“Ang showbiz naman, kung para sa’yo naman ’yan, nandiyan lang ’yan.”
That’s what Marco Gallo told himself when he left the Philippines sometime in July 2018 and had his sights set on continuing his studies in his home country of Italy. It was an impulsive choice, as he told pikapika.ph, telling himself to prioritize studying at the time.
“Biglaan talaga ’yong choice na ’yon noon,” he says of his impulsive decision to go back to Italy. “Hindi ako makakatulog hanggang hindi ko ’yon ginawa.”
Apart from hitting the books, the Filipino-Italian also became your all-around blue-collar worker. However, several months later, a day after his birthday, he felt like something was missing in his life.
“I felt [like] something was missing, something was left in the Philippines na hindi ko maintindihan kung ano ’yon,” he says.
So, he went back to the Philippines and returned to the craft he knows best, which was acting. Since his return, he has appeared in two films and in several shows in the Kapamilya network.
Yet, Marco made another decision that surprised many, which was transferring from Star Magic to the Viva Artists Agency and expects nothing more than to be better in his craft known as acting.
“I [need] to really work harder than I ever did,” he says. “Enjoy it, ’cause that’s the key, I think. You can’t get better if you don’t enjoy your job. Get to know where you can get better and push myself to the limit.”
A SIMPLE DREAM
Back when he was a little boy in Italy, Marco had never dreamed of entering the glitz and glamour of show business. He then recounts that as a kid, he did not trust himself that much and only had simple dreams he wanted to achieve.
“Wala [akong] tiwala sa sarili,” he says of his younger self. “Mediocre ang pangarap, sobrang simple lang kasi ’yon din ’yong pinaramdam ng tatay ko na simpleng tao lang dapat.”
At first, the young actor only had his sights set on simple dreams: being a policeman or being part of the military. However, having feared that he might not get accepted in the latter because of its many complex requirements, he looked up to his father and dreamt of becoming a taxi driver.
“Kung hindi ako nakapasa sa mga ganoon, ang gusto ko tulad ng tatay ko [na] taxi driver,” he says. “Kasi, mahilig ako magmaneho so ayun. Simple lang.”
THE DAWN OF A NEW GOAL
However, things started turning around for Marco when he was introduced to a reality show back in the Philippines called Pinoy Big Brother (PBB). It was in his sophomore year in college when Marco was informed by his mother Anecita about auditions happening for the show in the Teatro San Fedel in Milan.
Yet, having doubts that he’ll even pass the auditions, Marco did not make it a priority and opted to attend a party during the eve of the audition.
“The night before, I was at a party pagkatapos, s’yempre pagod, ayokong lumabas the next day and my mom was like ‘Late ka na sa audition! Kailangan mo nang pumunta!’” he recalls. “So, wala. Alam mo naman ang mga nanay na Pinay, pag ka hindi mo sinunod ang gusto nila, hindi ka titigilan hanggang next week. So hinayaan ko na.”
Arriving at Teatro San Fedel, Marco felt nervous, despite only wanting to audition half-heartedly, because he saw every auditionee showing their best talents and personalities.
“Everybody was showing themselves, pinapakita nila kung ano kaya nila: sumayaw, kumanta, magpatawa. Every kind of skill,” he recounts seeing. “I didn’t have any, and even if I did, I’m not that kind of guy to just, you know--if you ask me to sing, even if I know how to sing, ’di ko agad-agad ipapakita,”
When it was his turn, the judges asked Marco what special skill he had. He spoke the truth and said he had none so they just asked him to narrate his own back story and that became his audition process.
Fast forward to a few months later, Marco recalled that he was at a party when the big bosses of PBB chatted him through Viber, telling him that he had passed the auditions and if he chose to continue on with being one of Kuya’s housemates, he would be booked a flight to Manila as soon as possible.
“It was not totally my choice to do the audition, so I didn’t know how to feel if masaya o hindi masaya dahil iiwanan ko ’yong bansa ko,” he said. “It was literally a 50-50. Hindi mo alam kung matutuwa ka ba na pupunta ka sa ibang bansa na hindi mo kilala. Pero, it turned out that it was a good choice.”
“I think I was probably scared of going out of my comfort zone,” he admits. “I’ve been to the Philippines when I was a kid, and then when I moved here--kasi ’pag bata ka, wala kang presence of mind, e, and then I was leaving when I was 15 so, at the same time, I didn’t wanna lose my family, my friends back there. Pero sabi ko, I need to grow up din e, so [I said], why not take the challenge po?”
A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME EXPERIENCE
For two months and two weeks, Marco was able to change his life as he entered the PBB house. However, at first, he was scared to move to another country.
“Kayo ba naman po na pumunta sa ibang bansa, siyempre hindi mo alam ang kultura, hindi mo alam ang mga tao,” he recalls of his first time back in the Philippines. “Siguro, that’s what we need din naman sa buhay: change. Get out of our comfort zone, and it could be applied for anything: work, studies, people. So, I really think that, at some point in our lives, we really need to get out of that comfort zone.”
And, indeed, that is what Marco did. As he walked inside the PBB house, he had one goal in mind which was to simply enjoy the experience. He did just that by successfully forming friendly bonds with his fellow housemates such as Edward Barber, Maymay Entrata, and Heaven Peralejo.
His most memorable moment during his stint as a housemate was the military task in Batangas. That experience made a mark in his long stay in Bahay ni Kuya.
“Doon ko naintindihan ang totoong salita na ‘huwag sumuko’” Marco says, who once dreamed of becoming a military officer. “Huwag sumuko sa lahat ng mga pagsusubok na binibigay ni Lord sa daan, and it was literally a daan na nilalakad namin pagkatapos ng iba’t ibang subok.”
