Nathalie Tomada – The Philippine Star

September 24, 2021 | 12:00am

Marco Gumabao is a man who wants to redeem himself from his failures in the brand-new TV5 series ‘Di Na Muli.

The teleserye, which airs Saturday nights at 8, marks a couple of firsts for the actor — his first TV project with the Kapatid network and first team-up with long-time friend Julia Barretto.

The 27-year-old said that his ‘Di Na Muli role is “one of the heaviest I’ve ever done,” describing his character Mico as someone who has committed failures in life.

“He looks at himself as a failure and he wants to learn. Yung tatay ng girlfriend niya, played by Bobby Andrews… magpapatulong (siya dun), magpapa-mentor siya para matuto siya sa business. He knows that his whole life has a lot of failures but he wants to correct them through learning from other people,” he told The STAR in a one-on-one.

Produced by Cignal and Sari-Sari Channel together with Viva Entertainment for TV5, ‘Di Na Muli tells the story of love found and lost told through the eyes of Yanna (Julia), who is burdened with precognition of specific events in the future. Her unique but scary ability makes her aware of how fleeting life is. Mico comes into her life and challenges her perspective on love.

“When I read the script, nakaka-praning, right? Yung malalaman mo ilang oras or ilang segundo nalang or ilang araw nalang natitira sa buhay mo. Of course, who doesn’t get scared upon meeting a person who knows when your time is up… or someone who tells you, uy, on this day, you’re going to pass away,” Marco reflected.

“I think, if ever I get told that, my reaction would be… wala. Wala ka ng magagawa pag-ganun eh (there’s nothing you could do about it). Perhaps, the best thing that you could do is to make the most of the time you’ve been left with. Spend it with your family, people whom you really love, if may mga kasalanan ka sa ibang tao, I think it’s best to use that time to say sorry and fix broken relationships.”

Meanwhile, ‘Di Na Muli is the first time real-life friends Marco and Julia are paired on screen. “The friendship definitely helped in making the set and chemistry easier because we knew each other for so long, di na kami nahihiya sa isa’t isa.”

Looking back on their long friendship, he admitted it started out with a little crush on Julia. “We started out as friends talaga and tinukso nalang kami sa medyo gitna na. It was an open secret before, our barkada knew na may gusto ako kay Julia but never did I make any move on her because we didn’t want to ruin the friendship. For me, the friendship between us is more important. But ayun, may mga kaibigan kami na inaasar-asar kami, na pinagtripan kami. Sa akin naman (at that time), nakiki-ride lang kumbaga, OK lang, go with the flow,” said Marco.

Nowadays, they’re very good friends. “We tell each other problems. If may ayaw kami sa isa’t isa, we tell it to each other straight. Walang plastikan.”

Marco, who is naturally regarded as one of showbiz’s young, eligible bachelors, owing in part to his series of leading man roles (from Just A Stranger with Anne Curtis to Revirginized with Sharon Cuneta), is not looking for a romantic relationship at the moment.

“Right now, hindi talaga. I’m focused on my work, myself and my family first because I believe love life will come. I don’t want to force it because I know in myself that it’s not yet time. ‘Pag nagka-girlfriend kasi ako, yung mundo ko parang sa kanya lang, nahihirapan ako minsan to juggle work, business, so mas gusto kong isa-isa muna.”

Nevertheless, when asked about his “ideal girl,” Marco said, “I don’t really have a checklist or a certain type of girl na hinahanap ko. Ang gusto ko lang, of course, God-fearing, Christian. Gusto ko rin siempre ng maalaga, magaling magluto, ganyan, yung marunong sa gawaing bahay, hindi maarte. Mostly, it has to do with the attitude because maraming magaganda but ang hinahanap mo yung ugali, kung mag-swa-swak yung ugali niyong dalawa. So far, wala pa akong nakikitang ganun.”

“Sa ngayon mas gusto kong sabihin (that I prefer) non-showbiz, but I don’t want to close any doors as well. Yes, I know I’m also a public figure… but I’m also a bit private when it comes to my personal life.”

He believes that being private and not being that active on social media have allowed him to stay out of issues. “As much as possible I really try to be scandal-free, ayoko talaga yung controversy, because it doesn’t only affect me but also my family. So, before I do something, pinag-iisipan ko lang talaga ng mabuti kung OK ba ‘to or makakasakit ba ‘to sa image ko. It’s just a matter of thinking before you act. So far naman wala pa akong nagagawa na scandal or controversy… I plan to keep it that way.”

In a separate interview, Marco was asked how his life has changed over the pandemic.

“I’m not sure if a lot of people know…. but Christian talaga kami ever since before nakalabas si Papa (Dennis Roldan) sa kulungan, naging pastor si Papa sa kulungan, paglabas niya naging Christians kami as a family. So I can say, na since I was 10, 11, may personal relationship na kami kay God. But personally now, mas tumibay dahil sa pandemic. Mas marami akong oras makausap siya, magbasa ng Bible. Of course, sino ang may gusto sa pandemic, no one would want (the pandemic) to happen but, for me, nakatulong sa akin definitely because I have more quiet time alone.”

As for acting career goals, Marco wants to do action and an “out-of-the-box barkada movie that doesn’t require love scenes or pa-kilig scenes.”

(‘Di Na Muli also airs on Sari Sari on Cignal TV Ch. 3 and SatLite Ch. 30, and on Live and On-Demand via Cignal Play app.)





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