“Sometimes, I think to myself: Why am I doing this job? I never really thought of doing photo shoots, or acting. I never thought about it,” he confesses. “I’m shocked every time I’m in a show or I’m singing live. I still get chills. It’s a weird feeling every time. I never expected this, so I can never expect what’s in the future.”
He describes himself as a private guy. When I ask him about meeting people for the first time, he confesses he gets uncomfortable when people act too familiar with him. He is a man who values his personal bubble. Before “PBB” fame, he curated his Instagram as a virtual family album. Not a calling card for industry folk to view.
“If you look at my Instagram before ‘PBB,’ puro kalokohan lang yung laman. I wasn’t even confident about posting myself,” he says. “I didn’t post that much if it was not memorable.” In hindsight, he really was just an average teenager living in Italy. Celebrity life wasn’t a lifelong dream for him. He grew up wanting to be a superhero. As the magic of youth wore off, he traded his dream of wearing a cape for a police badge.
“I was supposed to finish college, join the police force, and have a family back in Italy. Pero wala, I’m here,” he shrugs. “It’s scary how the future works. A small thing can change your whole life. I’m glad for what happened because hindi ako magiging itong Marco na ’to kung hindi ako sumali sa ‘PBB.’”
He planned his future to be part of the police force. That changed during his sophomore year of college. His mother received an audition link for the newest season of “Pinoy Big Brother,” so she pushed Marco to give it a shot. But he didn’t think too much about the audition.
He opted to enjoy teenage life—to go to parties and kick it with friends.
“At first, I didn’t accept celebrity life, because I was a teenager. Teenagers are like, ‘No, I want to do my stuff. I want this, I want that.’ But in the long term, parents just want the best for you,” he reminisces. “Then eventually, I realized that this life was something I wanted.”
2020 is just on the horizon, but critics are calling it: He is Viva’s next James Reid. Everyone is eyeing his next moves in the industry. It seems like this upcoming year might do wonders for his acting career. Yet, he almost left this industry in 2018. “When ‘PBB’ ended, there was a time when I felt a bit depressed about the situation because there were so many rules. And I was wondering, is this life for me? It’s also why I kinda left,” he says.
“I left the Philippines at that time, and I stayed in Italy for six months.” Marco followed his gut and shocked everyone by going back to Italy. During his six-month stay, he wasn’t a reality star turned actor. He was simply a young man pursuing his studies with a part-time stint as a waiter. A couple of months in, a talent agent spotted him during his shift and offered him a modeling contract.
He had the option to start a career there. With those new opportunities, he could have followed some parts of his old life plan: finish college, continue modeling, and start a family in a country he grew up in. It’s all he ever wanted all along, right?