Way before he released his single “Racing Waters” last year, Marlo Mortel admitted he had already taken a break from acting in order to focus on his music career. This month, he stars in Maalaala Mo Kaya’s April 2 episode along with co-stars Hero Angeles and Sky Quizon who play his brothers and are raised solely by their grandmother (played by Peewee O’Hara).
“Actually, sobra akong excited to work on this project. Unang una dahil I’m very close to my grandparents, sa dalawa kong lola. So talagang nakaka-relate ako. And when it comes to acting, ang tagal ko talagang nagpahinga. I was so busy with Kumu and my music so I think ang dami ko ding natutunan over the past two years. I’m ready to impart what I’ve learned and yung growth na nangyari sa buhay ko para maging isang aktor talaga na seryoso. Kasi dati I was so young and I also already had the chance to work with direk Raz (Dela Torre) before sa MMK kung saan nagbida din ako before. And it’s been a huge difference then and now. I’m very grateful to MMK for giving me this opportunity again to act,” he shared during the MMK mediacon last March 28.
The 29-year-old actor and singer revealed that his two-year hiatus from acting was not without difficulties in his life off camera. But he has also learned to appreciate his craft during this same period.
“It’s so significant yung nangyari na change sa buhay ko because I was battling with mental health problems in the past two years. Nagkaroon ako ng matinding anxiety and that’s also what led me to study neuroscience sa Harvard Online. Kaya ang nangyari, feeling ko nagkaroon ako ng matinding self-reflection. Feeling ko ng mga panahon ng Be Careful With My Heart at dating MMK I wasn’t that serious when it comes to my craft. I didn’t understand what acting is kasi nga I never had acting lessons before. So bigla lang ako napunta dun. Passion ko talaga is music. And I believe that time is growth, time is transition. And now I am transitioning into the actor that I really am,” he explained. Marlo’s single released last year called “Racing Waters” was also about mental health and abuse.
Not a newcomer to doing heavy drama in ABS-CBN’s longest running drama anthology, Marlo admitted doing this episode is a crucial test for his career.
“This is actually my sixth MMK episode pero hindi ako magsisinungaling [na] this is actually ang pinaka challenging na ginagawa ko every time nag-te-taping sa MMK kasi unang una, hindi ako emotional na tao. So dito ko iniyak lahat (laughs). Hirap na hirap ako talaga. Hindi ako magsisinungaling. Lalo na yung mga panahon na wala pang cut-off. Naabutan ko 6 am, 9 am umiiyak pa kami para sa MMK. Kasi totoo talaga siya na mga storya so hindi mo na talaga mapipigilang umiyak. So sabi ko after my last episode nung 2019 or 2018, sabi ko pagbalik ko dito I want a fresh perspective, I don’t want na hindi ako prepared. So internally yes nag-prepare ako. For me make or break ito kasi ang tagal kong nagpahinga sa acting. So I think this is the perfect opportunity to show your authentic self. Kasi ang hirap magpaka-fake sa ganitong klaseng episode or program. Kasi totoo yung mga dini-depict natin na mga tao na mostly talaga tragic yung mga naging story sa buhay. And it’s to inspire them to make them feel that they can overcome anything and go through those difficulties and just thrive. So yes it was challenging and you have to really prepare emotionally and mentally, lahat. Buong katawan,” he said.
Watch Maalaala Mo Kaya this Saturday, April 2. Starring Hero Angeles, Marlo Mortel, Sky Quizon, and Peewee O’Hara. Directed by Raz Dela Torre.