Gigi de Lana on that viral video, her real name, and her ultimate idol

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 28 2021 10:20 PM | Updated as of Jun 29 2021 12:49 AM

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Gigi de Lana is still in disbelief that the impromptu prank where she had to perform several key changes of “Bakit Nga Ba Mahal Kita,” unrehearsed, has amassed nearly 15 million views.

Beyond that, the breakout star is grateful for the massive growth of her virtual music session, “Gigi Vibes,” which had less than 20,000 viewers when it launched in October 2020 and now averages half a million per episode, on YouTube alone.

The twice-weekly concert show has been a big hit on Facebook, in particular, where live viewers reach five digits, and where individual uploads of de Lana’s performances frequently cross the million-mark in total views.

While she is the face and name of the program, de Lana emphasized that “Gigi Vibes” has been a group effort, crediting the studio that helps produce it, and most especially her band mates.

“Nakakatuwa, nakakaiyak, kasi nandito na, ‘yung pinaghirapan, ‘yung tiyaga,” she said, noting that they hurdled challenges and uncertainties due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The formula, de Lana surmised, is the intimate setting and the lighthearted exchanges among herself and the band members.

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Sharing one fan’s feedback as to why “Gigi Vibes” has become so popular on social media, de Lana said: “It’s very natural na parang kasama niyo kami sa stream, o parang kainuman lang namin kayo, o parang kakuwentuhan lang namin kayo… Parang kabarkada namin sila.”

The widening reach of “Gigi Vibes” coincides with numerous milestones in de Lana’s showbiz career — all of which she’s still admittedly processing.

The Rise Artists Studio talent recently made her acting debut via “Four Sisters Before the Wedding,” officially signed with ABS-CBN’s Star Magic this month, and performed on the “ASAP Natin ‘To” stage with her ultimate idol, Regine Velasquez (a “dream come true,” she said.)

“Sa totoo lang, hindi ko ini-expect na mangyayari ‘to. Ang gusto ko lang naman, kumanta, kasi first love ko is singing… Sobra akong overwhelmed,” she said.

“Ang daming nagtitiwala sa talento namin, sa kung ano’ng maibibigay namin, sa growth namin. I know maraming nakalatag sa table na mangyayari,” de Lana added, expressing her gratitude to ABS-CBN executives.

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Speaking with ABS-CBN News, de Lana also spoke candidly about being re-introduced with her current screen name, after being known to most as Mary Gidget dela Llana, who rose to popularity in 2016 as a Tawag ng Tanghalan contender.

Aside from the simple reason of making her name easier to pronounce and recall, becoming “Gigi de Lana,” she said, also reflected her evolution as an artist.

“Iyong pag-change ko ng name, nag-grow din ako. Pero that doesn’t mean na kinalimutan ko ‘yung Gidget na ako. I’m still the same person.

“Nag-grow lang ako sa goals ko na gusto ko marating para sa passion ko. And okay ‘yun. Learning, growing is part of your life. And it’s okay to change, pero for the good, for the better,” she said.