Rise of the Gumabaos » Manila Bulletin Entertainment


Clans aren’t new in showbiz with the likes of the Padillas, Estradas, Barrettos, Eigenmanns, Cruzes, and Sottos, among others, having established formidable entertainment dynasties through the years.

The Gumabao siblings

Now, another family has followed suit, with siblings Katrina, Michele and Marco Gumabao already making inroads as artists in their own right.

The trio are children of former athlete-turned actor-businessman-politician-evangelist Mitchell Gumabao, more popularly known as Dennis Roldan.

Marco was under Star Magic for the last five years, making his debut via the teen-oriented show “LUV U” that aired on ABS-CBN in 2012.

Michele is a professional volleyball player while Katrina is a model based in Australia.

The siblings just signed a contract with Viva Artists Agency (VAA).

According to Marco, it was a family decision.

“My family felt it’s time to try other opportunities,” he said, maintaining there is no bad blood between him and Star Magic.

“Nagpaalam ako ng ayos,” was how he put it. “They understand naman na parang business lang, nothing personal.”

For now, he is busy attending acting workshops. He hopes to learn more through immersion.

“Ang acting kasi you can’t learn it by the book. ’Di naman siya ’yung pwede mong basahin na tipong ’pag binasa mo na eh magaling ka na,” he related.

Marco revealed he is most excited when playing unique characters. His dream role is that of Kevin (played by James McAvoy) from the 2016 thriller-psychological horror “Split.”

“Gusto ko ng ganu’ng klase para makita ’yung iba’t-ibang characteristics mo as an actor, ’yung iba’t-ibang atake mo sa pag-arte,” he explained.

He believes he is yet to reach full potential.

“Nakatago lang talaga siya, hindi pa lang talaga ako nabibigyan ng opportunity,” he said.

The 23-year-old actor also wants to dabble in dancing and singing.

“Ako kasi naniniwala ako na dapat maging whole package ka, na hindi ka lang dapat pang acting, dapat marunong ka ding mag-perform,” he enthused. “Gusto ko kasi ’tong ginagawa ko. Hindi rin naman ako tatagal in showbiz kung una pa lang ’di ako masaya.”

Marco hopes to reach John Lloyd Cruz-level in the future.

He takes inspiration from his mother and father as “hindi sila controlling.”

“They let us make our own decision as individuals pero kung kita ka nila na mali du’n na sila papasok,” he added.

Wanting to inspire

Like Marco, Katrina wants to make her mark in show business.

She also aims to spread love through social media.

“Gusto kong i-share sa kanila (followers) that to be able to love other people you have to learn to love yourself,” she said. “Kasi kung sinasabi mong mahal mo ’yung isang tapos hindi mo naman mahal sarili mo then hindi ka marunong magmahal ng totoo kasi nagmamahal ka ng laging may kundisyon, laging may limitasyon.”

Katrina used to engage in the battle of the bulge.

“I did all the diet possible, I even took a diet pill. Lahat ng klase ng pagpapayat ginagawa ko but wala hindi siya nag-work. But then nakilala ko si Lord and nalaman ko kung gaano ko kakilala ang sarili ko at kung paano ko pala dapat mahalin ang sarili ko,” she shared.

She now hopes to be an example to others going through the same struggles, holding on to the maxim: “Use your life not to impress but to inspire.”

Asked about her thoughts on body-shamers, she said, “’Di ko sila pinapansin. Or kung maari ’di man ako pumapatol ng pagalit, nag-re-reply naman ako in the form of educating them.”

“I don’t have time to hate people kasi unang-una nakakapangit, nakaka-wrinkle at nakakatanda,” she quipped with a smile.

Katrina wants to focus on modeling and hosting.

How about acting? “Mabils naman ako umiyak,” she joked. “So tingnan natin kung magiging advantage ba ’yun.”

(From left): Veronique Corpus, Katrina, Marco and Michele (mb.com.ph)

(From left): Veronique Corpus, Katrina, Marco and Michele

Though acting is not her forte, Katrina is open to possibilities.

The 29-year-old make up artist has had experience in Australia as plus size model.

“I hope that here in the Philippines we could become as open as other countries when it comes to plus size modeling,” she noted, relating it was not easy for her to carve her own name as international model.

Fulfilling destiny

Michele, on her part, believes it is fate that brought her to VAA, recalling how the industry giant offered her a contract years ago but she turned it down.

“That time sabi ko hindi pa ako sobrang established with volleyball as I was just starting. Sabi ko nakakatakot to sign with the big company kasi hindi ko alam kung anong mangyayari parang feeling ko mawawalan ako ng control so wala pa talagang ako alam nu’n sa industry,” she shared.

She’s happy that Viva still picked her up years later and with her brother and sister in tow.

“Huge blessing for us kasi tatlo kami sa family na mapupunta dito. It looks very holistic and siyempre sama-sama kami, ’di kami magkakahiwalay or magkakalaban,” she said.

Just like her passion for volleyball, Michele is bringing her competitiveness with her in her showbiz journey.

“Pero siyempre I know naman na this things also take time, hindi naman siya instant eh. But ako sanay na rin na you have to wait and also stay on top of your game,” she related.

In any case, just like Katrina, Michele also wants to venture into hosting admitting she could be talkative. Her idols? Toni Gonzaga and Luis Manzano.

Note Michele was part of “Pinoy Big Brother: All In.”

She learned a lot from the stint, among them “Na you just have to be yourself and never be ashamed or scared to be who you are.”

Michele hopes that someday, “’pag sinabi mong Michele Gumabao hindi lang ’yun ’yung volleyball player. Gusto ko maiba naman kasi hindi naman buong buhay makakapaglaro ako ng volleyball so kailangan makagawa rin ako ng pangalan ko for myself.”

Is she prepared to be scrutinized by the public?

“Sure. Wala naman akong kailangang itago kasi lahat naman ng ginagawa ko sa buhay, ’yung ugali ko, its out in the public, alam ng mga tao kung ano ako. There are times na oo ’di mo na ma-i-enjoy ang privacy mo pero lahat naman may kapalit.”

Michele believes being an athlete may also be advantage for her entering showbiz.

“Sanay ako sa paguran, pahirapan, kahit ano game ako to do anything,” she related, noting how her work ethic would help a lot in her showbiz pursuit.

“When it comes to sport kasi marunong ka makisama, sumunod, magtrabaho, and gagawin ang best everytime and for me showbiz and sports is kinda the same pero different lang ’yung field or arena.”

The only concern is she might be too tall at 5’10.”

“Kasi wala nga daw akong ka-height na lalaking actor,” she said. “Pero para sa akin advantage pa rin ang height ko kasi it makes me stand out.”

“Give and take lang naman kasi, ’di din naman pwede lahat nasa akin na. Dapat marunong lang din talaga pumili ng avenues where magagamit mo ’yung height mo in better ways,” she explained.

Does that include beauty pageants?

“Pwede naman. Kung titiyagain kaya naman. Pero kasi masa-sacrifice ’yung sports ko kasi magdi-diet ka so malaking commitment din siya. Let’s see.”

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