Marlo Mortel Hotspot TBT Challenge

This October 14 Hotspot episode commenced with Marlo Mortel serenading the viewers with a snippet of “Bituin” and went on with an insightful and heartwarming kumustahan with host DJ Jhai Ho.

“I’m actually doing amazing, I could say that kasi I have met a lot of amazing people sa Kumu, and doon tayo nagkikita. I’ve been streaming for a year now and masaya ako, masaya,” he conveyed when asked how he’s been doing during this pandemic and coping now that everything’s online.

According to Marlo, he was actually not fond of doing livestreams, even on Instagram, until he created an account in 2019 when he hosted a game show on the streaming platform. But what sparked his interest to try it was the bad season of anxiety he went through that made him yearn to talk to other people spontaneously and the enjoyment he felt when he guested in the Kumu streams of his other friends.

It has motivated him to keep on streaming since then, as it allowed him to connect to his fans and other people from different parts of the world. And just in his first year, he was able to build a family and become one of the consistent top streamers in the platform. Apart from providing good vibes to his viewers, his Kumu shindig has also allowed him to send relief goods to typhoon victims, books to impoverished children in Masbate, and cash aid to cancer patients.

As an ABS-CBN talent, the 28-year-old multi-faceted heartthrob is among those who were terribly affected by its shutdown last year. He confessed to DJ Jhai Ho that he indeed had a difficult time then, considering that he’s the breadwinner of their family and his mom suffered then succumbed to cancer. He also had to pull out the PHP 300,000 downpayment he invested to a house he was supposed to buy.

While he was initially productive in the early months of the pandemic, as he was able to collaborate with an American Idol finalist for a song entitled “Bones” and regularly update his vlogs, his anxiety hindered him. With the pandemic taking a toll on his mental health, he revealed that he has become more passionate about it and he decided to enroll himself to an online certificate course in neuroscience in Harvard University to further educate himself about it. He’s also making the most of his time at home during this pandemic by taking up music technology and voice technology online courses in two other universities abroad.

Their conversation then veered to his recently-released single “Bituin,” which, according to him, is dedicated to his friend based in Vietnam who asked him to write a song about stars and he was able to finish in one sitting.

“Medyo malalim siya, medyo makata siya, pero ang pinaka-message talaga ng song na ‘to is finding your peace and happiness in life and it all comes from within. So, it also relates to my journey sa anxiety dahil I want to not just write something para lang maging relevant, I also want to write what my feelings are about. And that time, nandoon na ako sa stage na I’m healing, I’m close to my breakthrough in life or with this anxiety thing,” he related.

He continued, “Ang saya kasi parang “stars” ‘di ba? Kahit matabunan man ng maraming darkness ang kalangitan, parang tayo, kahit marami mang ihagis sa atin ang buhay na mga experience na hindi natin ine-expect, ‘yong kinang natin, ‘yong strength, hope, and love, it will not fade. We can always shine and we will shine. And just like the stars, we need the darkness in order to shine bright. And once we know how to access that within us, we can learn to extend that love and light sa ibang tao, just like what I’m doing actually.”

After their lengthy and insightful exchange about mental health, DJ Jhai Ho then went on to quiz Marlo about his showbiz career, Marlo confessed that he actually considered quitting even prior to his remarkable stint in the long-running daytime drama Be Careful With My Heart since he had been trying to break into the industry for three years, yet nothing happened even though he was already working with the late host-slash-starmaker German “Kuya Germs” Moreno and had already given his all in his X-Factor Philippines stint.

“I said to myself that I would keep on going. And no matter what situation I may be in sa showbiz or ano, I wanna keep on reaching my dreams and hindi pa ako tapos, so I’m not thinking of quitting anytime kasi ang dami ko pang gustong maabot music-wise, and of course, sa acting and hosting,” he stated.

When asked what genre or character he will want to take on in his next project, Marlo told the host that it would be something light and funny, has depth yet brings feel good vibes just like the male characters who enthrall us in Korean dramas. He cited Lee Seung-gi’s character Cha Dae Woong in the 2010 series “My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho,” which was the first Hallyu series he’s ever watched.

Since it’s Thursday, DJ Jhai Ho dared him to do the “Throwback Challenge,” wherein he was shown photos of him taken through the years and had to share stories behind each.

Marlo went on to share how happy he and Janella Salvador were in each other’s company then off-cam and how he wishes to see her adorable son with Markus Paterson, Baby Jude.

Fill yourselves with inspiration, kilig, and words of wisdom by watching the engaging conversation of DJ Jhai Ho and Marlo in this episode of Hotspot!