Gabbi Garcia And Khalil Ramos On Being *Relationship Goals*: 'It's up to you to make that person 'The One''
‘We want to figure out ourselves as a couple and how to level up as a couple.’
‘We want to figure out ourselves as a couple and how to level up as a couple.’
Showbiz couples often don’t stand the test of time, and many rumors of “uncouplings” are regular fodder for the rumor mill. One of the few exceptions is the perfect pairing of talented tandem Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos, who have been together for five years and are growing strong, giving life to “sana all” comments on their sweet social media posts. The couple, who recently shared photos of their first-ever couple’s escapade to Los Angeles, also took time to share their secret to relationship longevity with Cosmopolitan Philippines.
Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos for Cosmopolitan Philippines September 2022
They both have similar backgrounds on how they got their start in the industry. Gabbi began auditioning for commercials when she was a kid, and her efforts were often unsuccessful. “I would always go to VTRs (video tape recordings) and talent searches, I would never land the roles. But then, that helped to build my confidence, along with the summer workshops that my mom would enroll me in.”
She had to stop because she wanted to focus on her studies, and she was enrolled in a conservative Catholic school. “One day, there was an opportunity for me to sign up with a network. That did not push through, but my agent asked if I wanted to join GMA. That’s how it started. It is not the typical story where I got in because of connections.
Khalil was a shy kid growing up, but he was always tapped to perform at school programs. “When I was a kid, I wasn’t really the type to be an ‘artista’. I actually had one VTR and I froze in front of the directors,” he laughs. After that, sabi ko, ‘I'll never do this ever again.’ But then Sophie delas Alas, the daughter of Ms. Ai-Ai, was my classmate and she encouraged me to join a talent competition where her mom was a judge.” He took a leap of faith and filed a leave of absence from school for a day, passed the auditions, and won second place. He shares, “I was offered acting roles then I made the transition into taking the art more seriously. That's where I am now.”
Gabbi and Khalil met in 2015, at a birthday party for common friend Julia Barretto, but it took two years for them to be officially together. Gabbi said that during this time they were able to figure out what they wanted in life and reach for their dreams. “It was our time to grow individually, and we weren't even aware of it. When we got together, doon namin na-realize that this is the right time."
They both unexpectedly achieved success, and they both had to transition to life in showbiz. Gabbi says, “I knew I wanted to perform but I didn't expect to come as early as 15 years old. I realized it's not all glam and glitz. It's more than what I expected.”
Khalil chimes in. “When I entered this industry, I remember exactly the way it felt because I was really shocked at how everything was. I didn't really know how to do business. I didn't know where I would fit in, but I was the type of guy that took whatever's coming. If I have the opportunity, I'll learn, just focus on myself, and that's what I kept doing.”
D’I-Shee Blazer And Trouser, D’I-Shee Tube Top With Cutouts, Prada Kitten Heels (Gabbi) | Kenzo Jacket And Trousers (Khalil)
Gabbi says the feeling of pressure will probably never go away for her. “In this industry, it's so easy to be replaced. The test is the longevity. I’ve been in the industry eight years already so it's all about what's next for me. The pressure motivates me even more. You have to work and you have to think of something else that you're capable of.”
Khalil feels the pressure too. “I think it would never end, because the industry is fast evolving. You know, ten years ago, we didn't really know much about social media and all these new mediums. Sometimes, it really could get overwhelming, especially for me because I don’t flourish in huge events. We had one recently, and that’s my most recent memory of feeling overwhelmed.”
Through all the struggles of stardom, they say it helps that their partner is also a part of showbiz. “It’s so valuable. It keeps me sane. I'm grateful that there's one person who can understand me in all aspects of my life. It's like a zipper that you just zip together. I'm really grateful that with him, I don't even have to explain anything, he just gets it. Everything that's happening to me, everything that I'm thinking of, all the struggles in my life, he knows,” Gabbi explains.
Khalil adds. “Also with the nature of this business, having someone that you can entirely trust and someone who could just really unconditionally accept who you are is very important. For me, the most valuable thing to have is to have someone who can just be with you all throughout the entire thing, kasi life is not easy. That's one thing that I like about Gab. We really fit like a glove. So you don't only learn so much about each other, but your core gets nourished as well.”
