Nobody can deny it. Mark Herras is as much known for his smooth dance moves as his tendency to get easily—and romantically—linked to a girl. Mind, that's in and outside showbiz.
Tagged as the Bad Boy of the Dance Floor, could he also be the bad boy in the game of love?
Just recently, the young actor whose climb to fame was via GMA-7's defunct talent search, Starstruck, has admitted to having had a huge crush on Katrina Halili, also an alumna of Starstruck. "Sorry, hindi niya alam ito, ngayon ko lang sasabihin at ngayon lang niya malalaman...si Katrina. Hindi niya alam na na-in love ako sa kanya, dahil hindi naman naging pormal na ligawan ko siya sa mga lakad namin ng barkada."
But he clarified: "Friends na lang kami talaga ngayon ni Katrina."
Rumors linking Mark to Katrina started as early as January 2007, with even Katrina commenting: "Si Mark, magkaibigan lang kami talaga at hindi dumarating sa point na ganoon talaga. Pero puwede rin sigurong magkatotoo ‘yong issue na ‘yan, basta manligaw muna si Mark. Gusto ko namang nililigawan ako at hindi ‘yung basta darating na lang diyan."
But it's not really Katrina whom fans associate Mark with. It's Jennylyn Mercado.
Mark's original lady love Jennylyn was the female counterpart to his title of Ultimate Starstruck Survivor in 2003. Their partnership was the best received amongst the many team-ups Mark has had.
A testament to the Mark-Jennylyn bankability is a project being readied for them, after Jennylyn fully recovers from giving birth to her and Patrick Garcia's baby Alex Jazz (born August 16, 2008).
Said Mark, "Noon pa naman namin gustong magsama ulit ni Jen kahit sa TV lang [their last TV show together was GMA-7's La Vendetta]...Nandyan pa rin naman ang mga solid fans namin at hinihintay lang kami. Natural na excited ako sa project na ‘yon."
But setting aside the Jennylyn connection for a while, Mark Herras's recent comments on his work partners (he was even teased about his alleged short romance with Rufa Mae Quinto in Startalk's Sept. 13 episode) have spawned an urge for a quick look at the considerable number of women linked to him. Take a deep breath....
Cristine Reyes, Nicole Anderson, Kylie Padilla, Ynna Asistio, Lian Paz, Bianca King, Jackie Rice, Katrina Halili, Iwa Moto, Rhian Ramos and her sister Nadine, Marian Rivera—to name just a few, in no particular order.
As far back as 2006, when he was still creating a name, the playboy tag has hounded Mark. In April 2007, Starstruck alumna Jackie Rice was succinct: "Ay, ayoko kay Mark kasi babaero siya...mahirap nang maging girlfriend niya. Hindi ko kakayanin ang mga playboy. Masasaktan lang ako kapag malaman kong may iba pa siyang pinopormahan."
In November 2007, quite fed up with his unwanted image, Mark wailed: "Ako before, yung isyu sa akin na pagiging babaero, dati tinatawanan ko lang. Tapos parang ilang taon na palaging ganun. Parang nakakarindi na, nakakasawa."
Still, write ups about his supposed wooing exploits continue to interest the press. His love connection with Dyesebel star, Marian Rivera is one example.
"Alam na po nila yun," the actor confirmed the past romance. Marian, on the other hand, revealed in a February 2007 interview: "Ayoko na kasing mamroblema! Tama na ‘yung isang showbiz guy ang naging manliligaw ko. Stick na muna ako sa non-showbiz guy para walang problema."
There were rumors, which started circulating last June 25, claiming that Mark attempted to woo Marian again. But nothing came of it.
As for the others in the list, only EB Babes dancer Lian Paz has the "bragging right" to say that she had had a very public and a tad distasteful breakup with Mark. "Hindi na nga maayos ang paghihiwalay namin dahil nung December 26  lang, tinext niya ako na cool-off muna kami dahil hinahanap pa raw niya ang sarili niya," Lian related in a January 11, 2008 interview.
Mark and Lian were together for 10 months.
Has Mark confirmed any other relationship?
"Una po si Ryza Cenon...Nagkaroon kami ng MU ni Ryza noong break na kami ni Jennylyn. Pero hindi po ‘yon nagtuloy dahil nang malaman ng network, sabi nila dapat ko raw, ingatan ang love team namin ni Jen. Ilang beses din kaming nagtambal ni Ryza, pero nawala na yung MU namin, friends na lang kami," revealed the young actor in an interview with PEP last September 8. He and Ryza were an item mid-2007 when they were doing the GMA-7 Show, Fantastic Man.
With Nicole Anderson, the daughter of actress Jean Saburit: "Hindi naging kami ni Nicole. Pero totoong nanligaw ako, pero inihinto ko..Pero friends pa rin kaming naghiwalay. Kapag may time, nagkukumustahan kami through text." And it's an old story, considering it happened during the latter part of 2006.
The others are just plain fiction, according to Mark. The March 2007 issue on him and Iwa Moto, about how they were spotted entering a motel, is definitely untrue. "Nagulat nga ako nang lumabas yun. Malabong mangyari yun, dahil barka-barkada lang kami nina Iwa."
On budding stars, Kylie Padilla and Ynna Asistio, Mark, despite a number of insinuating articles insisting he had wooed the two, denied any link. He said they were just his friends and colleagues in the business.
"Hindi po talaga totoo yun! Respeto na lang po talaga kay Kuya Binoe [Kylie's dad, Robin Padilla]," he said. And on Ynna: "Ang bata po no'n."
Sixteen-year-old Ynna, seconded, ""Hindi po...Magkaibigan lang kami...Very close naman po talaga kami, kaya madalas siyang mag-hang out sa bahay namin. Kapag nandun siya, wala lang po, tambay-tambay lang, kumakain, ganun lang po."
What's fairly recent is the buzz on Mark's supposed non-showbiz girlfriend, a certain Valeria Pornea. "Hindi totoo ‘yan...marami lang ang nagpapalaki. Si Val, linawin ko lang, isa sa mga fans ko. Actually, hindi na nga lang din fan ang turing ko sa kanya, na ngayon ay inaaway ng mga tao na ayaw dun sa love team namin ni Rhian [Ramos]."
In line with that, promoting his latest movie, I.T.A.L.Y. (I Trust and Love You) has actually been a bit hard for the actor as some fans are allegedly against his team-up with Rhian and are spreading untrue reports on his love life.
"Magkaibigan kami ni Rhian," he said. "Buti na lang close kami at alam namin ang mga issue." [Mind, Mark also denied that he and Rhian's sister, Nadine, had dated.]
And as for ‘his' Jennylyn Mercado, Mark clearly sees nothing wrong about his continued show of support for her: "Hindi naman siguro, kasi wala namang ibig sabihin ang pagtulong ko. Tumutulong lang ako."
Mark added: "Basta ako ngayon, ang masasabi ko lang, single ako. Wala akong girlfriend."
Hey, girls, newsflash!