If there’s been an unexplainable void in your life lately, it might be the one podcast “Gabi ng Bading” (GNB) left. After AC Soriano and Yani Villarosa penned their virtual thank you letters and further smashed our delusions of a comeback, we’re back to feeling friendless for the time being.
Sappy sentiments aside, their podcast (slash reality show) chronicled a lot of our core pandemic memories since its birth in January 2021, and in turn provided a safe space to listeners. The good thing is “Gabi ng Bading” is still up on the interwebs, existing as our go-to for whenever we need a little laugh or boost. In honor of this closed chapter, here are our top favorite episodes.
“MMFF Movies That Made Us”
In a sea of pop culture commentary, Yani and AC’s candid, stream-of-consciousness takes were always a thrill. This episode featured their first memories of the Metro Manila Film Festival, its nuanced history summed up in the eyes of two local pop culture stans: the memorable 2016 run, their guilt-free favorite Vice Ganda movies, and even an impromptu “Hari ng Tondo” cover.
Well, this interest trickled down even in the littlest details, like the episode titles of the podcast themselves. Yani told us in an interview last year: “Nung una, meron pa kaming themes na title ng movies. Siguro dahil jologs talaga kami (laughs). Vital parehas sa ’ming dalawa. Actually kahit sa team eh, ’yung Philippine mainstream media.”
(At first, we had episode themes based on movie titles. Maybe because we’re really jologs. Philippine mainstream media is vital for both of us and the team.)
“Lalo na si AC, mahilig siya [sa local pop culture] kaya kapag napakinggan niyong episode namin kay Adrianna (So), sinabe namin na si AC para siyang encyclopedia ng media. If parehas naman namin siyang interest, why not ’di ba incorporate natin siya sa episodes namin sa podcast mismo.”
(AC is especially into local pop culture. That’s why if you listen to our episode with Adrianna So, we tell him that he is a media encyclopedia. If we’re both interested in the same thing, then we incorporate it into our podcast episodes.)
“Kailangan Pa Bang I-Memorize ’Yan, DJ Nicole Hyala?!”
Radio shows walked so podcasts could run. So it was interesting to see the dynamic of AC and Yani with their guest, radio icon (and Yani’s “career awakening”) DJ Nicole Hyala. One-half of 91.5 Win Radio shared what it’s like to have the goal of relatability, keeping your emotions alive while On Air™ despite your personal struggles, and having your own trademark laughter in Love Radio. Three of them also mulled over the Venn diagram of audio and video media. On top of that, AC asked the burning question, “Do you run out of topics?” Of course, DJ Nicole confirmed.
Previously, AC And Yani shared with us that Hyala and Chris Tsuper’s “Tambalan” had an influence on their podcast. Other inspirations include “The Morning Rush” and “Gandang Gabi Vice.”
“Gatas ni Kuya, May Something Pala? Ano ba ang STI, STD, HIV at AIDS?”
Apart from the fun discussions on the mundane things in life, the podcast also made an effort to raise awareness on various issues, especially those concerning the LGBTQIA+ community. In this episode, the hosts together with Awra Safely highlighted the importance of allowing young folks to ask about sexual health advice without judgment. They also unpacked some misconceptions and explained the different diseases. Ultimately, AC brought up how important it is to have someone to ask when faced with difficult questions, especially for those still in the closet.
This episode, among the other Pride-focused topics they zeroed in on last year, reflects what Yani previously told us: “There’s so much to learn about the struggle.” With “Gabi ng Bading” as their podcast title, she recognized their purpose of being a safe space for the queer community and their responsibility to learn from them. Yani also recounted how she’d think, “Grabe ’yung wisdom niya ’no?” (Their wisdom is something else, right?) every time they’d go through their episodes, amazed at the learning experience made possible by their guests—not just in technicalities and production, but also on being human.
“Mare… na-conscious ako don ah…”
Like conversations with trusted friends, this podcast also allotted room for vulnerable and authentic anecdotes. In an almost confessional treatment, the hosts discussed their level of confidence in various settings and their “ugly phases” as topics on body image and personal boundaries were explored. As the episode description suggests, this really played out like a self-debriefing session on our insecurities.
Speaking of being conscious, we once asked Yani and AC how they manage the pressure of being on social media, where everything can be under scrutiny. “Feeling ko dito papasok ’yung pag-consult within the team (I feel like this is where the consultation with the team is significant),” Yani said, also adding that she always tries to be conscious of what she says.
AC added that it’s a conscious effort to acknowledge points for improvement and continually learn. This takes into account that listeners come from different age groups—including minors. “We had this opportunity of talking with one listener who’s 14 years old. Nung nagsasalita siya, nakanganga na lang kami. Parang mas tama pa ’yung sinasabi niya kaysa sa amin. Ibang-iba na talaga ngayon,” AC recalled.
(When they were talking, our jaws just dropped. I think what they said made more sense than what we did. Times really have changed.)
“The Ultimate High School Throwback (with special guest Esnyr Ranollo)”
In the nostalgia department, this episode shines through—especially since it’s a collab with high school TikTok star Esnyr Ranollo. From marriage booths during foundation days to the hectic Science Week, pre-pandemic high school stories seem to be never-ending. They also talked about how our younger selves were so seriously invested in what we see as “smaller” matters now, which explains our competitiveness when it came to inter-section dance competitions and even poster-making contests. High school friends witnessed the evolution of our character, too.
When it comes to their podcast’s own character, we once asked AC and Yani about the possible zodiac sign of GNB. “Feeling ko Aries ’yan, ’yun talaga ’yung podcast, bilang Aries rising kami parehas,” AC said, speculating based on the show’s chaotic energy. As for Yani, its rising sign could be Scorpio, which is known for commanding attention. No doubt it’s had a hold on us.
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Answers featured in this story are from our interview in 2021
Art by Yel Sayo
Episode screenshots from Gabi ng Bading’s YouTube page