The pandemic restrictions tested their creativity, they say. “It was so difficult,” Gabbi shares. “I'm pretty sure everybody had their own struggles. For us, during the first few months of the ghost-town levels lockdown, we weren't able to see each other for like three months. Abrupt na biglang hindi na lang kami magkikita, it was difficult for me because I'm a people-person. Presence is important to me. It was difficult but I'm glad that we went through it as well, because it added a different angle to the relationship. It also taught me how to be patient.”
Yong Studio Bra Top, Mango Slip Skirt, Prada Kitten Heels, Donna Lym Bucket Hat (Gabbi) | Assembly Philippines Jacket From CMNN (Khalil)
“I think, a lot of people could relate to this—the entire pandemic kind of gave us a whole new perspective of who we love, our relationships, and how relationships actually work. We often overlooked how important these relationships are; to your partner, to your brother, your sister, your parents, and to your peers. During the pandemic, parang biglaan naming na-realize na relationships are so important. The world is so uncertain, and there's absolutely no movement, you're left with nothing but the relationships that you built,” Khalil muses.
They went to great lengths to connect, they share. Gabbi even got into video games just so they could share an activity together. What is important to them is that they don’t lose sight of their individual goals because of their relationship. “I feel like, if you're with the right person, even if you transform, or you change, it will always be for the better, as long as you're with the right person. I changed for the better because I have a partner. I'm not hating on my own self but I can pretty much say that I improved in life because of Khalil.”
The couple, who have launched the Front Seat Foodies YouTube channel that shows them enjoying their meals while on the go, says their goals are aligned with their future. “I think the both of us date to marry. That's our perspective on it. So there is no denying that, of course, we are working this relationship towards marriage talaga and settling down,” Khalil says. Gabbi adds, “We want to figure out ourselves as a couple and how to level up as a couple.”
Very much the modern Filipina, Gabbi has her own set of goals. “I'm a very list-oriented person. I have goals of mine, like investing, being smart about my savings, adulting or maybe young adulting. I'm a super go-getter. I feel like I have a list in life that I have to follow, I have to beat the deadline. When we got together, he taught me how to just stay calm. He taught me how to be more present.”
Khalil wants to make films, she says, and she wholeheartedly encourages him. “We never discourage each other. If he wants to do a film, I tell him to go and audition. If he wants to write, I root for him. Supporting your partner goes such a long way. You have that cheerleader who would cheer for you 'til the end, who will always root for you, no matter what.”
Assembly Philippines Jacket From Yuyatakate
His eyes are so expressive, Gabbi says of her beau, and that for her is his best feature. “I know when something is wrong just by looking into his eyes.” For Khalil, it’s Gabbi’s cheeks and her hands.
He makes her feel kilig every day, she reports. “I don't get it, kasi we're five years na and like we observe other relationships. Kapag five years na, parang wala nang kilig. Ako talaga, I'm very vocal about it, I still get kilig all the time. He still gets me all the time.” Khalil says, “I like hearing it from her. She is also very communicative when it comes to her love for me. Those are the moments that give me what they call ‘the butterflies in your stomach’.”
Gabbi says that even if they have been together for a long time, she still discovers new things about him. “I also discover more about myself because of him. So it's a learning process.” Like every couple, they also argue, and they are quick to point out that their relationship is not perfect. “Sometimes we have fights na Khalil will point out to me what's wrong and that we have to work on this, and parang it's up to you, how you take it. Ang dami kong moments na, ‘Oo nga, I'm like this. I have to work on this’. He makes me realize that I have to work on myself too, which is good.”
D’I-Shee Cropped Sleeveless Button-Top, Donna Lym Patent Leather Mini Skirt (Stylist owned), D’I-Shee Black Skirt
Khalil has his say on the “sana all” comments. “If you dig deep, that phrase of ‘being a hopeless romantic’ and not being able to find ‘The One’ is a myth. My pastor shared he doesn't really believe in ‘The One’. Whoever you're with could be ‘The One’. It's up to you to make that person "The One" because it's not magic. It's not being a hopeless romantic waiting for someone to fall in your place. Being more intentional and proactive towards your love life and working on yourself will help you achieve that.”
She continues: “People look at us and say #goals. We're like any other couple who fights, any other couple who gets frustrated about each other’s differences, but what I like about our relationship is that at the end of the day, we always just really try to figure everything out because we love each other unconditionally.”
CO-PRODUCED BY: Patricia Melliza,
PHOTOGRAPHY: Shaira Luna
HAIR BY: Mark Anthony Rosales
MAKEUP BY: Jason Delos Reyes
SET DESIGN BY: Studio Tatin