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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.

Nov 7, 2022



              with dir. lester dimaranan, ritz azul, atty ferdie topacio and jojo abellana in the presscon

PAOLO GUMABAO was called in to join “Mamasapano, Now It Can Be Told”, when JC De Vera had covid and cannot shoot, but he doesn’t mind being a mere replacement. 

“Ang ganda nung role and they’re about to shoot in two days, so tatanggi pa ba ako?” he says at the movie’s presscon where he is the only major star who showed up. His co-stars Edu Manzano and Aljur Abrenica were both no shows. 

Paolo plays Supt. Raymond Train, the commander of the PNP team, Seaborn 13, tasked to get terrorists Marwan and Usman in Maguindanao on January 25, 2015. 

“It’s an action movie and even as a young boy, dream ko talagang gumawa ng action film,” says Paolo. 

“So I’d like to thank our producer, Atty. Ferdie Topacio, and Director Lester Dimaranan, for giving me the chance to try action in the war scenes we have in ‘Mamasapano’.  

"We shot sa bundok at mainit sa set, nakabilad kami sa araw maghapon, then inilubog kami sa ilog, mahirap. But I enjoyed it all.”   

How did he prepare for his role as a PNP cop? 

“I didn’t have much time to prepare kasi nag-shoot na agad ako. 

"But on the set, may mga nagturo sa amin how to use guns at ang dami kong natutuhan sa kanila. We used real guns in the movie. 

"Immersed na immersed na talaga ako sa mga eksena namin.”

He just wished he met the real Sgt. Raymond Train face to face. 

“It’s a big challenge to play a real life person and I really wish I was able to meet the character I portrayed, but wala nang time, so I just played him as written on the script of Eric Ramos. 

"Si Direk Lester naman, he gave me some leeway to interpret it with my own inputs.”

He is happy to be part of a movie that aims to show what really happened on that tragic, fateful day in Mamasapano. 

“We had a special screening in Baguio para mapanood ni Mayor Magalong who was in charge of the investigation on Mamasapano. 

"He’s played by Edu Manzano in the movie. And then we also asked the families left by the SAF 44 members to watch with us and after the movie, they thanked us for the movie, which is a tribute to the cops who lost their lives fighting the terrorists. 

"I’m really so happy and proud na naging part ako ng pelikulang ito.”   

How is it working with Edu Manzano in the movie? 

“Medyo kabado ako noong una kasi I know nagkasama sila sa movies ng dad ko (Dennis Roldan) noong araw. 

"But it turned hindi ako dapat kabahan kasi he’s very nice. Nakipagkuwentuhan pa siya sa akin. 

"Talagang ginagalingan ko sa scenes namin para hindi ako mapahiya sa kanya.” 

It’s common knowledge his career got a big boost when he did sexy films like “Lockdown” and “Sisid”. Does he now regret disrobing for these films?  

“No, not at all. It gave me the chance to work with two great directors, Joel Lamangan and Brillante Mendoza. Sobrang dami ng natutuhan ko sa kanila. 

"Hindi ako makakarating where I am now without those movies. 

"Right now, I’m also part of the series ‘Darna’ and I’m starting a new movie, ‘Spring in Prague’, to be shot on location in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, also produced by Atty. Topacio, with a new leading lady.” 

Some quarters filed a case against him and the movie for allegedly using the SAF uniforms and insignia illegally. 

“We were all surprised because we have permission to use them. Ang reklamo sa akin, nagsayaw daw ako sa tiktok wearing the uniform. 

"Ako naman, no offense meant at all, but it’s a lesson learned for me at di na mauulit. Buti na lang the case didn’t prosper.”