Article and Photos By Alex Datu
“I’m trying to do my best not only in my singing career but also in acting. Hopefully, pag tumanda na ako ng konti, alam ko mas gagaling ako sa dad ko, malay mo, di ba!”
Sean Paolo Manuntag is slowly but surely following the footsteps of his dad, “Pinoy Sinatra” Arthur Manuntag, now in the USA for a series of shows. As the only son, he discovered his talent in singing at 23 and loves to sing standard and classic songs. “I just started singing professionally in 2013. I just recently discovered my talents and immediately, I thought to be like my dad, a famous singer. I used to sing in family gatherings, events but not professionally. First time ko to sing was in Dark Room Bar of Manila Hotel,” he recalled.
Sean Paolo admitted that he felt pressure when compared to his dad Arthur, specially when they are performing together in one stage. But as a real trouper ,he focused his attention to another level and it helped. “Actually, there’s a little pressure pero iniisip ko, we’re different in some ways like our forte,” he shared. “He has his own style and I have mine, too. So, puwede kong gawin dahil he is my idol, pakinggan ko siya ng pakinggan and get some knowledge from him, through listening to his songs. He can be my mentor and actually si dad used to be a rocker, nag-start siya ng standards at 40. Hindi naman niya ako na-influnce totally dahil passion ko talaga ang standards dahil masarap sa tenga at may meaning ‘yung mga lyrics.”
He admitted that as a late bloomer, he thought of becoming a host because he believed singing and hosting go together. “At first, I thought of learning to host because it goes together with singing. Sa umpisa, I was actually singing and then, binalak ko na hindi lamang singing ang i-pair dito, kaya I thought of hosting,” he added.
He went to ABS-CBN for a summer workshop on hosting but unluckily, he was told that said workshop was only offered to Star Magic artists. “Dahil nandoon na rin ako, sabi ko why not try a workshop and learn something. And then ‘yung na nga, I took introductory to acting. From there, nag-advance level na rin ako dahil nakasali na ako sa mga tapings sa teleserye. Extra in few movies like the movie Everything About Her, Etiquette for Mistresses, The Three of Us (playing the role of co-pilot of John Lloyd Cruz). Kasama rin ako sa My Super D bilang isa sa mga sindikato.”
But acting was not his daddy’s trek to stardom. “Well, I can’t say for sure na taga-pagmana niya ako, Siyempre, magkaiba kaming tao but I’m trying to live up to their expectations. Kasi ‘pag sinabi nila, anak ni ‘Bogart’ (Arthur’s nickname in the entertainment scene) ‘yan, so medyo mataas na agad yung tinign nila sa ‘yo. Kaya dapat kasing galing mo rin ang dad mo.,” he stated.
As a budding artist, Sean admitted to be a movie buff and he wanted to be a contravida because he believed that a villain plays a very important part in any teleserye or movie.
“Sa mga nakikita ko sa shows, ‘yung mga bida ang pansin pero ang kontrabida, iilan lang talaga ang napapansin, di ba? So, I wanna be hiwalay sa mga bida, gusto ko parang mga bad boys like Frank Sinatra na gumaganap ng gangster na mayaman, head boss ng mga gang or something parang Godfather ang dating, ‘yan ang gusto kong role dahil doon sa naririnig sa mga nakapanood ng movie or teleserye, very challenging kaya gusto ko ang kontrabida,” he explained.
Among our long list of talented and established senior contravida, Sean singled out Eddie Garcia to be his favorite. He described Baron Geisler to be another “Manoy” in the making.
“Recently, nakikita ko si Baron Geisler and his really damn good and both of them have portrayed gay roles. I can portray a gay role kasi hindi naman ako namimili ng role eh, and I’m not afraid kasi I’m sure of my sexuality. I know, I’m straight and if that’s a role and I’m being paid, why not and its exposure. It’s normal to have bashers and it’s a sign that you are now made as an actor. For me, good or bad, it still a publicity. You can’t please every one,” he shared.
His dad (Arthur) plays the drums and the guitar. But as a young breed, he claimed to have more talents, not only in singing but also playing instruments, like the piano, drums and a little bit of guitar.
He admitted that with his talent in singing and skill in the musical intruments, he has not tried joining in any singing contest. “So far, I don’t think ‘yung mga songs ko fit for contest,” he defended. “Parang mas fit ‘yung mga nagbibiritan, pataasan sila ng boses. Like RNB, mga ganyan. Pop, ‘yan ang laging tininginan sa contest eh. I don’t want to study those songs because there are too many people doing that. I want to switch to something else and like me, may ka-age ba ako na kumakanta ng ganung songs. I haven’t known of anyone.
“If I will try Tawag Ng Tanghalan, I’ll be singing my normal songs. Actually, I tried to audition for The Voice before pero umabot lang ako hanggang sa interview lang.”
We have only more than two weeks to go before the National Elections 2016, but Sean Paolo is still uncertain of whom to vote from the five presidentiables. But he admitted, “To be honest, kung sino ang manalo, I don’t have preference actually kasi ano eh, basta he does his job well, masaya na ako noon eh. Kasi, nahihirapan tayo ngayon at maraming corrupt talaga pero if ever kung sino man ang maupo na pagandahin naman niya somehow ang pagpatakbo ng gobyerno. Hindi naman talaga natin maalis ‘yung corruption kasi lahat naman, may konting ganyan talaga. That’s how I see it. Hindi ‘yung, what I believed kundi, that was I see na kahit mataas at mababa ang posisyon, may corruption talaga. Aside from that corruption, may magawa silang maganda para sa bansa, yun lang. When asked his top three presidentiables, “Poe, Miriam and Duterte, minus the language,” he ended.