Dr. Gemma G. Gabor was born and raised in the Philippines. Aspiring to be a medical doctor, she took a double major and graduated with a bachelor's of arts degree in Psychology and an artium baccalaureatus degree in Guidance and Counseling from St. Scholastica's College in Manila. She took up medicine at the University of Perpetual Help - College of Medicine. Her involvement with the deaf attendees in her church led her to teaching psychology to deaf students at the School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies of DLS - College of Saint Benilde. She taught English courses and later on served as the English Language Area Coordinator for two years while designated as the coordinator for PEN-International, Philippines at the same time. She completed two master's degrees in Christian Education at the Asian Theological Seminary and in English Language Education at De La Salle University - Manila. She was actively involved with the deaf community in the Philippines for 10 years working closely with the Friends of the Deaf ministry in her church, with NGOs such as the Philippine Federation of the Deaf (PFD) and the Philippine Deaf Resource Center (PDRC); and had taught for 8 years before she joined the ELI in 2010.