He was born on May 12, 1968 in Quezon City to Herminio "Butch" Bautista (1934–2017), who became a two-term city councilor from the fourth district, and Rosario "Baby" Maclang (1947–2008), a restaurateur. He has two siblings, Hero and Harlene (married to Romnick Sarmienta). Herbert Bautista took Bachelor of Laws at New Era University though he did not finish it. 
In 1992, he graduated from the San Beda College of Manila with a baccalaureate degree in Philosophy and Letters. He was adjudged Most Outstanding Centennial Bedan Alumnus in recognition of his contribution and leadership in civil governance and politics. He has a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from the National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) at the University of the Philippines Diliman. Bautista is an alumnus of the National Defense College of the Philippines where he obtained his Master in National Security Administration (MNSA) degree. He is working towards his Doctorate degree in Political Science UP Diliman.
From 1986 to 1989, he was President of the Kabataang Barangay National Federation and was appointed ex officio City Councilor representing the Youth Sector of Quezon City. From 1992 to 1995, he was elected Councilor of Quezon City and was concurrently Chairperson of the Committee on Tourism and Cultural Affairs. He was the youngest Vice Mayor of Quezon City. He was elected in May 1995.
Bautista became the youngest and first bachelor Vice Mayor of Quezon City elected in May 1995. After his first term, he ran for mayor in 1998, but lost to then-Mayor Ismael Mathay, Jr. Bautista returned to politics when he was elected as the City Vice Mayor thrice in 2001, 2004, and 2007.
One of the younger officials of the country, who has had a long and fruitful experience in government and the youth movement, Bautista is active in socio-civic activities. He is Board Director of the YMCA-QC, Inc., member of the Rotary Club of Kamuning, District 3780; founding president of the Association of Graduate Students and Alumni of the UP College of Public Administration in Diliman; board director of the Katipunan ng mga Artista sa Pelikulang Pilipino at Telebisyon (KAPPT) and member of the Philippine Constitution Association (PHILCONSA).
Bautista is the National President of the National Movement of Young Legislators (NMYL), a 6,000-member organization composed of vice governors, board members, vice mayors and councilors including Sangguniang Kabataan federation presidents.
On July 1, 2010, he took oath into office as the Mayor of Quezon City after his landslide victory in the 2010 local elections in Quezon City. His running mate was Joy Belmonte, daughter of outgoing mayor Sonny Belmonte. She was also successful in the vice mayoral race. Their oath with the elder Belmonte as congressman and the city councilors was administered by Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Herbert M Bautista joined the reserve force of the AFP through the Reserve Command, PA and was subsequently enlisted as a Master Sergeant in the Philippine Army with completion of his Basic ROTC with then San Beda ROTC Unit.
He reported to the 131st (Standby Reserve) Division, PA and was given the designation of Brigade Sergeant Major of the newly formed Light Armor Brigade (Reserve).
He applied for a commission when he was Vice-mayor of Quezon City and was commissioned with the rank of Army Captain.
He resigned his commissioned as an Army Captain and was re-commissioned as a Lieutenant Colonel through the commissioning program of the Master in National Security Administration (AFP Circular Nr. 30) of the National Defense College of the Philippines. He is the Commanding Officer of the 1502nd Infantry Brigade (Ready Reserve) which is a component of the 15th Infantry Division (Ready Reserve), Army Reserve Command.2+2 (BBC)
Clubhouse 9 (1977-1978) (RPN)
Basta Barkada (1978-1979) (RPN)
Broadkast Workshap (1978-1979) (IBC)
Dr. Potpot & The Satellite Kid (1985) (RPN)
Lovingly Yours (1985-1996) (GMA Network)
Kalatong Pinggan (1987-1989) (ABS-CBN)
Young Love, Sweet Love (1988-1995) (RPN)
Eat Bulaga (1989-1992) (GMA Network)
Bistek (1990-1992?) as Bistek (IBC)
Ready Na Direk (1991-1994) (RPN)
Pandakekoks (1990-1991) (GMA Network)
GMA Telecine Specials (1995) (GMA Network)
Mikee (1995) (GMA Network)
Haybol Rambol (1994–1995) (GMA Network)
Mary D'Potter (2001) (ABS-CBN)
Wow! (2002) (IBC)
Klasmeyts (2002) as Host (ABS-CBN)
Super Inggo (2006) as Kumander Bawang (ABS-CBN)
Super Inggo 1.5: Ang bagong bangis (2007) as Kumander Bawang (ABS-CBN)
Sabi Ni Nanay (2007) (RPN)
Flordeluna teleserye as Reneboy (2013) (ABS-CBN)
Ikaw Lamang (2014) as Algaro (ABS-CBN)
Oh My Mama (1981)
Bagets (1984) as Gilbert
Julian Vaquero (1984) as Dencio
Bagets 2 (1984) as Gilbert
Shake, Rattle & Roll (1984) Douglas (segment "Manananggal")
Kumander Bawang (1985) as Tikboy/Kumander Bawang
Like Father, Like Son (1985) as Mariano "Nanoy" Batobalani
Ma'am May We Go Out (1985) as John Ramos
Working Boys (1985) as Kermit
Ninja Kids (1986) as Dodo
Captain Barbell (1986) as Tengteng
Takbo, Bilis, Takbo (1987)
Puto (1987) as Ivanhoe "Puto" dela Cruz
Jack & Jill (1987) as Hilario/Jill
Jacky Tyan (1988) as Juan/Johnny
Pik Pak Boom (1988) as Danny/Berto
Jack & Jill Sa Amerika (1988) as Hilario/Jill
M & M: The Incredible Twins (1989) as Marcelino
Dear Diary (1989) as Badong/Matthew
Hulihin Si Nardong Toothpick (1990) as Nardong Toothpick
Tootsie-Wootsie: Ang bandang Walang Atrasan (1990)
Robin Good: Sugod Nang Sugod (1991) as Big John
Pitong Gamol (1991) as Jun Halo
Daddy Goon (1992) as Kuliling
Alabang Girls (1992) as Orot/Orly
Mga Syanong Parak (1993) as Hulyo
Dunkin Donato (1993) as Buknoy
Dobol Trobol (1994) as Wong
Multo In The City (1994) as Oscar
Ten Little Indians (1996) as Michael
Parak: The Bobby Barbers Story (1997) as Pinggoy
Ping Lacson: Supercop (2000) as Rivera
Umaaraw, Umuulan (2006) as Berto
Shake, Rattle & Roll 14 (2012) as Donald(Episode: Pamana)
Raketeros (2013) as Berto
Bob Ong's Lumayo Ka Nga Sa Akin (2016)