Marlo Mortel revealed that he almost landed a role in a GMA-7 teleserye in the past, but he chose to try his luck in an ABS-CBN reality show.
This happened in 2011, when Marlo was still a talent of GMA-7, and was part of the youth-oriented series Tween Hearts.
In the latter part of 2011, Marlo was tapped to be part of the Kapuso early prime-time series Daldalita.
He was about to start taping for the Kapuso show, until he decided to withdraw from the series after seeing that auditions were ongoing back then for The X Factor Philippines.
Marlo narrated, "Bago ako sumali ng X Factor ang dami kong ni-risk para doon, e.
"Kasi dapat magkakaroon ako ng teleserye sa kabila, pero iniwanan ko yun.
"Parang taping na kinabukasan, iniwanan ko yun kasi nakita ko sa TV na may audition ng X Factor and ito, walang kasiguraduhan kasi sasali lang ako.
"E, bago magstart yung X Factor, eight months pa. So marami tayong sina-sacrifice para sa mga gusto nating makuha kasi yun yung passion natin. pero sometimes kung ano yung gut feel mo dapat sundin mo lang, e."
Unfortunately, Marlo only made it to the bootcamp part of the show, and failed to enter the live shows. KZ Tandingan won the competition.
Still, Marlo did not regret his decision to back out from the GMA-7 show for X Factor, especially since the ABS-CBN reality program opened up doors for him in showbiz. This paved the way for him to be part of the daytime series Be Careful With My Heart.
He continued, "Kaya ako nakapasok sa Be Careful With My Heart before dahil sa X Factor, hindi dahil sumali ako, ha. Nakilala ko yung girlfriend ko sa pila tapos parang sinundo ko lang siya sa ABS kaya nakita nila ako dito.
"So parang siguro, hindi yung luck na manalo ako sa X Factor kung hindi yung makilala ko yung ex-girlfriend ko na katabi ko sa pila kaya ako napunta sa ABS, kasi wala akong manager noon, e.
"Nag-aaudition mag-talent yung girlfriend ko before, so sinundo ko lang siya sa ABS then hanggang sa na-discover nila ako, nilagay ako sa Be Careful as talent din hanggang sa nag-progress ng nag-progress yung character ko kahit wala akong management.
"Ako din, wala din ako connection, talagang nag-start ako from nowhere."
In Be Careful With My Heart, which ran from July 2012 to November 2014, Marlo played Niccolo, the best friend of Luke (Jerome Ponce). It was in the series where Marlo's team-up with Janella Salvador, called MarNella, was formed.
Marlo spoke to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other bloggers during a press conference for It's Showtime's new segment, "Tawag ng Tanghalan All-Star Grand Resbak," yesterday, November 10, at It's Showtime studio.
The new segment reunites former contestants of "Tawag ng Tanghalan" for a new round of competition.
Marlo was part of the "Tawag ng Tanghalan: Celebrity Champions."
Before The X Factor Philippines, Marlo had many attempts in joining televised singing contests in GMA-7 and ABS-CBN.
This started in 2009, when he joined GMA-7's Are You The Next Big Star?, hosted by Regine Velasquez.
This was also the reason why he felt tense when he was tapped to join the celebrity edition of It's Showtime's "Tawag ng Tanghalan" segment.
He said, "Sobra akong kinabahan, siguro, hindi alam ng iba, ang pinasok ko talaga sa showbiz ay maging isang singer. Yun talaga yung passion ko, sobrang fan ako ng singing contests.
"Actually, yung unang una kong in-auditionan noong hindi pa ako artista, yung Are You The Next Big Star?
"Hindi ako nakapasok doon, hanggang ano lang ako, Top 115, so parang, ano ba ito, itutuloy ko pa ba.
"Ang gulo kasi ng contest talaga, hindi mo ma-define, e, kung minsan, ano bang kulang bakit siya nakapasok, ako hindi. Siguro, that's the reality of the competition, wala namang dapat i-blame, ganun lang talaga siya."
After Are You The Next Big Star?, Marlo also joined StarStruck V in the same year. Like Alden Richards, Marlo also ended his StarStruck journey in the Top 60.
