Paolo Gumabao is becoming known for taking on daring roles.
The actor is trending nowadays because of his steamy and sensual film Silip Sa Apoy.
Here are more facts worth knowing about the fast-rising sexy hunk.
He met his biological dad when he was already 15 years old
Born and raised in Taiwan as Paul Chen, Paolo Gumabao grew up thinking that his Taiwanese foster father who raised him was his real dad.
When he was 13 years old, their family moved to the Philippines. A year after, his mother, Sheryl Sorreta, finally told him that his real father is former actor and pastor Dennis Roldan (Mitchell Gumabao in real life).
Dennis was involved in a kidnapping case back in 2005 and is serving his life sentence in New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.
In 2013, when he was just 15 years old, he finally found the courage to contact his biological father without his mother's knowledge.
He recounted the conversation that happened between them. Upon ascertaining that he was speaking with his real dad, Paolo formally introduced himself.
"Sabi ko, 'My name is Pao. Sabi po sa akin ng mommy ko, tatay daw po kita.'
“Sabi niya, 'Huh, sino nanay mo?'
"Sabi ko, 'Si Sheryl (Sorreta) po.'
"‘Taga saan yung nanay mo?'
"Sabi ko, 'Taga Project 7 or 3 yata before.
"Sabi niya, 'Saan ka?'”
Dennis was living in Ortigas at that time, and he asked Paolo to meet up with him nearby. Without a car or money for a taxi, Paolo ran to Home Depot, Ortigas to finally meet his dad face to face.
He recalled, “Hinanap ko yung aisle na sinabi niya sa akin. Nakita ko siya. Lumapit ako. Tiningnan niya ako mula ulo hanggang paa, tapos sabi niya, ‘Anak nga kita.’
“Sabi ko, hindi po ba tayo magpapa-DNA test?
"‘Hindi na kailangan.’"
Paolo ended up joining Dennis at his church's service that night.
He continued, "After that, he brought me to Lancaster Hotel because he had a [pastor] service there. During that service, kinuwento niya mismo kung anong nangyari sa araw na yun.
“Tapos sa dulo na part, sabi niya, 'This is Pao. He is my son. I just met him earlier, two hours ago.' Tapos grabe, lahat nagpalakpakan.
“It was touching for me, actually.”
A year after their meeting, Dennis was sent to prison.
He was abused by his classmates and teachers in Taiwan
“Ang pinaka-naalala ko na abuse sa buhay ko is nung time na nasa Taiwan ako, dun pa ako nag-aaral, when I was in elementary.
“I was studying in a traditional Chinese school. I was the only foreigner there, I was the only one who looked different, and I was the only Filipino," he recalled.
Paolo expounded on the abuse he went through. “Sa Taiwan kasi, medyo they look down on us Filipinos, lalo na iba yung hitsura ko sa kanila. The students would physically abuse me, like it gets physical a lot of times, actually.
“What's crazy about it is pati yung teachers... the teachers would verbally abuse me."
He can still vividly recall specific instances.
“Halimbawa, when I was in third grade, I remember, my Science teacher, pinaharap niya ako sa lahat ng mga kaklase ko in the classroom.
“Aminado ako, medyo makulit ako noong bata ako. Pero in third grade, pinaharap niya ako sa mga kaklase ko. And in Chinese, she said na, ‘Don’t be friends with this kid because when he grows up, he will be trash.’
“I walked out then went straight to the bathroom after that."
Thankfully, that harrowing ordeal ended when he flew to the Philippines, where he eventually found his calling in showbiz.
He was able to enter showbiz ON his own MERIT
One would think that Paolo had an easy ride starting his career in showbiz. After all, his biological father's family was already active in the industry—aside from having Dennis as his father, Paolo is also half-siblings with Kapamilya actor Marco Gumabao and athlete-beauty queen Michele Gumabao. Veteran actress Isabel Rivas is also his aunt.
“Sa totoo lang, ha, people always think that’s what happened, but I actually found my own ways to enter this industry.
“I met my manager Manny Valera and he was the one who introduced me to all the casters and siya yung nagpapa-audition sa akin.
“So, nung nakapasok na ako... kasi parang ang nangyari, nung nakapasok ako sa showbiz, biglang nakulong yung tatay namin. Until now, he’s still in Muntinlupa,” he said in a guesting in PEP Spotlight last January 25, 2022.
In a separate interview with PHILSTAR, he recounted, “I was 15. I was walking in Megamall and yung dating assistant ng manager ko ngayon, si Direk Manny Valera, nakita ako naglalakad sa mall. Nilapitan ako and then asked me if I was modeling or if I wanted to try acting.”
And the rest is history.
He finds male co-stars easier to do sensual acts with than female co-stars
“Mas madali mag-eksena sa lalaki kaysa sa babae,” Paolo admits.
He explains, “Kasi kapag lalaki, parang wala ka lang paki, e. Hahaha! Parang bahala na, parehas naman kayong lalaki. So lahat ng gawin mo okay lang yun.
“Pero pagdating kasi sa girl, there’s this feeling na you have to be more careful. You have to be more delicate.”
He further expounded on the difference between doing delicate scenes with male and female co-stars.
“Siyempre, andun yung I don’t want to be disrespectful towards my co-artists, lalo na kapag babae.
“So for me, pagdating sa mga sexy scenes, lalaki man iyan o babae, it’s all the same.
“It’s just that mahirap lang talaga kapag sa babae, dahil kailangan mong alalayan.
“Siyempre, sometimes, may mga gusto kang gawin na parang feeling mo pasok sa eksena, pero you have to be careful or ask muna kung okay lang kay girl artist."
Paolo has done steamy scenes with male co-actors in the series Mga Batang Poz (2019), and the movies Lockdown (2021) and Sisid (2022).
For his latest film, Silip Sa Apoy, Paolo and female lead Angeli Khang did several intimate sex scenes.