ANOTHER NEW WORLD
Marco was evicted from the PBB House on Week 12, thus beginning his real journey in showbiz. He describes his first step in the Philippine show business with one word: stress.
“But, a funny stress. I mean a happy one,” he clarifies. “The second that I got out of the house, I felt like I was kidnapped ’cause it was live and I had to be in [Tonight With] Boy Abunda live, too! And it was right after PBB. So, basically what happened is that they put me in a van and they drove so fast to the other unit where the PBB live was going on and that was like new for me.”
Everything was going fast for the Fil-Italian every time he was given a television guesting. However, he said that the fast-paced life of show business in the Philippines prepared him for every problem set before him.
“Sanayan din naman. You need to improvise, you need to be ready anytime,” he said. “You can’t be ready for any inconvenience but, at least, show business, it’s kind of a teaching din na even if you’re not ready, try to deal with the problem...try to deal with the chaos that’s in front of you in a really calm way.
“I’m happy about it because you can use it in real life, you can use it in real problems in your private life po. So, showbiz is kind of like a training program.”
Marco shifted to a better perspective of showbiz as he started landing roles in several ABS-CBN shows. After exiting the PBB house, he has been in the fantasy series Wansapanataym: Amazing Ving and the crime-drama anthology Ipaglaban Mo, as well in films such as Loving In Tandem and Harry & Patty. The former film starred his fellow PBB: Lucky Season 7 batchmates and now-powerhouse love team Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber, popularly known as MayWard.
The popular tandem of Maymay and Edward is considered by Marco as his best friends in showbiz, and they have all kept close ties even after PBB: Lucky Season 7 came to an end.
Just when showbiz was giving him all the best opportunities, Marco shocked everyone last July 2018 when he posted an Instagram photo of him in the airport with the caption “Paalam, Philippines”
It turned out that, for quite some time, the young actor had his sights set on going back to focus on his studies. That is the reason behind his farewell messages to MayWard, the Star Magic team, and the rest of the people he had worked with, showing gratitude that they had met each and every one of them.
“It was actually studies po and there were documents problems,” he reveals. “September po ang simula ng school doon. Hindi ako nag-isip ng twice. Bakit hindi naman unahin ang pag-aaral?”
Apart from going back to school, Marco became an all-around blue-collar worker in Italy. He narrated how he used to move boxes for a company. After that, he became a waiter and a delivery guy. He also had a short stint as a runway model for fashion shows and different events. He did all that while balancing his studies.
A SECOND HOMECOMING
Less than seven months of hitting the books and doing manual labor, Marco had a realization a day after his 17th birthday--that something was missing from his life which was his showbiz life back in the Philippines.
“Hindi rin naman ako makakatulog nang masaya kapag hindi ko ’to nagawa ulit,” he recalls telling himself. “Alam ko naman ’yong pros and cons of going back, of course. I would leave my home again, my friends...”
He likened his return to Italy as if he was a tourist in another country, where you get to miss your hometown after a couple of weeks stay which moved him to mark his return to the country where he became known.
“You know that feeling when you go to a country for two weeks and the first week is really nice but, after a bit, you kinda get bored and you miss the Philippines?” he asked. “That’s how I felt. Something was missing, something was left in the Philippines na ‘di ko maintindihan kung ano ’yon...that’s why I went back.”
That is why one Saturday night in January 2019, Marco decided to fly from Italy back to the Philippines, going straight from the airport to the PBB: Otso live stream to take everyone by surprise, including his bestfriends Maymay and Edward, who were the hosts back then.
“We were expecting naman na he is gonna surprise us,” Edward told the audience during the stream.“Hindi lang namin alam na ngayon, e!”
MAKING THE MOST OUT OF IT
Marco made the most out of his showbiz return, instantly appearing in the family comedy film Familia Blondina and appearing in the drama anthology Maalaala Mo Kaya. Quite recently, he appeared in two ABS-CBN series, namely The Killer Bride and Pamilya Ko, the latter pairing him up with Kira Balinger.
Yet, the young actor wanted to hone and explore his craft more, that is why he got out of his comfort zone once again and delved into a different management, settling with the Viva Artists Agency. As his contract with Star Magic expired, he jump shipped and inked his contract for the media and entertainment company last October 17.
“We really need to get out of our comfort zone and explore,” he said. “That’s why I think I moved to Viva. I’ve always been with ABS, with Star Magic, and I just wanted to explore, I just wanted to see how the industry networks work po.”
“Of course, I want to get better on my craft,” he added. “Get to know people, get real friendships and stuff, get to know your craft, where you can get better, push myself to the limit.”
When asked if he had any Viva artist in mind he would like to work with, Marco only had one girl in mind: the award-winning Nadine Lustre.
“She was mysterious,” Marco described. “I kinda want to get to know this person. I’ve seen her a few times. Our group of friends, we spent the night in Wanderland [Music Festival] Festival. At first, I was watching her movies dati back in Italy.
“Then kasama ko na [siya] sa Wanderland Festival, katabi ko...At first, I was getting starstrucked, of course. And then, it got to a point where I stopped being starstrucked from her and I wanted to know what’s ’yong ugali niya, ’yong pagkatao niya.”
And now that he is in the hands of a new management, what is next for one of Viva’s newest faces?
“I’m curious about that. I don’t know either,” he admits. “I think a really bright future... I hope so. I mean, it depends on me din naman ’yon. Katulad ng sabihan na ‘nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa’. So, ayon nga. I can’t see a better future if I don’t work hard for it. So, I really think this is going to be on my hands and Viva’s hands. It’s gonna be like a dual team. It has to be from each other’s hard work.”
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