Stacey Gabriel in joining Bb. Pilipinas: ‘I made the right decision’

Published July 6, 2022, 1:38 PM

by Robert Requintina

Stacey Daniella B. Gabriel

It’s the first time for Binibini No. 1 Stacey Daniella B. Gabriel of Cainta, Rizal to join pageantry, and she couldn’t be more thrilled and excited. But she admitted there were things that surprised her about beauty pageants.

“Dapat po araw araw plakado. Nakakasurprise po yun. It was an adjustment period for me. Luckily, I have an amazing team who helps me to get ready and collaborate with me,” said Stacey during an exclusive Zoom interview with the showbiz press over the weekend.

Stacey, who took a break from acting to try her luck in Binibining Pilipinas 2022, said that pageantry is not a glamorous life at all.

“Hindi po glamorous ang pageantry. Iba yung nakikita natin sa labas na the glitz, the glamour, but the inside world is the nitty-gritty.

“You have to be immensely committed. Otherwise, you won’t find the heart to make it until the end. Luckily, I have the whole year to become introspective, to really focus on my mental and emotional well-being so that I would be ready come Bb. Pilipinas season. It’s sleepless hours, long hours, much like the acting industry,” she said.

Prior to pageants, Stacey has done acting on television, including a recurring appearance in the most popular TV series in the Philippines “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” where she played a police woman.

“Acting is my big love. It’s been my passion since I was a little girl. Even if my mom could barely make both ends meet, she made sure she had a budget to take me to acting workshops because she knew that would make me a more empathetic and compassionate human being.

“And I absolutely fell in love with the craft. The deal was after you graduate from high school, you can spread your wings and perhaps sign with an agency, and have more liberty in terms of pursuing this dream.

“As soon as I graduated from high school, I took as many acting workshops as I could. It led me to a few potential managers, but ultimately, I signed with Viva and worked with them for five years. That was an absolute thrill,” Stacey said.

Stacey recalled how her dream of becoming a beauty queen started.

“My first recurring role was ‘La Luna Sangre’ on ABS-CBN. I played the role of a vampire. And just my luck, I was alongside Bea Rose Santiago, our Miss International, and MJ Lastimosa, our Miss Universe Philippines. They were the first two people from the pageant world that truly planted that seed. They said, ‘you should join. We see the potential in you.’ When they said that, in the back of my mind, I thought it was cute. But I wasn’t familiar with the full picture of what the pageantry really entails. My focus was on acting, and I was determined to make an impact on this industry,” the 24-year-old Binibini said.

But it was the encouragement of the Muhlachs (led by Almira Muhlach) that pushed her to pursue her pageant dream.

“Fast-forward to last year, we hosted a gathering since the start of the pandemic at home. And the Muhlachs left a message for me. Sabi nila hindi kami nandito para makikain kundi para hikayatin ka na sumali sa pageantry. At that time, my confidence had plummeted, and I thought this was not for me right now. Since that dinner, they would message me with words of encouragement,” she added. 

Finally, Stacey was mentally and emotionally ready to join the Bb. Pilipinas pageant.

“I went to an Aces and Queens to meet the rest of the team to get their blessings to join the team. After that, I got my first Q&A training. It was a whirlwind of emotions.

“The reason I finally considered pageantry with my whole heart and mind, is because the pandemic held a mirror against humanity. I was forced to redefine what happiness and success meant to me.

“And then I realized, it’s not fame, it’s not money, I could just have my whole life acting and advocating for those whose voices have been silent, I will be happy. When it dawned on me throughout my self-discovery, I know I made the right decision,” Stacey added.

During the Zoom, Stacey revealed that she has a credit card in her wallet, which she doesn’t touch.

“Ayoko po mabaon sa utang. Hindi ko po siya ginagalaw,” said the laughing Stacey.

Asked what other shows she watches, Stacey said she loves ‘The Crown’ and “Bridgerton.”

The 5’5″ actress is currently taking up AB Communication Arts at the De La Salle University on Taft Avenue in Manila. She loves to cook, bake, write speeches, play the guitar, ukelele, play touch rugby and tennis.

Stacey said she hopes to create more compassion in this world through the power of storytelling, as she highlights her own struggles.

“At the core of each of my endeavors is my heart for mental health, prison reform and climate justice – these causes are my true north,” she said.