A quick browse at actor Gary Estrada’s Instagram videos showing his life in San Antonio, Quezon will tell you that provincial life looks good on him.
Gary basked in the showbiz spotlight for most of his life, starring in a myriad of TV and movie genres (drama, action, sexy, comedy, and fantasy) in a career that spanned almost three decades. He has lived in the glittery world of showbiz where one is expected to look great all the time, even when they’re just in their pambahay. But Gary seems to have said goodbye to all that. In his Instagram posts, the former hot young leading man is seen delighting in the simple joys of living in the countryside, with wife of 19 years, Bernadette Allyson, and their daughters Garielle, Garianna, and Gianna.
A video shows the now 49-year-old actor getting his hands dirty planting trees on their yard with his wife. Another video gives a peek of the farm they were to plant corn on. Showing the fruits of his hard work, Gary proudly pans the camera to show the tall trees he had planted two decades ago which now surround their sprawling property.
Their daughters seem to be happily embracing the—as Bernadette puts it—“down-to-earth lifestyle.” They are seen in videos making a splash in their inflatable pool, bathing their pooches, riding their bikes, and playing catch. In one post, Gary hangs out with his dalagitas as they, well, hang the laundry, clean the house, and prepare dinner.
In an interview with Rated K in 2016, Gary reveals that he bought the 3.5-hectare property in 1993, when he was just starting out in showbiz. He made it a point to save up some of his earnings so he can buy himself a farm. “Dito lahat napunta ang ipon ko,” he shared. “Blood, sweat and tears ito.” The Rated K episode also showed the modern-day bahay-kubo that Gary built in the middle of the farm. Beside it is a ranch with a few horses and a wide expanse of farm land, that he planned to cultivate and nurture.
It is pretty understandable that Gary was almost in tears in a video Bernadette took after typhoon Rolly hit Quezon. The typhoon damaged some of their trees and crops.
Gary and Bernadette, who tied the knot in 2001, are one in their goal to raise their children in a simple, carefree life, enjoying the beauty of nature. “Dito, nakakapag-drive ang mga anak ko ng hindi ka mag-aalala,” he said in the Rated K interview. Bernadette added that exposure to a more “down-to-earth life,” will help them become well-rounded people. As for Gary, he said he’s happy to enjoy a life sans the showbiz trappings. “Pwede ka magsuot ng butas or hindi maligo maghapon,” he said.
You can catch him wearing pambahay in most of his videos, but that doesn’t mean he’s let himself go. Gary, who at one point sported a sexy image in the movies, makes sure to maintain his physique by working out at his personal gym replete with all sorts of exercise equipment. On its wall is a poster of his younger self, which probably serves as a fitspiration. He also has a basketball court when he feels like shooting some hoops.
Notably, in the Rated K video, he showed a dedicated area for his showbiz memorabilia, perhaps to pay tribute to the career that served him well and allowed him to enjoy this kind of life.