Abaya was discovered by Raimund Marasigan of The Eraserheads during a "battle of bands" in which Abaya's band Shirley Beans won first place. Marasigan, who was one of the judges for the night, invited Abaya to act as frontman for the band Sandwich in 1998. While Abaya was a member of the band, they released three albums: Grip, Stand, Throw; 4-track mind; and Thanks to the Moon's Gravitational Pull.
While in Sandwich, Abaya formed the band Kjwan with his closest friends in May 2003. In 2004, Kjwan released their self-titled album, which included the carrier single "Daliri."
Abaya joined MTV Philippines in 2003 and became one of the VJs until the dissolution of the channel under Music Source, Inc. on January 1, 2007. Abaya hosted a variety of shows, including Rockola on MTV and Massive. In September 2009, AYC hired him to man MTV Philippines' music station U92 for a weekly show.
Abaya played the role of Francis in an ABS-CBN afternoon drama series, Ligaw na Bulaklak. He was also one of the judges of the network's reality entertainment show Showtime and host of Pilipinas Got Talent.
In 2010, Abaya joined the cast of Dagim, a Cinema One Original film directed by Joaquin Pedro Valdes for which he won "Best Supporting Actor" at the Cinema One Originals Awards.