Fiona Patricia S. Escandor
HE will be celebrating his tenth anniversary in showbiz this year, but instead of doing it on primetime or on a variety show, Judah Paolo will feast on endless rounds of good food, drinks and his favorite songs.
Now as general manager for Red Box nationwide, Judah Paolo had his big break in national television in a famous festival-themed soft drink commercial that had him saying “Hot-ah, hot-ah!” and spitting fire way back in 2003. This kicked-off his career as actor and host for ABS-CBN and Studio 23.
“Now I’m learning to sing for Red Box,” he told Sun.Star Weekend during a media gathering at the entertainment company’s branch in Cebu City. Aside from managing Red Box’s four branches, the “Hot-ah, Hot-ah!” star has his hands busy with his own leadership consultancy firm, his church ministry as well as his hosting gigs.
On the showbiz front, Judah manages to crack a joke: “I’m not as active as Coco Martin but I still get offers.”
Reprising his celebrity status is not a top priority, though, and he adds that he only plans to get back if he will be offered a role that will “impact a generation.”
“Life changed when I turned 30,” Judah shares. “I found freedom in scripture. It hit me like a truck and I found peace—and I’ve been very joyful.” He said it was the same year he married newscaster Earl Beja and the year he “let go of foolish things and grew up.”
Raised in Los Angeles, Judah came to the Philippines in 1998 at the age of 19 with the initial plan to bring home the first Olympic gold medal in boxing.
“If it weren’t for boxing, I would probably be still in gangs, still doing drugs—probably in prison,” he admitted. At 15, Judah started learning boxing as self-defense from gangs that were after him.
He attempted to enter the Olympic pool again last year and was only three days short of making it to the primary round in Thailand when he dislocated his shoulder—ultimately closing his boxing chapter that spanned 18 years.
“But when you have been turned down, something better will always come along,” he said.
If Judah’s first failed attempt landed him in the showbiz track, the second time opened the opportunity for him to join the Red Box family.
Instated as general manager last November, Judah says he is excited to revolutionize the corporate setup of the company, and to give a fresh perspective on what it means to “rock, dine and roll” the Red Box way.