How Gab Valenciano dealt with depression

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How Gab Valenciano dealt with depression
'Before I left for the States, I was...drowning in an industry I was never really accepted in and masking it by going out almost every night and making the worst decisions in life," Gab Valenciano writes in a Facebook post

COURAGEOUS AUTHENTICITY. Gabriel Valenciano denounces the system and culture of the local entertainment industry via a facebook post.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – In what he described as “the most intimate and personal piece of writing I have ever composed,” Gabriel Valenciano, son of artist Gary and veteran talent manager Angeli Valenciano, wrote an emotional post on his Facebook page that soon went viral online. He described what he went through in the local entertainment industry before his US venture.

“Before I left for the States, I was…drowning in an industry I was never really accepted in and masking it by going out almost every night and making the worst decisions in life,” Gab wrote.

“During my entire life in Manila as an artist (I used to hate being called a celebrity or ‘artista’), I was judged, ridiculed, and hated for some of the dumbest reasons, ever,” he said.

What he felt then simmered into anger and resentment, if not revulsion for the very industry that he was part of.

He said he felt captured by a “system that mocks the very core of what it means to be an artist,” and continued:

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.

Gab refused to rest on the laurels of his famous parents, and made a name for himself abroad – he joined America’s Got Talentcollaborated with Beyonce, appeared on the  Pitch Perfect 2 music video, was nominated for the MTV VMA, and directed a Jessica Sanchez music video. He also got married.

Gab described how his anger turned into depression: “Before I left for the States, I was secretly hiding under an umbrella of depression for a good 4 years. What people don’t know is the fact that I was suicidal for the first few months. I have just gotten out of a relationship. I was alone and had close to nothing to my name.”

He soon learned not to mind what other people had to say about him.

“I don’t need social media and the approval of people to define my success. Why? Because I believe in a much bigger picture.”

Finally, he accepted what he had: “But I stuck with it. I persevered and pushed on. 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.”


Days before his viral Facebook post, Gab was already tweeting some inspirational observations.

Online reaction

Many commended Gab for his courage and authenticity, saying what had long been an open secret in the industry.

Yves Laurence wrote: “I salute your bravery for speaking on this point-of-view. People in the industry shouldn’t be afraid to speak for themselves with issues regarding this. There are so many artists in the Philippines who are being neglected and not appreciated just because of how they look. There are so many things in the local showbiz especially in the music industry that needs to be addressed. People here are afraid to take risks, afraid of changes. I wonder when will Filipinos work on these. We need more people like you Gab. God bless you and good luck on your journey! “

Others, however, begged to differ.

How about attitude with capital A? Perhaps you always expected special treatment just because Gary Valenciano is your father? Boom!” observed Arlo Custodio.

As of posting, Gab’s post has generated 33, 948 likes and has been shared 12,340 times. –

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