Rodel Luis Pacheco Nacianceno, who goes by the screen name Coco Martin, is a Filipino actor, producer and director best known for his work in Ang Panday and FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano. But did you know that before he became famous, he spent some time working as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Canada?
EARLY LIFE WITH LOLA
Born in Novaliches, Quezon City, Coco Martin grew up with his grandmother Matilde.
His Lola, who ran a money lending business, would take him on trips to wet markets in Blumentritt and cock fighting arenas in La Loma. He would help her collect money from her customers.
He understood the value of working hard, and held odd jobs that included working restaurants and coffee shops.
COCO MARTIN ACTING CAREER
Coco Martin was discovered by Johnny Manahan, and was introduced to Philippine showbiz as a member of Star Circle.
He was able to land roles in movies like Luv Txt.
While he was had the occasional movie and tv roles, he went back to school. He graduated from the National College of Business and Arts in Quezon City, with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management.
After receiving his college degree, he was offered the lead role in Masahista, an independent film directed by Brilliante Mendoza.
Masahista went on to win the Golden Leopard at the 58th Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland.
Coco Martin joined the cast and crew in promoting the film at international film festivals around the world.
It was during their stop at the Toronto International Film Festival TIFF in Toronto, Ontario that Coco Martin decided to try his luck as an OFW.
STARTING OUT AS AN OFW IN CANADA
During their stop in Toronto to promote the film at TIFF, the Government of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program TFWP was welcoming tens of thousands of OFWs from all over the world to Canada.
Discouraged by the lack of acting job offers despite his work in the movie, he decided to try his luck as an undocumented foreign worker in Canada.
He headed west, and found work as a janitor at a bingo parlour in the province of Alberta. Like thousands of other OFWs before him, Coco Martin found that working in Canada was not as simple as other people made it out to be.
Discouraged that he could not extend his stay in Canada legally, he went back home to the Philippines.
GOING BACK HOME TO THE Philippines
After his unsuccessful stint as an OFW in Canada, he reconnected with Brilliant Mendoza.
Mendoza offered him the lead role in the movie Tirador, which earned him favourable reviews from film critics who praised him for his exceptional work.
He won his first Gawad Urian Award for best supporting actor in the movie Jay.
COCO MARTIN DIRECTORIAL DEBUT
Coco Martin made his directorial debut in the movie Ang Panday, a remake of the classic Carlo J. Caparas film starring Filipino acting legend Fernando Poe, Jr.
COCO MARTIN CURRENT PROJECTS
Coco Martin is currently starring in the TV adaptation of the classic Filipino film Ang Probinsyano, where he plays the dual role of Cardo and Ador.
COCO MARTIN ON SOCIAL MEDIA
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