Showbiz humbled the former bully in Marco Gumabao

At first, Marco Gumabao was not enjoying the showbiz industry. However, it turns out to be one of many things that have changed his perspective about looking at life. Get to know more about one of the stars of the upcoming Viva Films offering Hindi Tayo Pwede by scrolling down below!

PHOTO: Melo Balingit; ART: Stephen Jan Cruz

At first, Marco Gumabao was not enjoying the showbiz industry. However, it turns out to be one of many things that have changed his perspective about looking at life. Get to know more about one of the stars of the upcoming Viva Films offering Hindi Tayo Pwede by scrolling down below!

Cameras and production crew flooded a local high school in Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City back in 2012. Actors and actresses were being made up while cameramen were setting up their equipment for the first take of the day.


It was in that set of the Kapamilya teen sitcom Luv U where a young Marco Gumabao was awkwardly waiting for his turn to act in front of the cameras. The then-newbie actor was decked out in the searing heat, wearing a tight school uniform. Because of the said conditions, he was starting to believe that he entered the wrong industry.


“Ayoko na ’to,” Marco recalls telling himself back then in a sit-down interview with “Ayoko ’yong ang init-init ta’s nagtatrabaho ako sa ilalim ng araw. Alam mo ’yong ganoon ’yong feeling mo agad? Ang lagkit mo, pawis-pawis ka, may make-up ka ta’s umaarte ka. I found it weird before.”


However, fast forward to today and Marco, contrary to his young actor days, is now one of top sexy dramatic actors of his generation.


“Marami akong natutunan no’ng nag-artista ako,” he explains. “Kumbaga, it made me more humble in life, as a person, as a human being. Kasi maraming tao [na] nag-aartista, mas yumayabang, mas lumalaki ulo. Ako, sa akin, baliktad. Since nanggaling ako sa mayabang, sa malaki ulo, this taught me how to be humble kaya sobrang thankful ako sa showbiz.”

PHOTOS: Melo Balingit; ART: Stephen Jan Cruz



Marco was born into a family with five siblings to his father, former actor and politician Dennis Roldan, and mother, Loli Imperial, where he is the sixth and unico hijo. He also has three half-brothers to his father’s first wife.


“Sa mommy ko, medyo spoiled ako, medyo mommy’s boy ako,” he says. “Not spoiled in terms of material things, hindi gano’n, pero attention. Siguro, sa love. Alam ng sisters ko na favorite ako ng mommy ko.”


His mother’s love compensated for the lack of affection he received from his father because of his infamous arrest fifteen years ago. After being tagged as the mastermind in the kidnapping of a 3-year-old Chinese-Filipino boy, Dennis and his group were arrested last February 20, 2005.


The event left a scar in Marco’s childhood, turning the 10-year-old boy he once was into a terrorizing bully when he attended the Ateneo High School.


“Masama ugali ko noong high school,” the actor recounts. “Aminado naman ako doon na bully ako before, and hindi ako proud, of course.”


Marco admits that bullying became his defense mechanism for what happened to his father back in the day.

PHOTO: Melo Balingit; ART: Stephen Jan Cruz

“At that time, in Ateneo, kasi ang dami nang-aasar sa akin noong time na ’yon,” he says. “Mahirap before kasi bata pa ako, immature pa ako [so] ang naging thinking ko before is to eat or to be eaten or kill or be killed.”


“Mali siya, especially noong bata ako,” he adds. “’Yong defense mechanism ko sa nangyari sa akin noong pagkabata ko was to be to try to be on top of other people. [...] Kaya nauwi ako sa pag-bu-bully and, s’yempre, hindi ako proud sa mga ginawa natin before.”


Marco then recalled of the happiest memory of his childhood, which was back in 2006. He was at school when he was surprised to see his father, who was just allowed to post bail, waiting for him by the entrance to fetch him.


“Alalang-alala ko ’yon kasi ang daming kotse, ang daming naka-convoy sa amin noon na hindi ko naintindihan kung bakit,” he says.


He then went on apologizing to all the people he had bullied in the past before explaining that it was show business that turned him into the humble man he is today, not only crediting showbiz but to his parents, as well.


“People can change,” Marco reflects. “My parents play a huge role in my life. Sila ’yong constant na gumagabay sa akin ever since before. If it weren’t from my mom and my dad, hindi ko alam kung nasaan ako ngayon.”

PHOTOS: Melo Balingit; ART: Stephen Jan Cruz

Marco went on to De La Salle University to pursue his AB Psychology degree, his second choice as he failed the qualifications to enter the AB Business Management course.


However, he had to quit during his sophomore year in college to focus on showbiz full-time.




It was Direk Edgar “Bobot” Mortiz who suggested he enter show business. Since the acclaimed television director was friends with his parents, he taught it would be a great idea to pair Marco, who was 16 at the time, with Miles Ocampo for his show Luv U back in 2012.


