I have been a fan of GMA-7’s star search, “StarStruck” ever since it first aired on the Philippine airwaves as the first Filipino Artist search. The tasks range from simple to frighteningly challenging and the Idol Hopefuls were certainly placed in a tight spot where they had to give their all and of course show-off their talents in hopes of winning not only the price money but the title, prestiege and the GMA-7 contract that goes along with it.
StarStruck gave birth to well-known stars such as Mark Herras, Jen Mercado, Yasmine Kurdi, Ranier Castillo (all four from the StarStruck Batch 1) as well as Mike Tan, Ryza Cenon, CJ Muere and LJ Reyes (from Batch 2) and let’s not forget the batch 3 top 4: Jackie Rice, Iwa Moto, Gian Carlos and of course, the Ultimate Survivor, Marky Cielo.
Mark Angelo Cadaweg Cielo (also known as Marky Cielo) Cielo grew up in Butuan City, then moved to Mountain Province in 2001. He spoke the Kankanaey, Ilocano, Tagalog and Bisaya languages (precisely Butuanon and Cebuano) fluently. According to his real life story in Magpakailanman, Marky’s parents were separated when he and his sister were still young, and then their mother took care of them on her own. He only met his father again after many years.
He was only just a freshman student in Saint Louis University, Baguio City taking up Architecture before joining Starstruck. He is a member of SLU Dance Troupe. His father revealed that Marky has plans to go back in school next year but sad to say that he already passed away.
When his classmates convinced Cielo to join StarStruck, he accepted. He won the Ultimate Male Survivor title, and the first Sole Survivor title of Batch 3. He was the first Igorot ever to join that contest. Among Marky’s prizes was a house and lot in Antipolo. He and his family lived in his new home.
After winning StarStruck, Cielo had entered in show business. His first show was Fantastikids which stars Isabella de Leon and B.J. “Tolits” Forbes and then Encantadia: Pag-ibig Hanggang Wakas. His two primetime shows which his two characters were killed off were Bakekang and Asian Treasures. Both of his two shows considered as Cielo’s big break. The said network chose Cielo to be a protagonist in the Philippine remake of Uchuu Keiji Shaider as Alexis del Mundo or Shaider but Dennis Trillo and StarStruck Ultimate Hunk Aljur Abrenica added so the title Shaider was changed to Zaido: Pulis Pangkalawakan, a spin-off sequel to Metal Heroes in which he portrays Alexis Lorenzo or Zaido Green. He considered his show Zaido as his biggest break. He recently joined the casts of Sine Novela: Kaputol ng Isang Awit which stars Glaiza de Castro, Lovi Poe and Jolo Revilla. He was seen on the commercial of no-smoking campaign with Department of Health secretary Francisco Duque III. He joined Codename: Asero then LaLola which is his last TV show.
Cielo was found dead on December 7, 2008 by his mother, who went to his room in their house in Antipolo City around 6 a.m. to wake him up for a charity event. He was 20 years of age. An initial report says that he died in his sleep. Cielo was last seen in LaLola, which he left his character “Billy”.
It is a tragic end to one as talented as Marky Cielo. At the sudden erruption of the news of his passing which my sisters received via SMS, I was at first in disbelief and only thought of it as a sick joke since Filipinoes do tend tp send such Text Messages out as a prank (sick pranksters like that deserve zero attention). However, after confirming that the news is indeed true, I feel sad and sorry for the family that he has left behind.
Marky may not be a close friend or even an acquaintance of mine, but, without a doubt, him being part of the Filipino Showbiz industry sent a new wave and even hope for Igorots who, not before him joining StarStruck, didn’t even think of doing so much less of being able to win.
It is quite sad that he has to pass away at such an early age especially when things are going well for him and his family. The GMA-7 family not only lost a member but also lost one of their best performers and I say this on behalf of his fans here in Lucena City, Philippines.
We will always remember you, Marky Cielo.