Even then, Marlo was able to do Tween Hearts and Walang Tulugan with GMA-7.
Later, Marlo joined The X Factor Philippines where he only stayed until the boot camp round.
"After noong Are You The Next Big Star?, ang next kong sinalihan, yung X Factor, hindi rin ako nakapasok, hanggang boot camp lang din ako, pati si Michael Pangilinan, hindi kami nakapasok sa live shows.
"Pero yun nga, ayun yung sinasabi natin dito na kahit hindi ikaw yung nanalo, hindi ibig sabihin noon, hindi ka na magiging successful, so yung iba dito, may mga kanya-kanyang career.
"Ako, hindi din ako tumigil after that, sabi ko, itutuloy ko pa din, itutuloy ko ito kasi hindi ko pa nari-reach yung goal ko and hindi ko pa nakukuha yung gusto kong mangyari para sa career ko, pero tumigil na ako sumali ng contest after that kasi parang feeling ko, hindi ako pang-contest."
In October 2019, Marlo returned to his roots by joining the singing contest "Tawag ng Tanghalan: Celebrity Champions" of It's Showtime.
"First time ko uli itong TNT and kinabahan talaga ako kasi lagi ako nanunuod, tapos nakalaban ko pa, sabi ko, huwag ko sana makalaban si Ethel Booba, nakalaban ko pa siya noong araw na yun!
"Kaya minsan, it's about luck kasi meron namang araw na hindi ganun katindi yung laban, merong araw na pagsasama-samahin yung magagaling.
"So, naniniwala ako na swertihan, pero siyempre, kailangan ng effort mo rin as an artista na galingan mo rin no matter what. Be passionate about your craft."
On the day that Marlo competed in "Tawag ng Tanghalan," he lost to Ethel Booba, who eventually won the contest.
After losing in "Tawag ng Tanghalan: Celebrity Champions," Marlo got another chance to join the contest again via the All-Star Grand Resbak, along with other finalists from Year 1 to Year 3.
Marlo is happy that he was given a chance to join "Tawag ng Tanghalan" again, because watching the program used to be a habit for him and his late mother.
He is also thankful that despite losing in the celebrity edition, Marlo received good feedback for his rendition of the song "Invisible" by Hunter Hayes.
"Favorite naming pinapanuod ng mommy ko yun noong buhay pa siya. Everyday kaming nanunuod.
"Thankful ako na napasama ako and kahit na natalo ako, ang daming magagandang feedback, e, may mga celebrities na lumalapit sa akin na nagustuhan daw nila, na-inspire daw sila, mga nagme-message na kung sinu-sino.
"So, siguro yun din yung reason kung bakit ako nandito and ako talaga, hindi ko imi-miss yung chance na ito na unang-una, makalaban yung best of the best dahil isang malaking opportunity yun.
"Fulfilling yun sa isang singer kapag nakatapat mo yung ganung level dahil nakita ko sila, mga halimaw talaga sila kumanta! Sobrang galing nilang kumanta and siguro nga, sabi nila na it's not a competition anymore."
In the episode aired today, November 11, Marlo battled against Tuko delos Reyes and Jex de Castro to get the much-coveted "seat of power" in the competition. Unfortunately, Marlo was the first to be eliminated.
During the November 10 press conference, Marlo said that he wants to make the most out of this new opportunity.
"Ako, naniniwala ako na bawat isa sa atin, may nakalaan para sa atin, so hindi man tayo manalo sa isang bagay, hindi naman ibig sabihin na talunan na tayo.
"Pwedeng manalo tayo sa ibang field na iyon yung mas plinan ni Lord.
"So, just follow your passion and hindi nauubos yung mga opportunities tulad nito.
"Nagkaroon ng bagong opportunity, kahit di na manalo, e. Para ipakita lang sa tao na kaya pala nitong gawin ito, kaya palang makipagsabayan, kaya palang kumanta, may spot pala ako sa showbiz.
"Just keep on doing it, hindi nauubos ang fire sa pagkanta dahil ito yung passion natin."