Dial M for Martin
CONVERSATIONS - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - October 6, 2013 - 12:00am

Although he has done so-called markado roles, the name Martin del Rosario (shown here as BNY image model) doesn’t ring as many bells as it should

Who is Martin?

The backgrounder furnished to Conversations by ALV Talent Circuit aptly puts it. ALV is the actor’s new manager.

Yes, who is Martin del Rosario?

The name doesn’t ring as many bells as it should by now, more than six years after he was launched by ABS-CBN in 2007. But you remember the actor who ably acquitted himself in off-beat roles including gay characters which other young (homophobic?) actors wouldn’t touch with the proverbial 10-foot pole. It’s Martin’s fault. Now you see him, now you don’t. After turning heads with an impressive performance, he seems to retreat to the sidelines. He’s media-shy, that’s why, and he seems to have a phobia for the spotlight. You can’t blame him. The spotlight can sometimes be cruel to young actors who are made to endure a painful “initiation” of sorts, subjecting them to unsavory challenges that question their preferences not excluding sexual.

A re-introduction is in order:

Martin del Rosario was born Martin Miguel Mangay del Rosario on Nov. 25, 1992, to Robert del Rosario (brother of Connie Sison) and Maria Teresa “Tet” Mangay (sister of Ces Quesada who appeared with Martin in the Vilma Santos starrer The Healing). He’s the eldest of three siblings (Kim and the youngest Denise).

I remember Martin’s dad Robert who was discovered in the late ’70s by my friend Edwin Santelices (who is now working in the Middle East), an accountant at D’Wonder Films run by Niño Muhlach’s dad Alex Muhlach. Edwin cast Robert and his late brother Joey in bit roles in then child actor Niño’s starrers. The older Del Rosarios quit showbiz in favor of school and Martin has taken up where they left off.

“As a little boy,” recalled Tet, “Martin loved reading books and playing with puzzles, toy insects and dinosaurs. He went to Lourdes School of Quezon City, graduated salutatorian in grade school and second honor in high school. He is currently enrolled as a Broadcast Communications student (he shifted from Business Administration) at the UP Diliman.”

Martin was in second year high school when he was spotted by talent scout Jun Reyes, who was in a cab, in front of Lourdes School.

“I was on my way to La Loma to buy lechon for Gerald Anderson’s birthday party,” narrated Jun (who also discovered Gerald when Gerald was some kind of a “back-up” boys of Joross Gamboa). “It was Martin’s expressive eyes that caught my attention.”

As an actor, Martin uses those “expressive eyes” to full advantage, starting in his acting debut in Star Magic Presents: Abt. Ur Luv and Sineserye Presents: Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos? when he was just 14. More roles followed: In three episodes of Maalaala Mo Kaya (Mansyon, Notebook and Sanggol); two seasons of Star Magic Presents (Astigs in Hayskul Lyf and Astigs in Luvin’ Lyf); a supporting role in ABS-CBN’s primetime teleserye Iisa Pa Lamang; three more MMK episodes (Boarding House, Musiko and Medal of Valor); as the main antagonist in Your Song Presents: Boystown; and a support role in the TV dramas May Bukas Pa and Katorse.

Said ALV head Arnold Vegafria, “2010 was perhaps the most crucial year for Martin. He did his first lead role in the indie film Dagim (for which he won two awards, Breakthrough Performance By An Actor from the Golden Screen Awards and New Movie Actor of the Year from the PMPC Star Awards For Movies) a supporting role in Star Cinema’s Till My Heartaches End. He also appeared in the TV drama Magkano Ang Iyong Dangal?, the TV comedy Juanita Banana and the TV horror-fantasy Rosalka.”

It was his credibly convincing portrayal as a gay character in MMK, first as the title role in Solomon/Samantha and then as 2012 Miss International Queen Kevin Balot in Balot’s bioflick, that established Martin as a versatile actor to watch, unafraid of tackling “daring” roles.

On the same year (2011), Martin took on more mature roles in the top-rating primetime drama series Minsan Lang Kitang Iibigin, in the MMK episode Bibliya and in the movie The Adventures of Pureza. Last year: As the son of Vilma Santos in The Healing, with Angel Aquino and Enrique Gil in Amorosa, opposite Denise Laurel in Precious Hearts Romances Presents: Pintada and as Bagno (one of the major characters in the Juan dela Cruz (which has three more weeks to go).

As you must have noticed, Martin doesn’t need a love teammate like most young actors. He can very well stand alone.  

With that short foray into Martin’s professional life, let’s peep into his private life by making him play the “Complete The Sentence” game. 

  •  I avoid people who…Cannot say anything good about others.  I also avoid users.
  •  My greatest pleasures are…Mango Cream Pie and bitter hot choco.
  •  My worst moment was…When I had to deal with 36 sleepless hours because of a super-hectic schedule. I was at my crankiest.
  • My biggest fear is…Cockroaches!
  •  I pray by and for…A guidance, good health and a good successful life.
  •  The most important persons in my life are…My family.
  •  If I were to be reincarnated as an animal I would be…A crocodile, it’s probably the most misunderstood animal.
  •  My most traumatic experience was…When I accidentally hit my toe with a big hammer last year. I lost my toe nail.
  •  I deal with gossip by…Just simply shrugging it off and keeping silent.
  • The one thing I can’t do without is…My cellphone.
  • Am I afraid of growing old? (Yes or no, and why or why not?) No, it’s inevitable. Everybody grows old anyway.  It’s just a matter of how you deal with it.
  •  The type of girls who turns me on is…Pretty girls with amazing personality. I also go for very simple girls.
  •  The type of girls who turns me off is…Vain and loud.
  •  My philosophy in life is…Success is something earned. 
  •  I lose my temper when…I don’t normally do. Maybe because of frustration at times, but when I start feeling that I’m about to lose it, I just lock myself in my room and listen to some feel-good music.
  •  When I’m alone in my room I fantasize about…A day in the beach where there are no pending schedules, no timelines, no stress… just me, the beach and the sun.
  •  If I were somebody else I would be…Johnny Depp.
  •  I am happiest…When I get to spend more time with myself.
  •  I am saddest…When things don’t turn out the way I expected.
  • My ultimate goal in life is…To finish school and enjoy a great and stable career.
  • What I like about myself is…I have remained the same person I was before entering show business. 
  • What I don’t like about myself is…My being burara (disorganized).
  •  Face to face with God, I’d tell Him…Thank you, Lord, for the life You have given me. You have always blessed me with more than what I deserve. And when things don’t turn out the way I want them to be, grant me the strength to overcome frustration and disappointment, for I know You have something better in store for me.

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com.)

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