“After school, one day, pumunta ako sa ABS [CBN] ta’s nag-audition ako for Direk Bobot ta’s ayon. The rest is history,” he says.


Marco pressed that there was no special treatment for him, despite his father being a famous actor. It was all hard work for the young actor, who continues to strive even today.


However, despite landing the leading man role in the teen sitcom, it took a while for him to enjoy show business.


“At first, naiinip ako. Gusto ko agad umuwi ’pag taping,” he recalls. “Ang motivation ko lang is okay lang, basta kikita ako dito. Basta may pera ako dito. ’Yon ’yong motivation ko before. Tapos, slowly but surely, the more na gumagawa ako ng projects, mas nagugustuhan mo ’yong ginagawa mo na umaarte ka, may iba-iba kang characters na pino-portray. Unti-unti, doon siya nag-form na gusto ko nga ’yong ginagawa ko.”




After supporting roles in series such as Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw, Wansapanataym, and Forevermore, Marco was pulled aside by director Ruel S. Bayani and asked what path he wanted to pursue in showbiz. That was back in 2016, when he has already invested 5 years in the industry.


Admittedly, Marco did not know where his career in showbiz was headed, so it was the acclaimed television-movie director who suggested him to pursue becoming a sexy dramatic actor, starting with the show Tubig At Langis where he was paired with Ingrid dela Paz.


“Nagpapayat ako, trinay kong magpaganda ng katawan, tapos nilagay niya ako sa drama soap na Tubig At Langis,” he recounts. “Doon nag-start na he was grooming me to become a hunk actor.”

PHOTO: Melo Balingit; ART: Stephen Jan Cruz

And, indeed, Direk Ruel’s grooming was successful as Marco continued on with his new-found popularity of becoming a hunk actor with his roles in Kapamilya series Pusong Ligaw and Precious Hearts Romances Presents: Los Bastardos, the latter lasting for almost a year.


After starring in Viva Films offerings Aurora (with Anne Curtis) and Ulan (with Nadine Lustre and Carlo Aquino), Marco was showered with another blessing, getting his huge break as a sexy dramatic actor when he starred in the 2019 erotic romance film Just A Stranger with Curtis where he portrayed Jericho, a 19-year-old who begins a May-December illicit love affair with a woman double his age.

PHOTO: Melo Balingit

“It was actually a make or break project for me,” he explains. “Si Ms. Anne Curtis agad ’yong naka-partner ko, kumbaga superstar agad ’yong naka-partner ko so I had to deliver well on my part because we all know that Anne is gonna deliver. So, ’yong pressure ho sa akin ay kung paano ako makakasabay sa kanya.”


However, through a series of workshops and character developments, Marco was able to keep up with the acting of the “Dyosa” of Philippine Showbiz in the film, which was the turning point for the hunk actor in his showbiz career.


“’Yong paghanda namin sa movie na ’yon, todo-todo talaga,” he says. “Nakakatuwa and nakaka-proud na napapansin ng mga tao ’yong hard work na in-exert namin for the project. For me, I’m just gonna use this as motivation to do well, to do better sa mga next projects ko. And, ’yon. Always keep your feet on the ground.”

PHOTOS: Melo Balingit



As he maintains his humility in the showbiz industry, blessings continue to shower Marco as he has more films in store this 2020. This March 4, his film Hindi Tayo Pwede with Lovi Poe and Tony Labrusca premieres in local cinemas. Apart from that, he is also part of the Filipino film adaptation of the Korean film Spellbound with Bela Padilla.


“Siguro, ang ultimate goal ko is makilala pa ’yong craft ko,” he explains. “The reason why naman talaga pumasok ako dito sa showbiz is to show people how God blesses me through my work or how I can influence people to show them na ’yong Diyos na wino-worship ko, siya ’yong nagbibigay sa akin lahat ng ’to.”


“I didn’t join showbiz para sumikat, para yumaman,” he adds. “Before ako pumasok ng showbiz, kinausap ako ng parents ko [at sinabi nila na] ‘Ang goal mo dito is to make Christ known.’


“So, ’yon, konti-konti, through the projects, mas makilala tayo. In terms of career-wise, if you ask me kung anong goal ko, of course I want to be one of the top actors here in the Philippines, one of the top leading men in history, pero ang pinaka-main goal ko talaga is through my works, through my personality, mapakita ko si Lord sa mga tao.”


With all his successes in showbiz right now, what advice would he have for his younger self who went through a lot in life?

PHOTOS: @gumabaomarco on Instagram and Melo Balingit; ART: Stephen Jan Cruz

“Huwag kang matakot magsugal,” he answered. “Life is full of surprises, ’di ba? Hindi mo malalaman kung magiging successful ka sa isang bagay kung hindi ka susugal. [...] Huwag ka matakot magsugal, just believe in yourself, and with God’s help, kaya mong maabot kung ano’ng gusto mong abutin.”



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