My memories of him gently fading into the limelight are obscure, but one thing was sure. There were trickles of disgrace around it. Gabby Concepcion - in a film festival scam along with Ruffa Gutierrez and their erswhile manager, the infamous Lolit Solis. There was even a beauty queen involved (Miss Viveka Babaje). That was eons ago. Time has obviously healed wounds.
When Gabby recently returned after a 13 year self-imposed exile, he shook the public with his charm and appeal, looking ever so youthful than his contemporaries. And boy, he has never looked so good - and boyish! Suddenly, this has inspired fans of his generation to root for a movie reunion with Sharon Cuneta. What can I say, people love romance!
So... he starts his bid with a mini-series, "Iisa Pa Lamang".
But there is something amiss. The ABS CBN people gave him a character who actually plays second fiddle to Diether Ocampo! In the series, Claudine pines for Diether while Gabby patiently waits on the sides, looking forlorn. This resurgence of Gabby's matinee idol appeal suddenly gets a very cold shower!!! Who ever thought of serving this turkey to Mr. Concepcion deserves to be burned at the stakes! They single handedly halted his red-hot momentum! What a waste!
Though I am a certified ABS CBN patron (I hardly even recognize 80% of the GMA Artist population, for pete's sake), I am not fond of this series. For starters, Claudine looks matronly, and the believability of her triumphs and miseries swing faster than an overcharged pendulum; the plots are just plain implausible.
Then there is Angelica Panganiban. She with the tamest of faces and the rawest of emotions! This girl reminds me of a foregone and forgotten era when Donita Rose spelled subtlety in every minor film role she tackled. Angelica is just amazing. Lately however, I have intermittently caught some of her lines in the series. With a slur of quotable lines delievered in the Queen's language, I got uncomfortable - as uncomfotable as her spoken english! So - if there are minor gods residing in middle earth, I beseech thee to swallow me whole everytime she lunges into the queen's language again! Or, for heaven's sake, give her lines in Tagalog! Let us not further expose her limitations to her adoring fans!
There's the queenly Susan Roces whose scenes vacillate between the livid grandma - better coined by someone as "gigil na gigil" - or the the imploring "woe is me" matriarch of a luckless family. It's like Phillip Salvador's role in "For the First Time". Mr. Salvador wears a single mask with its single facial expression during for the movie's duration. Ms. Roces wears two masks for "Iisa Pa Lamang." Ang Laurice Guillen wears three. LOL. The Kapamilya network has a great primetime lineup that lights up our evenings - except this dud!
For now, I'd rather listen to Gabby sing his love songs, hoping he would find another television series that is worth his stature - obviously those that won't have him playing second fiddle to anyone! He deserves no less!