Who are Paolo Pangilinan, Ian Pangilinan, the lead stars of ‘Gaya sa Pelikula?’

Ian, a theater actor, and Paolo, a showbiz newcomer, star as Vlad and Karl in the upcoming series

NEW TANDEM. Paolo Pangilinan and Ian Pangilinan are the new stars to watch out for in the upcoming series 'Gaya sa Pelikula.' Screenshot from Instagram/@ianpangilinan_/@paolopangs

MANILA, Philippines – If the screen test and teaser for the upcoming series Gaya Sa Pelikula are any indication, boys love (BL) series fans will soon find themselves with a surplus of kilig courtesy of spoken word artist and actor Juan Miguel “Gege” Severo’s creation.

Globe Studios on Wednesday, July 8, announced the series’ two leads – Paolo Pangilinan and Ian Pangilinan, who will be playing Karl and Vlad, respectively. I’m Drunk, I Love You director JP Habac is set to direct the upcoming series, which follows two college students who are about to learn a thing or two about love. 

Ahead of the show’s premiere (Globe says it’s coming out soon!), here’s a few things you should know about its lead stars: 

First, writer Gege would like to reassure everyone that the two stars are not related (they checked, Gege cheekily noted in a tweet).  

Ian, 22, is a theater actor who describes himself as a movie geek and a Lilo and Stitch lover. He graduated from Ateneo de Manila University with a BS Management Engineering degree and played Rovic in the musical adaptation of Tabing Ilog.

He also appeared in productions of Reasons to Be Pretty and Ateneo Blue Repertory’s Spring Awakening.


After the announcement, Ian wasted no time talking about how excited he was to be part of Gaya Sa Pelikula

“Ever since I saw the film Hintayan ng Langit, pangarap ko talagang makaktrabaho si Juan Miguel Severo, “ Ian said, referring to another collaboration between Gege and Globe Studios.

(Ever since I saw the film Hintayan ng Langit, I always dreamed of working with Juan Miguel Severo.)

“So to get this role is like a literal dream come true for me. Grabe. Add pa na si JP Habac is directing?”

(Plus JP Habac is directing?) 

He also promised to do his best. “To get this project is insane, and I’ll be sure to do this material justice. Grabe ang wild!” (This is wild.)

Paolo, 24, graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Sports Science in 2018 from the University of the Philippines. Paolo told Rappler via email that his stint with the UP Pep Squad started in 2013.



Since he’s a UP Pep alum, it’s no wonder that Paolo’s a skilled gymnast. 




In 2019, he joined a contest called Mr and Ms Lukan, which he won. The contest was sponsored by the St. Luke’s Medicine Student Council. Paolo is currently a second year student in St. Luke’s College of Medicine. 

Prior to auditioning for Gaya sa Pelikula, Paolo modelled and appeared in commercials for a fastfood chain. 

I auditioned for Gaya sa Pelikula because the characters in the script were people I have seen in real life. I also believe that the time has come for more LGBTQIA+ stories to be told,” he told Rappler. 

“As a queer individual myself, whose roles were of cis or cis-acting persons, I could not let the opportunity pass,” he added. 




A release date for Gaya sa Pelikula has yet to be announced. – Alexa Villano/Rappler.com