Gabbie and her four sisters were always laughing, singing or pranking each otherGabbie is the daughter of Pia Lopez and Raffy Abello and granddaughter of Connie and Oscar M. Lopez. She is second to the last in the Values Vanguards series as we shift to a new format that will focus on the beneficiaries of Lopez philanthropic and CSR initiatives. Watch for it!
Kindly state your full name and nickname. How many are you in the family?
My name is Gabriella Consuelo Lopez Abello and my nickname is Gabbie. We’re five girls in the family, no boys. It’s a lot of fun living in a house full of so many girls with such strong personalities. The house was always very loud. There was always someone singing, laughing or screaming because of the practical jokes we’d play on each other. We have a running joke in my family that my parents raised five sons. We were never the affectionate type, choosing to show our love through jokes and teasing.
I don’t think there is one sister that I’m closest to. I go to each of them for different things. I’m really just happiest when we’re all together, which is so rare now that a few of us are studying or working abroad.
What is your educational background? Why did you take up the course that you did? Any hobbies?
I completed my Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Hotel Management with a specialization in finance at Les Roches last December 2017.
Before transferring to Les Roches, I was studying management economics in Ateneo. I decided to switch courses because I felt that a career in hospitality suited me more than an economics- related field. I am blessed enough to have parents who not only supported the decision, but also pushed me to apply to a great school abroad.
One of my main hobbies ever since I was younger was playing football. I started playing when I was nine and continued playing even during the cold winters in Switzerland. I stopped playing football seriously after high school but every so often, I like to play pickup games with friends.
Kindly describe your family upbringing and how the Lopez Values of integrity, pioneering entrepreneurial spirit, business excellence, etc. were taught to you.
When I think about my childhood, all I can remember are the times I spent with my family. Weekly Friday night dinners at my grandparents’ house, trips around the Philippines for my Nana’s and Tata’s birthdays and countless sleepovers with my cousins.
Sleepovers with the cousins always led to the creation of new “businesses.” We would trade handmade friendship bracelets one week and sell food the next week. I was the youngest at the time and considered the saling-pusa, so I mostly just watched my older cousins and pulled the wagon around when we were selling our “products.”
While the food we sold may not have tasted great, I learned that family is not just an important thing. Family is everything. Our weekly activities may have changed, but it didn’t matter what we were doing. As long as we were together, I knew we were going to have fun.
Who influenced you the most?
My mom definitely influenced me the most. She is always there to support me in everything I do. She was there to make sure I had everything I needed the times I moved to Cebu, Switzerland and Hong Kong. She continues to encourage me to do things that may seem daunting, to challenge life, all the while reminding me that I will always have her and the rest of my family to lean on.
Is this your first job? How do you find it?
I am currently working in Hong Kong as a management trainee for Black Sheep Restaurants. The restaurant group came to Les Roches to recruit graduating students. I was lucky enough to be chosen for their on-site interview.
The panel of interviewers consisted of five people including the CEO and founder. I was intimidated, to say the least. However, the tension faded when we started talking about my interest in playing football, and I got the offer the next day. I started work at the start of May this year and have been constantly learning since then.
What is your advice to your younger relatives regarding the Lopez Values and the responsibilities that go with upholding these?
Push yourself to do things that scare you. Be brave and challenge your limits. It could lead to so many amazing opportunities and growth that would have never been possible had you decided to limit yourself.
The newly minted Black Sheep Restaurants management trainee