When he was just a kid, Robi Domingo already had his life planned, the blueprint of which was based on his parents’ footsteps in the medical field. However, he gave up his medical school dream for showbiz. He regretted it at first, but as he traversed a different path, he also found a new purpose in hosting.
In this episode of Tatak Star Magic Celebrity Conversations, Robi admitted that a piece of his heart died when he didn’t have an “M.D.” succeed his name, “Most especially when my friends had their licenses and they were able to wear their white coats. Sabi nila, ‘Anong nangyari sa’yo? Akala ko sabay-sabay tayo dito?’”
The defeated feeling wasn’t really for himself but for his parents. “I was like, ‘Ano kaya ‘yung nasa isip nila?’ And then I regretted it kasi it was a dream na gusto ko ma-fulfill for a score of my life. Imagine mo, I was grinding it all – grade school, high school, even college while I was doing this thing,” he told Star Magic head and this episode’s host Lauren Dyogi. “I regretted it, yes, but I regret regretting it.”
What then compensated the ‘what ifs’? “Because kahit anong mangyari, simula’t sapul I have that M.D. in the beginning, Marion Domingo, pangalan ko,” On a serious note, the answer is the sense of purpose instilled in him by Star Magic and ABS-CBN. It is knowing that he can still be of service to people even if he’s not like his parents. When Direk Lauren told him to take a year off after his stint in Pinoy Big Brother Teens, Robi instead took on one hosting gig after another, and the fire grew from there.
“Because of those certain snippets, ‘yun ‘yung little puzzles na bumuo sa bigger picture at continuously nabubuo sa isang bigger sketch, and that is the meaning of my life – to be in the service of Filipino.”
At the height of ABS-CBN shutdown, he realized that his platform also comes with a responsibility to fight for the people who groomed him into an artist – his Kapamilyas. “Hindi pala laro-laro ‘yung ginagawa natin. It affected my life in ways that no one can imagine.”
The The Voice Kids host all the more knew that he can be the voice of the voiceless, that the spotlight is not about him but the people who have stories to tell. “Para sa akin, hosting ultimately is one aspect of what I do. Because of Star Magic, I’m not just a host. I’m not just a presenter, not an emcee. Because of Star Magic, I get to become a storyteller.”
“Whenever I go on that stage, whenever I have that spotlight on me, ‘yung initial reaction ko is, ‘Huwag ako.’ Kasi, ultimately, that certain event is a celebration of connection and stories.”
In the next 10 years, Robi hopes to still be with his Star Magic family, still lounging around their office as if it’s an extension of his home. “And to do that, I need to keep on learning, keep on honing the craft and also to keep on sharing the stories, not just my story but everyone.”
Robi believes there are things that will never change such as Star Magic’s calibre, “Kahit anong mangyari, hindi mawawala ‘yung kinang niya – that is the seal of excellence. And that seal of excellence continues to shine bright as long as the Kapamilya spirit lives on.”
He also knows he is meant to share whatever experiences he had in the past, that’s why mentoring is already part of his role for Star Magic. As Direk Lauren puts it, Robi is a youth leader. Since the first time he saw him in Pinoy Big Brother, he had an inkling that Robi is meant to be in the industry because he is smart, responsible, and grounded.
He is truly a good example to the next roster of Star Magic artists, and that may include his own future kid.