Michael Paulo Lingbanan Avelino May 13, 1988 (age 32)
Michael "Paulo" Lingbanan Avelino (born May 13, 1988) is a Filipino television and film actor, model and singer. He began his showbiz career through the reality talent show StarStruck on GMA Network. After being eliminated in the said reality show, he signed exclusive contract with GMA where he played various supporting roles for the network. In mid-2011, he transferred to ABS-CBN where he gained his current popularity. He gained prominence for his role as Nathan Montenegro in the 2012 hit series Walang Hanggan. He also won the Gawad Urian Award Best Actor for the film Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa. He was starred in Kahit Konting Pagtingin and Honesto in 2013, Sana Bukas pa ang Kahapon in 2014, and Bridges of Love in 2015.
Life and career
Paulo Avelino was born on May 13, 1988 as Michael Paulo Lingbanan Avelino in Baguio City, Philippines. He is the son of Roberto Puigcerver Avelino, an influential Spanish-Filipino from Calbayog City, Western Samar and Jennilyn Lingbanan. He is second out of four siblings, Honey, Gabriel and Angela. His grandfather is Baltazar Avelino, former governor of Samar and is a great grandson to former Senate President Jose Avelino. He attended his primary education at Baguio City SPED Center Elementary School, then later on at the University of Baguio Science High School before graduating at the Baguio Patriotic High School for secondary education. He studied Entrepreneurial Management at Saint Louis University in Baguio City but quit during his first year. He then continued the same course at the Ateneo De Manila University in Quezon City.
Discovery and early projects
Avelino joined a reality show StarStruck 4 under GMA Network in 2006, wherein he got eliminated from the Top 8. Even though he lost in the talent search, Avelino had different acting roles in 2007 in various GMA shows. According to him, "Ever since I was a child, I really wanted to act... I think acting is really my calling". He first appeared in Magic Kamison: Black Jewel In The Palace episode in 2007. In the same year, he appeared in various minor roles; two series of Sine Novela, and Zaido: Pulis Pangkalawakan. The StarStruck 4 cast had their first regular show entitled as Boys Nxt Door, an award-winning youth oriented situation comedy for the network's 57th anniversary. In 2008, he appeared for a supporting role in Babangon Ako't Dudurugin Kita, a remake of 1989 movie of the same title redeveloped by Don Michael Perez and produced by GMA Network. Avelino also appeared in an afternoon series Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan, and in a primetime series Luna Mystika. The year also marks the debut of Avelino on film, having been cast in a Metro Manila Film Festival entry of Regal Films entitled Desperadas 2.
In 2009, Avelino started a regular stint in GMA's then Sunday variety show SOP Rules, and finally landing major roles on then famous Kris Bernal-Aljur Abrenica tandem, with Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin? and All My Life. He was also cast as Robert in a GMA Films-VIVA Films project, Patient X[ and as Pepe in a Filipino action fantasy film, Ang Panday. In 2010, he appeared in a supporting role in a primetime series Ilumina. In the same year, his career turned up as he replaced JC de Vera for a lead role in the fantasy series Panday Kids. According to him in an interview of Philippine Entertainment Portal, he's happy and feels blessed because he was chosen by the network for a big project. His last show with GMA Network was playing a lead role in the afternoon fantasy-drama Alakdana, with Louise delos Reyes and Alden Richards.
In 2011, Avelino signed a contract with ABS-CBN in the presence of channel head Cory Vidanes, business unit head Deo Endrinal and his manager Leo Dominguez. According to ABS-CBN News, Avelino said he wanted to explore out of his comfort zone and at the same time, reinvent himself as an actor. Avelino debuted as a lead actor in a film alongside Lovi Poe on Regal Films' Aswang, which marked his first project as a Kapamilya actor. He also acted in a film entitled as Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, an entry to the 2011 Metro Manila Film Festival. He appeared for the first time in an ABS-CBN show through a guest role in 100 Days to Heaven. He appeared as a rich executive named Teddy Ledesma, alongside veteran actor Phillip Salvador. He also appeared in Wansapanataym, Maalaala Mo Kaya and Ikaw Ay Pag-Ibig as a warm up for his future projects.
Avelino played the role of a bisexual in the 2011 Cinemalaya film "Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa" alongside Rocco Nacino, wherein he won as Best Actor at the Gawad Urian Awards. This marked the actor's first ever award. In his speech, he thanked the movie's cast and crew, and said the award would be an inspiration to him. According to him, "When I first accepted the script, to be honest, I didn’t understand it.[...]It’s mostly poems or songs. It’s something really different, and that’s the reason why I accepted it...". In 2012, Avelino achieved his biggest break through a major role in the hit primetime series "Walang Hanggan", alongside Coco Martin and Julia Montes. He revealed that he learned a lot from his multi-awarded co-actor Martin, who played the lead role in the said series. In the same year, Avelino once again appeared in 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival through "Lost Command" episode of a famous horror trilogy Shake, Rattle & Roll 14 produced by Regal Films. According to him, he considers doing horror projects a little more challenging compared to doing drama.
Paulo Avelino had a relationship with fellow Starstruck alumnus LJ Reyes. Though they are not married, they have one son named Ethan Akio Reyes.