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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 3, 2021




PAOLO GUMABAO is so happy at the press preview of his launching flick “Lockdown”. 

After the screening, everyone congratulated him for he realy gave a touching performance as the OFW from Dubai who lost his job, sent home during the pandemic and suffered setbacks in his life. 

His dad is an invalid and in the hospital. He tries hard to look for another job, but so many companies have closed down during the lockdown and his father’s hospital bills are piling up. 

He initially resists the offer of a friend to be a cyber prostitute but in the end, he has no choice but to show himself masturbating and having sex with his co-prostitutes in front of the camera to please their foreign clients on cam.

Which is the most difficult of the nude scenes and the sex scenes he did with both and women? 

“Actually, hindi naman ako nahirapan sa kanila. Kasi, when I read the script pa lang, gandang-ganda na ako and ramdam na ramdam ko agad yung character ko as Danny. 

"I then just followed Direk Joel Lamangan’s advice to let go of all my inhibitions, kasi he fully explained naman to me everything I would need to do when I took the audition for the film, including yung frontal nudity, so prepared na ako.

“Kapag sinabi niyang, o hubad na, di just do it, maghubad ka lang. The love scenes, I treated it as just part of my job as an actor. Yung love scene with Paul Jake Paule, one take lang yun. 

"Kay Max Eigenmann naman who plays my girlfriend, we reached out to each other muna. May connection kami agad, kasi our dads are both actors as she’s the daughter of Mark Gil. 

"I respect so much all my co-stars here because they’re all fully committed to the project and we’re all proud of ‘Lockdown’.

“What was actually more difficult for me to do were the acting scenes, lalo yung emotional at umiiyak ako. 

"First is when I visited my father in his hospital bed at naiyak ako, then when I was alone on top of the rocks at the breakwater where I was crying quietly by myself. 

"Pinakamahirap yung scene near the end with Allan Paule as a cop na binaboy ako. Umiiyak ako at takot na takot. I shed real tears in all those scenes.” 

Paulo is the son of Dennis Roldan (whose real name is Mitchell Gumabao). 

“Ako lang ang anak niya sa mommy ko, Sheryl Chen, but they broke up even before I was born, then my mom met my Chinese stepdad who took us to Taiwan. That’s where I grew up. I studied in a Chinese school in Taipei, so I speak Mandarin. 

“We went back to Manila ng mom ko after they separated when I was 13. Yung stepdad ko ang kinagisnan kong father ko and we’re very close up to now. 

"I met my real dad when I was 15, and my half siblings, including Kuya Marco who’s older than me by 3 years. I’m turning 23 on July 25. Just when we were getting close ng biological dad ko, he was jailed naman. Dinadalaw-dalaw ko siya sa Bilibid.”

He started as a model. 

“But then, acting talaga ang gusto ko, so when Tito Manny Valera managed me, dinala niya ako sa Regal and I got to make about four movies there, including ‘That Thing Called Tanga Na’, where I was first directed by Joel Lamangan. 

"I played the lover of Billy Crawford who’s gay in that movie.” 

On TV, his meatiest role is as one of the leads in “Mga Batang Poz”, about kids who are HIV positive. 

“It was a hit sa streaming and dapat, may Part 2 kami. We’re all set to shoot it but biglang nag-pandemic, so it was shelved at wala akong trabaho for so long. 

"I worked as a machine operator in the factory of my stepdad in Bulacan, then pinag-audition nga ako rito sa ‘Lockdown’ and I’m so happy na akong nakuha kasi nga I’m about to give up showbiz. 

“After this, I got an offer naman to do ‘Huwag Kang Mangamba’ sa ABS-CBN. Dapat nga, may lock in taping ako doon ngayon, but Tito Manny talked to our producer, Deo Endrinal, and he’s so nice at pinayagan akong mag-attend muna nitong presscon. 

"There’s another offer for a movie for Netflix, pero ewan ko kung maisisingit namin with the lock in taping na aabutin daw hanggang August. So we’ll see.” 

He hopes “Lockdown” will be an eye-opener for those who look down on people who are forced to sell their bodies for a living. “Don’t just judge them kasi hindi nyo naman alam ang pinagdaraanan nila. 

"Mahirap talaga ang buhay ngayon due to the lockdown. Maraming walang trabaho. 

"Like my character Danny, he’s pushed against the wall, sarili namang katawan niya ang binebenta niya, hindi naman siya nanghoholdap o nananakit ng ibang tao. 

"Ang masama, yung ginawa sa akin ng pulis na talagang inabuso ako. So huwag nyo sila basta huhusgahan as you don’t really know them. 

"Kaya, sana, people should watch ‘Lockdown’ kasi lahat ng ipinakita namin dito is a reflection of reality, kung ano talaga ang nangyayari ngayon sa totoong buhay.”

Produced by the For the Love of Arts Films, the uncut version of “Lockdown” is streaming worldwide on July 23, 2021 through ktx.ph, upstream.ph and RAD (iamrad.app)

Online tickets of the most controversial movie of the year are already available for grabs through the aforementioned streaming platforms.