Filipino-Scot ang 19-year-old Azkals trainee na si Mark McMahon (pronounced "McMan")
Nang makausap ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Mark ay nalaman naming marunong naman pala siyang mag-Tagalog kahit hindi pa ganoong ka-fluent.
Paano siya natutong magsalita ng Tagalog?
"Kasi gusto ko mag-aral ng Tagalog para fluent ako, kasi gusto kong mag-enter sa showbiz and it’s very important, it’s a key," sagot niya.
Hindi first time ni Mark sa Pilipinas.
"Hindi. I grew up sa Surigao. I was born sa Surigao po, sa Siargao island.
"Six years ako doon, tapos when I was six, we went to Scotland.
"I come back here like every year. But this year is the first time in five years I’ve been back.
"First time living alone here."
Nakatira ngayon sa Makati si Mark, at nasa Scotland naman ang parents niya.
AZKALS. Ilang years na siyang nagte-training for the team Azkals?
"Bago pa lang, nagte-training pa ako, hindi pa ako [naglalaro talaga], training lang."
Paano siya napasok as trainee ng Azkals?
"Kasi interested ako. Sa Scotland, I was in contact with the management ng Azkals.
"Tapos interested yung manager so he flew me over to Manila, they invited me for training and try out," kuwento niya.
Pero hindi pa raw nakakalaro professionally si Mark with the Azkals.
"I train with them."
Kuwento pa ni Mark, "Under 23 [years old], may training kami, yung mga under 23 Azkals.
"Kasi yung sa SEA Games, the competition is under 23."
Ilan sila na under 23?
"Thirty. But when it’s time for picking for the team, the coach will pick maybe 23 to 25 [members] for the competition.
"So we are all just training at the moment," sabi niya.
How did he feel na natalo ang Azkals sa Kuwait kaya nawala na ang tsansa ng Pilipinas na makapasok sa World Cup sa 2014?
"I was really disappointed because like... and the whole Philippines was behind them, supported them, and really wanted them to win.
"But they didn’t win coz Kuwait is really a good team. It’s hard to beat them."
Kailan siya magiging official player ng Azkals?
"I wanted this year, but because I was busy with work, I need to support myself, I need to make money and all that."
Ayaw na raw kasi niyang magpasuporta sa parents niya.
"I don’t want them to. They already did so much for me, so I wanna be independent and help myself."
At ito raw ay sa pamamagitan ng pagmu-model at pagpasok sa showbiz.
JOINING SHOWBIZ. Kasama si Mark sa cast ng palabas na ngayong Tween Academy: Class of 2012 ng GMA Films.
Ang role niya rito ay bilang si Joey, na kaibigan ni Maximo, played by Derrick Monasterio.
Hindi siya Azkals player dito kundi estudyante. Pero may eksenang kalaro niya ang ilang miyembro ng Azkals na nag-guest sa movie.
"May scene na I played soccer with Aly [Borromeo], Ian [Araneta], and Chieffy [Caligdong]," banggit niya.
Nag-enjoy raw siya sa mga eksena niya sa movie.
"To be honest, I enjoyed all the scenes coz I really like working with the cast, with everyone in the movie.
"So every scene was like a new experience."
Under contract na ba siya ng GMA-7?
"Hindi pa, in the process," sagot ni Mark.
So, sa ngayon, his showbiz career will move around his football training schedule?
Pero gusto niya raw kasi talagang pasukin ang showbiz, at suportado ito ng parents niya.
"Gusto nila, when I was younger, when I was 12 to 14 [years old], gusto ng parents ko na mag-artista ako."
Kapag busy na siya sa showbiz, ano ang pipiliin niya—football o ang pag-aartista niya?
"When it’s time for like training and clinic camps and games and other things, first priority is football."
Ang manager ni Mark ay si Sharon Trinidad ng Elite Model Management Manila.
UNDERWEAR MODEL. Mark is also an underwear model for a local brand.
In fact, isa ang billboard niya sa mga natanggal sa EDSA.
How did he feel about this?
"I felt upset coz like it was a great exposure for me," sabi niya.
Para ba sa kanya ay unfair ang pagkakatanggal ng billboards na sexy sa EDSA.
"To be honest, no, because if it creates problems with people’s eyes, like on the road, so if it’s a benefit to take it down..."
But he was upset?
"Yeah, like it’s the first billboard I ever had in my life so I was upset," sabi niya.