Pinoy viewers noticed Mark Angelo Cadaweng Cielo because of his dancing skill. His next career move was to make it big in the action genre. But his vivid life was cut short on December 7, 2008. Photo: File photo

Marky Cielo became a household name when he won the Sole Survivor title in StarStruck: The Nationwide Invasion (2006). He made a mark in showbiz with his superb dancing skills.

The news about his death yesterday, December 7, shocked the Kapuso fans. He was young, optimistic, and had a promising career ahead of him.

To the people of Mountain Province, he was a ray of sunshine. In a world dominated by artista with mestizo features, it was refreshing to see a probinsiyano who was proud of his Igorot roots. When Marky emerged as the biggest winner in GMA-7's reality-based artista search, the Cordillera region rejoiced.

To his colleagues, his cheery attitude was contagious. In the tribute of SiS, Glaiza de Castro, Marky's leading lady in about five television projects, noted his "kakulitan" and how sincerely he supported her. Lovi Po, Marky's love interest in La Lola, recounted the young actor's funny antics. Benjie Paras, who got to work with Marky in BoysNxtDoor, described him as "mabait na bata."

To his fellow StarStruck graduates—Mark Herras, Rainer Castillo, Yasmien Kurdi, Ryza Cenon, Mike Tan, Aljur Abrenica, and Mart Escudero—he was a "true friend" and a "brother."

To his fans, he was an "inspiration." The guy just wanted to try what it is like to lead a "buhay artista," and he did for more than two years. He became Zaido Green to the kids. He was also Eric Valderama, his role in Kaputol ng Isang Awit, to 20-something viewers. He played different roles in about 18 television projects, and before he could establish his name as an actor, death claimed him.

The real cause is hazy at this point. His family said he died while he was sleeping. But the Antipolo Doctor's Hospital cited the reason as "confidential." Some showbiz insiders speculate that it was suicide. Others go as far as saying, "It was prompted by love."

But what cannot be refuted is the fact that Marky Cielo touched our lives in one way or another. His favorite quote, which was posted in his igma.tv profile, sums up how he led his life: "Just always give your best, grab all the chances ‘cause you'll never know if it'll be your last."

To recount his brief but colorful years in showbiz, view the GALLERY.