A short tribute to my dear friend, Adel Gabot, who passed away last March 25, 2020.
I do not recall if it was advice in passing or something I read in a book, that as a writer you have to find someone who has a skill and style parallel to you – essentially the same, but on a higher level (these days they call it god-tier). In 2006 I met Adel. And he taught me everything.
Adel was the closest thing to a mentor. I came to know about him from my days with PhilMUG then later on with the Inquirer Group, which we both joined as the first batch of Hinge-Inquirer employees. Befriending him was easy, as we both had a passion for gadgets, comics, music (his radio name was ‘Little David’ if you want to connect the dots) and dogs.
Adel was reserved, because whatever emotion that needed to be conveyed, it was always done in his writing. His written reprimands stung. His praise healed. His jokes were corny.
But when Adel opened his mouth to speak, it was always with his ASMR-inducing radio voice. When he talked about writing, or editing, or layout, I would hang upon his lips. Whether it was learning how to “tighten the look a little bit by adjusting the leading by half a point” or softening the blow after getting reprimanded (I was a feisty 25 year old), I now admit I’m one lucky bastard to have had him as my editor during my formative years in publishing. And as all good things tend to overflow, we became good friends.
Our last project together was in 2008. We tried to create a proof of concept for an online tech show, which was truly a new concept back in the day. Today, shows like these are all over the place. It was shot by one of our good friends from the MPH days – Mike Cabardo, who also married Nina Chua, another colleague of ours. Thankfully, in a rare moment of clairvoyance, I was able to upload the video to YouTube some many years ago. This show never saw the light of day so here you go, green screen and all:
Things were never the same after his stroke in 2009. I remember it was some sort of double whammy because it happened the same time as typhoon Ondoy. After his recovery, our correspondence was limited to Facebook and email. I had volunteered to host his personal blog (check it out – Snacking with Adel) after his stint with PWIT, which was some sort of spiritual successor of MPH Magazine, but also a parody of Leo Laporte’s This Week in Tech, one of the earliest technology podcasts at that time. Adel loved Leo Laporte, probably because they both had similar backgrounds — a radio guy turned podcaster who ran a tech show. Hence, PWIT.
By then we had really gone separate ways. I was happy to know he was doing fine at ABS-CBN. I would check in once in a while, but it was mostly for his blog and email administration. They say that two lines will eventually intersect at a point. Our lives intersected in 2006 and parted ways after 2008. Those were three of the best years of my professional formation. Plus I made a friend.
Hey Adel, we will always have the late nights at Print Town.
We will always look back at the PhilMUG forum banter.
The MPH YahooGroups.
The cozy Mile Long office in the attic.
Coffee in Greenhills. With chismis.
What a ride.
As you would always say, ‘to the Batcave!’ Rest in peace.