Dancer-producer Gab Valenciano’s thoughts had always been an open book to the public. This time, he took to his Facebook account on Sunday to lament the way the local showbiz industry made him feel some years back.
In fact, the son of iconic host-singer Gary Valenciano feels like he doesn’t owe the country anything.
“I will never forget my roots and where I came from, but I don't owe it a thing. The entertainment industry in the Philippines made me feel like one of the most worthless artists in the history of artists, and I'm sure many more can empathize but can't speak out,” he wrote.
Gab who is now based in the US and has managed to create a startup production company.
He added, “I needed to spend 3 years abroad and work with the biggest ‘stars’ just to gain the respect every artist deserves. Not like I was out to prove anything, I was just doing what I loved to do the best way I knew how.”
Gab even noted that his case wasn’t even an isolated one as he wrote: “What is it with the obsession of international success? Why do we have to succeed elsewhere to be recognized? Is it some kind of winning formula? Charice, Arnel etc.”
While three years ago, he was “secretly hiding under an umbrella of depression for a good four years,” Gab related that he is now in a better place where happiness is concerned.
“And 3 years later, I don't need to point out details on why I am the happiest I have ever been, but that is definitely where I am at the moment. I don't need social media and the approval of people to define my success, why? Because I believe in a much bigger picture,” he said in his post.
But even though he understands his “true value,” he refused to consider himself as “big time.”
“Don't ever think, for one second, that just because I am grinding it out here that it makes me ‘big time’ or better than anyone else. I was just like some of you once upon a time, frustrated, hurt and struggling to find my place,” he said. “If I can do it, you most certainly can as well. I am happy now yes, but I still have a very VERY long way to go. I have given myself a 10 to 15-year life blueprint filled with dreams, goals, plans and ambitions.”
He further added, “One of the many things being abroad has brutally taught me is to live and dream long-term. No shortcuts. No cutting corners. Success is objective and the world tends to dictate what success is. To me, success is happiness.”
Amid everything, Gab didn’t miss to point out his grievances about the local entertainment industry.
“When I left, I decided to maximize myself by getting out of a system that mocks the very core of what it means to be an artist. A system that sincerely believes that being light-skinned is a privilege. That talent is nothing but a bonus accessory. That looking good is a much greater necessity than actually being good. That hard work doesn't get you anywhere, it's who you know and how far you're willing to go to live the dream. That the destination is much more relevant than the journey. That your self-worth is based on the number of followers you have. That your every asset is fixated on branding and advertising. That being amazing gets you hits, but doesn't provide you with a life you deserve. That it is okay for corporations to believe in a quantity over quality business model over excellence. That desiring to actually love what you do comes with a hefty price tag,” he said.
He believes that such kind of system or mentality has hampered many striving artists to really flourish in the Philippines. So much so that he even declared that “The Philippines has lost its character. Gone are the days when people would praise our country and be able to enumerate 100 reasons why they love and are proud of their homeland.”
“The only thing you hear out of the country nowadays are traffic, corrupt politicians, unprofessionalism, and show business. Is this really the legacy we want the young people of the world to see? Is this what it's come down to? People are so afraid to take their craft to the next level by thinking global. We are Filipinos. One of the most creative, hard-working, intelligent and talented races in the world,” Gab continued.
In the end, Gab is convinced that whatever he said is not for everyone with him even saying that “I know people who are absolutely content and happy with their lives in the Philippines. And I have much respect for them. This is for a very specific group of people who have gone or are going through what I went through.”