Coco Martin is probably the most famous and successful actor in the Philippines. He has starred in some of the biggest films and television shows on the Philippine small screen and his popularity transcends age, gender, and income levels. But where did he come from and what’s his story? In this article, we take a close look at the incredible life and journey of Coco Martin.
Growing Up in the Slums of Manila
Coco Martin, whose real name is Rodel Nacianceno, was born on November 1, 1981 to a poor family in Tondo, Manila, one of the poorest and most densely populated areas in the Philippines. He started life as a street child, scavenging garbage dumps for scraps that he could sell.
In spite of his difficult upbringing, the young Coco was determined to make something of himself and when the chance to become involved with Ang TV, a children’s television show, presented itself, he grabbed it with both hands. It was here that he first showed off his skills as an actor, although at the time he had no intention of pursuing a career in the industry.
The Journey From Ang TV to Primetime Pinoy TV Stardom
After his stint on Ang TV, Coco was cast in a number of other projects and in 2005, he landed a major role in the primetime drama 'Iisa Pa Lamang.' This was the breakthrough role that he had been longing for and soon after the show had finished airing, Coco was seen everywhere.
He was cast in blockbuster films such as 'Masahista' in 2006 and 'Mano Po 4: Ako Legal Wife' in 2007. These films cemented Coco’s status as a bona fide movie star and he started to appear on every major Philippine TV channel.
From movies, Coco moved into the world of primetime soap operas. His first major role was in the 2009 series 'Kung Tayo’y Magkakalayo' and he soon followed this up with another critically-acclaimed performance in the 2011 series 'Walang Hanggan.'
However, it was the 2014 series 'Ang Probinsiyano,' which starred Coco as the lead role of Cardo, that really catapulted him to the heights of fame and earned him the title of the 'King of Primetime.' This series was one of the most successful and longest-running series in Philippine TV history and cemented Coco as one of the most recognisable and iconic figures of Philippine showbiz.
The Rise and Rise of a Philippine Megastar
Since his success on Ang Probinsiyano, Coco’s star has continued to rise. He won the Best Actor award at the 2018 Metro Manila Film Festival for his role in the blockbuster movie 'Ang Panday' and he is one of the most in-demand actors in Philippine TV and film.
But, it’s not just on the big and small screens that Coco enjoys success. He was also the choreographer and director of the dance group 'Coco Martin Dance Academy,' which gained widespread acclaim.
He also owns his own production company, Coconuts Productions, and is an active social media user and advocate for a number of causes.
Coco Martin: More Than The King of Primetime
Coco Martin is, without doubt, one of the most successful and acclaimed actors ever to come from the Philippines. His rags-to-riches story is an inspiration to millions of Filipinos and he continues to be an advocate for the less privileged and underprivileged in society.
Coco is, quite simply, the King of Primetime, but he is also so much more than that. He is an actor, a choreographer, a director, a producer, a social media influencer, and an inspiration to many.
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