By now, people would only vaguely remember Xian Gaza, the face, and voice that launched a thousand memes. First achieving great notoriety sometime last year, his farcical struggle to stay relevant recently came to a tragicomic close when he was sentenced to five years in prison for issuing bouncing checks.
The kicker? He broke the news on his Facebook while already in prison. Truly, the poster child for narcissism if we ever needed to replace Narcissus himself.
But how could something so pathetic come to such a sad conclusion? Well, perhaps it would help if we took a look at the timeline (yes, there is one)…
8. Haiyan Shirts: 2013-2014
It was alleged by one Dewanie Catapang that in the aftermath of Yolanda, Xian Gaza approached him to do a fundraising project by selling shirts. Catapang alleged that this project never pushed through, and payments simply stopped coming, not to mention that Xian capped all of this off by flirting with Dewanie. Xian, on the other hand, defended himself by saying it was a result of his business partners reneging on the project, and that he ate a 300,000 PhP loss because of that. The shirts, all 2,000 of them, ended up being distributed to charities, instead of being sold, according to Gaza.
Ramifications: The signs are all there – business failures, and conspicuously, over what was supposed to be a good cause, no less. Either you have a scammer or one of the unluckiest guys on earth.
7. Filipino Vines and Ella Cruz: 2016
In 2016, a Ryan Tanada alleged that Xian scammed him over Filipino Vines, an endeavor Xian Gaza claims he entered but ended up being bankrupted by. The same year, Xian supposedly stalked actress Ella Cruz, and even tried to impress her by buying a Fortuner from her mom but not pushing through with it. Xian countered this by sharing multiple photos and even a video of Ella and Xian being sweet with each other, pointing out that they had a thing, so he wasn’t just some lovestruck fan.
Ramifications: The pattern repeats itself – more business failures, reneging on deals after the fact, and a general obliviousness to approaching women. Still, everything is merely hearsay, and still in the realm of defensible.
6. The Power Move: 04 June 2017
Xian went mildly viral in June last year when he countered a “Power Move” from a network marketing guy with one of his own.
5. The Billboard: 03 July 2017
We all know the story to this by now.
Part publicity gimmick, and part audition for a new reality show we just thought of called “Pinoy Serial Killer Idol,” Xian Gaza thrust himself into national consciousness with this over-the-top gesture that Erich Gonzales (wisely) declined.
Ramifications: In hindsight, we realize that this move was less about Erich and more about Xian. For him, no publicity was bad publicity. It was all in the aid of promoting himself as some kind of brand, and it wouldn’t take long for us to see exactly that.
4. The Nyeam Meme: 05 July 2017
The minute Fashion Pulis posted the video clip of Xian Gaza gawking at the Siem Reap temple in Cambodia, a meme was born. Armed with the battleycry of “Nyeeeeeeaaaaaammmm,” Xian Gaza became a laughing stock, parodied and imitated to no end. Inevitably, the remix came along, catapulting him to “Bedroom Intruder” and Charlie Sheen’s “Winning” levels of infamy, at least in the Philippines.
Ramifications: Insult him all you want, but Mr. Gaza got exactly what he wanted at this point – attention. And boy, did he get it in spades. He knew people would kill to see him watch the remix and see his reaction to it – which he did, and he capitalized on “Nyeeeeaammm” sooner than you can say “sellout.” Well, two can play this game, wink wink.
3. Stabs at Relevance: Rest of 2017
From talking about a supposed Bitcoin scam and claiming he had a 5M bounty on his head (and fleeing the country), to asking random celebrities out for coffee, to saying something, anything, just to end up on the news, Xian tried it all. Unfortunately for him, none of it stuck, and he was every bit as relevant as Xander Ford is today.
Ramifications: Mr. Gaza may not have anticipated that his notoriety would last shorter than a hypebeast’s list of good songs they actually listen to, and thus scrambled to find a way to stay in the public’s consciousness. For what reason? Some might say he still wanted investments. But with all the negative press he got since the Billboard episode, why would he want all that negative attention especially around his very spotty and very recent past? In the end, it’s all plain narcissism, because none of his actions made any sense unless viewed through that lens. All that self-love, none of the self-awareness. What a combination.
2. Xian Gaza Arrested then Bailed: 12-15 April 2018
With over two million pesos in money owed to two investors for a cafe, Xian Gaza got arrested this April for the Bouncing Check Law, aka estafa. He managed to get bail, and even offered the shirt he wore when he surrendered for auction for 9,000 PHP. In a bizarre turn, he even took the time out to castigate the network marketing people, despite coming from that very same industry and taking their techniques to the logical but illegal extreme.
Ramifications: If Xian had a legal team, they’d be slapping their foreheads in frustration at his antics. Alternating between repentant and jubilant, Mr. Gaza was essentially locking himself in prison and throwing away the key with his careless pronouncements. But whatever, he’s finally “relevant” again, right?
1. Xian Gaza Convicted: 28 June 2018
Sentenced to five years and six months in prison, Xian Gaza’s Facebook profile now reads: 24, Single, Guilty. And yes, he managed to put the court decision (which came faster than you normally expect) on Facebook!
But he still wasn’t done. Xian then found the time to lecture about karma, and to make jokes about his situation, but at no point does any semblance of genuine remorse or even self-awareness shine through. Xian Gaza has gone full social climber, and while we’d love to point and laugh, we can’t help but wonder WTF happened.
Ramifications: True to his predictable nature, Xian’s actions after conviction indicate that he’s still interested in being talked about and paid attention to. Inasmuch as this 8List has done just that (dammit), let this be the last time we listen to *that* specific cry for attention. This should tide him over as he strokes his prison bars at night.