Paul Cabana, History’s Channel’s Fil-Am executive producer, and the brain behind the network’s hit shows “Top Shot,” “How the States got their Shapes,” and “Secret Access: Vatican.”
The proud Fil-Am came to the Philippines in December last year tp promote the new season of the “Top Shot” series, a reality competition where contenders try to best each other in shooting and marksmanship to earn the $100,000 prize.
For the show, Cabana said he expects to work with a lot of Filipino contestants: “I’m not gonna say I’m partial, but in casting, it just so happens that every season there’s a Filipino in the group…It just so happens that the Filipino community is extremely well-represented in international marksmanship competitions. There are so many world-class shooters that happen to be Filipino.”
As for History Channel, Cabana hopes to see the network grow even more than it already has: “I think History has become big, but it has huge potential to become bigger. I’d love to say that I was part of a team that did that.”
Cabana is quick to acknowledge his Filipino roots.
“My parents studied in UST and then emigrated to the US in 1963. I think being second generation, there’s an emphasis on education and working hard,” Cabana shared.
“I think the work ethic is incredibly emphasized, and I think that’s influenced me,” he added.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Cabana took an interest in television from an early age, sharing that not even his mother’s mandate to give up TV for lent and advent could make him forget about the medium that has brought him so much success.
“Like all Catholic families, we had to give up something for lent. In our household we had to give up television…I think the Filipino background in that case backfired because it made me wanna watch a lot more TV,” Cabana said with a laugh during a media briefing in December last year.
Interestingly enough, the 37-year-old production VIP didn’t have a formal education in TV, earning a business degree from Harvard instead.
In an interview with GMA News Online, Cabana said, “I studied business but I did all my electives in photography and visual arts…I was always interested in combining the two, creative and business, so it just led me to television.”
After school, Cabana dabbled in advertising, magazines, and new media before finally entering the TV industry as a researcher.
Cabana worked for various networks as he worked his way through the industry, and in 2008, as a field producer for “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations,” he earned his first Emmy nomination.