Coco Martin The Primetime King Journey

For more than two decades already that he’s in the local entertainment industry, Coco Martin – or Rodel Pacheco Nacienceno in real life – has certainly never fell short in astonishing us with his versatility and talent in acting, which we’re able to see in the teleseryes he starred in that were usually slated in the primetime block. Due to his consistently impeccable performances, we can all agree that he truly deserves the “Primetime King” title.

And this 2023, he is set to prove anew that he indeed dominates primetime TV through the highly anticipated FPJ’s Batang Quiapo, in which he doesn’t only portray the titular character Tanggol, but he also serves as one of its directors and creators. But before we see him in another light, let us revisit first his commendable teleserye stints through the years that molded him into becoming one of the celebrated actors and filmmakers in the country at present via this Kapamilya Spotlight feature.

After gaining popularity in the indie scene that earned him the “Prince of Philippine Independent Films” moniker, Coco eventually tried out acting for Kapamilya dramas, starting off with his first-ever Maalaala Mo Kaya gig in 2008 through the “Bibliya” episode.

It was succeeded by his teleserye debut on that year via Ligaw Na Bulaklak. He played the role of a Chris, a corrupt and rude politician who turned out to be the estranged half-sibling of the titular character Lea, impressively portrayed by Roxanne Guinoo. He was once again the main antagonist in Komiks Presents: Tiny Tony starring John Prats, and went on to depict a homosexual guy in the “Boarding House” episode of MMK.

In 2009, he didn’t only appear in one, but three teleseryes. First was in Tayong Dalawa,wherein he was the kontrabida Ramon Lecumberri; then in Komiks Presents: Nasaan Ka Maruja? as James, the admirer of the titular character played by Kristine Hermosa; and in Nagsimula sa Puso as Carlo Pagdanganan, the anti-hero and lover of Maja Salvador’s character.

The year 2010 was indeed a hectic one for him as well, as he did four projects. Coco was able to showcase his antagonistic facet again as Ringo Crisanto in Kung Tayo’y Magkakalayo; his potential as a leading man in 1DOL; and as a hero in Agimat: Ang Mga Alamat ni Ramon Revilla Presents: Tonyong Bayawak. He also scored another MMK gig through the “Silbato” episode.

Coco then portrayed two lead roles in the 2011 series Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin, namely, 2nd Lt. Alexander "Xander" Sebastiano del Tierro and Javier Sebastiano del Tierro, who were actually twin brothers separated at birth. He also had a special appearance in 100 Days To Heaven as the young Tagabantay and in the teen drama series Growing Up as Asiong.

He and Julia Montes got paired for the first time in the 2012 classic soap opera Walang Hanggan, which was loosely based on the 1991 film “Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit” that also starred by their castmates Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta. It followed the story of love and class division that spanned three generations, wherein he and Julia played star-crossed lovers Daniel and Katerina. He was also able to do the “Kamao” episode of MMK that year, which won special prizes in the 2012 Seoul International Drama Awards and 2012 Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union.

In 2013, he depicted the titular character in the fantasy-action series Juan Dela Cruz, who’s a half-tagabantay and half-aswang tasked to protect the “Bakal na Krus”, which he uses in fighting evil creatures. He also had a special participation in its prequel My Little Juan, starred by child star Izzy Canillo.

Alongside Kim Chiu as Isabelle, he then top-billed the 2014 period drama Ikaw Lamang as her love interest Samuel, which spanned numerous time settings: from the 1960s and 1970s and to the 1980s. In the second book, he was Gabriel and the year was 2005. He won Best Drama Actor from the 28th PMPC Star Awards for TV and Best Performance by an Actor from the 13th Gawad Tanglaw Awards.

The year 2015 was indeed the biggest year for Coco because apart from starring in one of Wanspanataym’s most remarkable narratives titled “Yamishita’s Treasures”, which he headlined opposite Julia Montes, as well as in two episodes of MMK again, it was also when FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano started.

Based on the 1997 film of the late King of Philippine Movies Fernando Poe Jr. of the same title, it chronicled the story of the titular character Ricardo “Cardo” Dalisay, who, from initially pretending his deceased estranged twin brother Ador in pursuit of discovering the identity of the real culprit behind his death, went on to become a hero at his own right. The series was undoubtedly well-loved by the viewers as it consistently received high ratings, so there’s no wonder that it lasted for seven years and is considered as one of the biggest teleserye ABS-CBN has ever made throughout its history.

And now, Coco is yet to astound us with another masterpiece, FPJ’s Batang Quiapo, which is loosely based on the 1986 action-comedy movie of the same title starring FPJ and the Diamond Star Maricel Soriano. By watching the trailer, it can be presumed that he’s going to play two roles, with the street-smart Tanggol as his present.

Don’t miss Coco’s action-packed return in FPJ’s Batang Quiapo on weeknights at 8 PM on Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, TV5, iWantTFC, and Kapamilya Online Live on ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.