New Year's Eve for the month of January. She worked nonstop despite her feelings of weariness. Perhaps she managed to be up on her feet for she was working with Jon. In this particular setting, she simply displayed a banquet using their stock of fruits and leftover food. To add more pizzas on its over-all impact, she even included the Christmas decors that were provided for the occasion. But her hurried movements led to the fall of a decoration. "Not my fault kuya. It's really just a ball.Please relax and take a chill pill," Mariel quipped. Another Christmas ball shattered on the floor, this time, because of Jon. As such, Will laughingly exclaimed, "Are you playing a trick on me?" since he was sweeping the floor together with Riza at that time.

Amidst the housemates multi-tasking though, Ethel seriously acted as Gaby's hairdresser for the traditional Santacruzan for their May cover. Once she was finished highlighting Gaby's captivating features, the latter can't help admiring her wonderful transformation. Still, she didn't waste time taking her position with Ruben as her escort. The sexy comedienne handled the camera for this photo shoot.

With the way things are going, they will surely complete the calendar months before the deadline. But the joy of winning another challenge by the end of this week won't be felt by one of the six contenders for the Big Four slate.