Success Stories: Eight Stars who used to be Food Servers

by Anj Sampayan
Oct 12, 2016
Jericho Rosales (left) and Richard Gomez are both proud about the fact that they once worked as food servers.

Would you believe some of our brightest stars used to be food servers?

Back then, they were happy to have a part-time job helping them make ends meet.

By some stroke of luck plus good looks, some caught the eye of talent scouts.

Others knew even then that they were meant to be famous.

These eight male celebrities are reminders that no one can ever tell any of us: "Hanggang diyan ka na lang" or "Wala kang mararating."

1. Nikko Natividad

The Hashtags member used to be a waiter in a casual-dining restaurant in Malolos, Bulacan.

At 17, the 23-year-old Pinoy Big Brother housemate had to work various jobs.

At 19, he went abroad to make life more comfortable for his family.

His entry to showbiz was via It's Showtime's "Gandang Lalaki" contest, where he won the grand prize.

2. Coco Martin

A graduate of Hotel and Restaurant Management, the FPJ's Ang Probinsyano star and one of ABS-CBN's prized actors was once a restaurant staff at the Fairview branch of the food chain, Max’s.


One day, a customer handed him a business card bearing the name Rene dela Cruz, who happened to be the assistant director of Johnny Manahan, the big boss of Star Magic, that time.

Coco was supposed to be launched, together with Heart Evangelista, as part of Star Circle Batch 9.

But his lola advised him to finish his studies first. After college, he even worked as a janitor in Canada.

In 2005, he returned to showbiz via the film Masahista.

In 2007, he starred in eight movies, and went on to become the "Prince of Philippine Independent Films."

In 2009, he bagged the male lead role in the afternoon soap Nagsimula Sa Puso, which marked his status as a mainstream actor.

A photo posted by Coco Martin (@mr.cocomartin) on

3. Jericho Rosales

He was once a fish vendor, helping his mother who was also a vendor in a public market.

He also became a food server when his mom decided to work in a restaurant.


Hoping to make life better, he joined Eat Bulaga!'s "Mr. Pogi" and won.

Twenty years later, Echo remains one of ABS-CBN's most reliable primetime actors.

4. Marvin Agustin

He used to be a driver, a vendor, a mascot, and a clerk at a video store.

He also worked as a waiter in the Alabang branch of the Mexican restaurant, Tia Maria's, where he was discovered.

Marvin was launched as part of Star Magic Batch 2 in 1996.

Among his batch mates were John and Camille Prats, Mylene Dizon, Patrick Garcia, and Jolina Magdangal, who became his screen partner.

Today, he is one of the most successful celebrity restaurateurs and owns an entrepreneurship school.

He is still active in showbiz.

A photo posted by Marvin Agustin (@marvinagustin) on

5. Piolo Pascual

The Kapamilya hunk was proud about being a waiter during his high school days.

He even worked as a security guard.

Back then, he already knew, "I can do anything."


In 1994, he joined That's Entertainment, the defunct show of the late German Moreno.

In 1996, his family migrated to the U.S.

When he returned to Manila in the late 90s, he finally got his big break in Esperanza, topbilled by Judy Ann Santos, who became his screen partner.

Piolo is now a successful recording artist, actor, producer, and endorser.

6. Diether Ocampo

Diet (his nickname) initially studied Physical Therapy in De La Salle University-Dasmarinas, but he never liked the course and quit.

He worked as a service crew member of Pizza Hut, which eventually tapped him as an endorser, and as a bartender in Steel Bar, Quezon City.

He also worked as a dancer before he was launched as part of Star Magic Circle Batch 2 in 1996 and became one of ABS-CBN's in-demand actors.

Diet's latest TV project was TV5's Bakit Manipis Ang Ulap.

A photo posted by DOP (@diether.ocampo) on

7. Richard Gomez

Before he was tagged as the country's Adonis of Philippine Movies, Richard worked as a service crew member in McDonald's, where his manager, the late Douglas Quijano, discovered him while serving burgers and fries.


The former You're My Home star is now happily enjoying his family life with Lucy Torres, and he is currently the mayor of Ormoc City, Leyte.

8. Martin Nievera

Before he earned the moniker "Concert King," Martin spent his teenage days flipping burgers at their own restaurant in Hawaii.

In 1982, he returned to the country and followed in his father's footsteps.

But the son of Bert Nievera didn't just become a singer as he also ventured into acting and hosting.

After recording 18 platinum, five double platinum, three triple platinum, and one quadruple platinum albums, he remains visible in showbiz.

You may want to also view this gallery: 17 celebs who were born rich before they became famous

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Jericho Rosales (left) and Richard Gomez are both proud about the fact that they once worked as food servers.
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