Gabby Concepcion ‘Call Me Aqua Man’

EXPRESS LIFE By Manuel del Rosario • Photos by Rey Vivo
Sunday-Saturday, 15-21 May 2011

GABBY Concepcion has just discovered a more practical meaning to that old cliché “health is wealth.”

The former matinee idol, who migrated to the United States years ago, recently returned home care for his ailing father Rolly. Because of his father’s condition, he became more aware of his well-being and he learned that a person’s health condition is often the result of the kind and quality of water that he or she drinks.

“Forty percent of our ailments come from drinking water. There are other factors, like air, but we can’t do anything about air. Water, we can do something about. I know that alkaline water is good, particularly in promoting blood flow and preventing arthritis and gout,” he told Express Life.

So among his first objectives upon arrival in the Philippines was to look for the best alkaline water in the market. He researched and found out that Aquabest does not only offer alkaline water but one that’s oxygenated as well. Gabby went to Aquabest to inquire how he could get a steady supply of its oxygenated alkaline water for his father.

“Oxygenated water na alkaline pa, how can you go wrong (It’s not only ooxygenated, it’s also alkaline, how can you go wrong)?.”

His pursuit of health also led him to a good source of wealth.

At that time, the owners of Aquabest were also looking for an endorser for its marketing campaign. When Gabby met with the owners of Aquabest, everything clicked into place and the two camps struck a partnership deal.

And just like that, Aquabest managed to sign on one of the most-sought after endorsers in the industry. For his part, Gabby not only got a steady supply of oxygenated alkaline water for his father, he also got an Aquabest franchise out of the deal. That franchise, located near their home in San Juan, is now doing brisk business.

“Ngayon ko lang naiintindahan yung health is wealth. Yung dating para sa health lang ng father ko, naging negosyo ko pa, so wealth nga. Pero ang importante ay yung intention (I now truly understand the saying ‘health is wealth.’ I started out looking for something that would be good for my father’s health. I ended up finding a lucrative business as well),” Gabby says.

Part of his regimen

Now, Aquabest water is part of his daily regimen. In engaging in sports and while shooting movies and soap operas, he makes sure he brings along a container of Aquabest water.

“Maganda yung oxygenated at alkaline water kapag puyat ka. Nakakalinis ng system at katawan. Kahit malakas akong kumain ng mongo hindi mataas ang uric acid ko at wala akong gout (Oxygenated and alkaline water is good for you, especially if you’re always lacking in sleep. It helps clean the system. Even if I eat a lot of mongo, my uric acid level is low and I don’t have gout),” he explains.

When he plays badminton, he also carries with him oxygenated water. He even shares it with his playmates. He says they really swear by its effects.

“It’s like drinking vitamins that immediately penetrate your system,” he says. “I bring my own gallon. I don’t drink regular water even while I’m in the US because I’m very health conscious, I don’t want to have a heart ailment like my father.”

“They call me Aqua Man because I love the beach. And now I love water,” he smiles.

Old hand Gabby is not new to business. Even though acting was his main source of income before, Gabby tried his hand at business. In1988 he established his first business, the El Pinoy Resort (he did say he loved the beach). The resort was sold in 2007, but the new owners retained the name.

He is now also in the process of establishing another resort in Lobo, Batangas. He plans to put up another Aquabest store there to cater to the different resorts in the area.

Now, he also has a talent agency and engages in the buying and selling of cars.

Gabby stayed in the US for 13 years, where he worked as a broker and established his own companies. He is a graduate of Management Information System and International Studies. He returned in 2008, and without skipping a beat, got back into acting.

“I’m like a weed, I prepare myself with diversified income, I have rental properties in the US, and since I’m here I plan to buy some properties, maybe 10 condos or so, and have them rented out. You can’t lose with real estate, and I can position my water business in those condos,” he says.

He plans to branch out to more stores because his Aquabest business has lots of potential. In fact, his Aquabest store in San Juan already has a laundry component, which is doing just as well.

“Yung mga waste water, dati tinatapon, pandilig, panlinis ng kotse. Now we use that in the laundry, and this is more than I asked for. Dati hanap ko lang alkaline water, now may oxygenated na, may laundry pa (The waste water that we used to throw out or use to water plants or wash the car, we now use in our laundry shop. So now, I not only have alkaline and oxygenated water, I have a laundry business on the side),” he said.

As a result of his business ventures, Gabby has turned into an expert on water. He advises his customers to consume their oxygenated water within a week so it would not lose its efficacy. He also tells them not to place it in direct sunlight.

Tips from the boss

As a boss, Gabby said he advises his people to behave well, because “it reflects on the reputation of the company and myself.” That, he said, is a way to develop good relationship with the customers. He tells them to talk to the customers well.

“Not everybody is easygoing, so (it takes) trial and error. In showbiz, when you’re nice, everybody eventually finds out about it. But when you’re NOT nice, everybody finds out sooner. I like this (situation in which) I can give jobs to a lot of people,” he advises.

He says he used to think of fans asking for his autograph as nuisances. Now though, he is more appreciative of fans “because I was thinking, what have I done these past few years to deserve the loyalty of these people?”

With all the blessings coming his way, it’s no wonder Gabby believes he made the right choice to come home.

“Really, I have nothing to complain about, and everything to be thankful for,” he concludes.

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