Marco in his dad’s showbiz footsteps

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Marco Gumabao’s career is on an upswing. Aside from guesting on shows like Ipaglaban Mo and Maalaala Mo Kaya, the young actor has also ventured into movies. Earlier this year, Marco — son of actor Dennis Roldan (Mitchell Gumabao in real life) — was cast in the film adaptation of She’s Dating the Gangster, a teen romance novel published by Summit Media. It was directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina and starred Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla.

She’s Dating the Gangster — or, as Marco himself refers to it, simply Gangster — was released in theaters July this year and went on to earn over P260M at the box-office. Marco only had a minor role in the movie but his performance didn’t go unnoticed by direk Cathy who commended him for his good attitude and hard work on the set and took note of his potential. That’s why he believes it was direk Cathy herself who cast him in Forevermore, her latest TV project for ABS-CBN.

When asked if he had to audition for Forevermore, Marco admits that he didn’t. “Maybe because I had experienced working under direk Cathy in Gangster that she knew the role would fit me and gave it to me,” he explains. “Nakakatuwa kasi kapag naaalala ka ng iba mong mga directors, yung mga naka-work mo before, kaya sobrang love na love ko si direk Cathy.”

Direk Cathy is known more for her work on the silver screen. Aside from helming the seminal romantic comedy One More Chance with Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz, she has also made box-office hits featuring the likes of Sam Milby and Toni Gonzaga. According to Marco, direk Cathy brings the same sensibility to TV work that she does to movies, which he says is probably why Forevermore is doing well in the ratings game. (When it debuted last Oct. 27, its pilot earned a 27.1 percent rating, making it the No. 1 scripted show for that day.)

“Actually, there’s not much difference,” Marco says of working with direk Cathy. “Kung ano siya sa movie, ganun din sa TV show. Because whether it’s a movie or a TV show, you need to do your best. Marami kasing nag-iisip na pag movie, kailangan sobrang galingan mo, tapos kapag TV show, kahit hindi masyado. But with direk Cathy, nakikita ko sa kanya na sobrang tiyaga niya. For every scene we have to do in Forevermore, she makes it cinematic, and that’s what I really like about her. Working with direk Cathy is so enjoyable because she’s such a great director.”

In Forevermore, Marco plays JC, the best friend of Enrique Gil’s character Xander Grande. “I play the best friend of Enrique. My character is a very nice person and always understanding of Enrique. He confides his problems to me, and I also guide him.”

Marco says everything about working in Forevermore has been fun. He enjoyed the long road trips he and his co-stars took going from Manila to Baguio City where they taped most of the show’s pilot week. In the City of Pines, Marco and his co-star Igiboy Flores made time to see the sights — but there was one sight Marco says he wishes he didn’t see: A ghost in his hotel room!

“Late na kasi ako natulog nung gabing yun,” he recalls. “I was the last one to sleep in our room. Tapos parang ang dami ko nang naririnig. Sounds of furniture being moved around, then footsteps inside our room. Oo, sa loob mismo ng room namin! Grabe! It was really scary! I wasn’t able to sleep until around 5 a.m. It was my first time to experience something like that.”

Supernatural encounters aside, Marco had fun and learned a lot in Baguio City with direk Cathy and her team. In fact, when you think about it, Marco has had the good fortune to work with some of the biggest names in showbiz. Aside from direk Cathy and Enrique, Marco has also worked and developed a close friendship with Daniel. On their increasingly rare days off, Marco and Daniel play basketball or computer games — sometimes just with each other and sometimes with their other friends.

“Pareho silang makulit pero masaya kasama,” Marco says of Daniel and Enrique. “The difference is, DJ prefers staying in, while Enrique enjoys going out. Magkaibang-magkaiba talaga silang dalawa. But for me, they’re very OK as friends.”

Marco is very grateful for all the opportunities he has been given to make his mark in showbiz, but the dreamer in him is eager for more.

“I hope for more successful shows and lead roles that will make an impression on the audience, and I just want to enjoy my work. Pwede rin naman ako mag-action, o kaya gusto ko rin i-try mag-kontrabida para maiba naman ng konti yung role.”

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