Rocco Nacino: An actor, an achiever

by Bernie V. Franco
Jan 28, 2021
From being a runner-up in GMA-7 artista search StarStruck V in 2009, Rocco Nacino has indeed come a long way. This actor is also an entrepreneur, an athlete, a registered nurse with Master's degree, and a Philippine Navy reservist.
PHOTO/S: @nacinorocco on Instagram

Rocco Nacino has succeeded in becoming one of GMA-7's top leading men.

He finished second runner-up in GMA-7's reality-based artista search StarStruck V back in 2009, but look at his showbiz status now: Rocco has become one of GMA-7's reliable leading men.

The 33-year-old actor has starred in numerous teleseryes in his home network and has played leading man to the network’s lead actresses, such as Kylie Padilla, Lovi Poe, Kris Bernal, Sanya Lopez, and Jasmine Curtis-Smith.

After more than a decade, Rocco's career continues to thrive.

And he has added more notches to his belt: he is now an entrepreneur, an athlete, a registered nurse with a master's degree, and a Philippine Navy reservist.


Rocco, whose full name is Enrico Raphael Quiogue Nacino, was born in Baguio City on March 21, 1987.

His parents are Ralph Nacino, who also serves his talent manager, and Linda Nacino.

He only has one sibling: his brother Kyle, an industrial engineer.

Rocco was raised in Singapore and finished his primary education at Zhonghua Primary School.

His family then returned to the Philippines, and Rocco went to Makati Hope Christian School for his secondary education.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Mapua University and passed the licensure examinations.

But Rocco did not stop there. He took up his Master’s Degree in Nursing from St. Bernadette of Lourdes College in Fairview, Quezon City in 2017, and graduated cum laude.


Despite his academic accolades, Rocco has chosen a different career path.


Does he plan to eventually put his college degree into practice?

“If I would do that, talagang kakalimutan ko iyong showbiz,” he explained in a recent YouTube video.

The actor also does not hide the fact that despite having a college and a master’s degree, his passion lies in entertainment.

“So kailangan ko talaga pumili ng career na gusto ko, and, of course, definitely showbiz because nag-e-enjoy ako magpasaya ng tao.”

However, more than just a career, Rocco considers his being a public figure as a responsibility.

“Nararamdaman ko na para siyang responsibility to help inspire iyong mga kabataan natin na makamit iyong gusto nilang mangyari.

“Iyong mga nangyari sa career ko, nakakamit ko ngayon, kayang-kaya din nila.”

This Kapuso actor is also a certified achiever in many fields.

He is an entrepreneur, as he owns a restaurant and co-owns boxing gyms in Metro Manila.

He is also a jiu jitsu athlete and has won a number of medals in MMA (mixed-martial arts) competitions in previous years.

He won a gold medal in the Manila International Open 2017: IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) Championship in 2017.

He also got silver and bronze medals at the Rollapalooza Jiu-jitsu Tournament in 2018.

With these achievements under his belt, Rocco credits his father for being a good influence to him.

Rocco explained, “Sa kanya ko nakuha iyong ano, e, experience is everything.

“’Tsaka iyong sinasabi ko na, ‘You only fail if you don’t try.’

“So iyong experience ko with StarStruck, businesses, iyan, siya ang dahilan doon.


“Iyong push that you get from you jump.

“’Tsaka mga daddy natin, best advisers din iyan, e.”

rocco nacino


In 2007, Rocco tried his luck in MYX VJ Search, but he was not chosen.

Two years later, he joined GMA-7’s StarStruck V and was adjudged as the second prince or second runner-up.

In that season, Steven Silva won as the Ultimate Male Survivor, while Sarah Lahbati was the Ultimate Female Survivor.

The first prince was Enzo Pineda and Diva Montelaba was the first princess.

To date, the most active in showbiz are Rocco and Enzo, with the latter now with ABS-CBN.

Rocco's feat in StarStruck became his ticket to showbiz.

He signed up with GMA Artist Center, which is the Kapuso network’s talent-management arm.

rocco nacino in starstruck


He was then given one project after another, and Rocco slowly worked his way up the ladder.

He started by doing performances in GMA-7’s weekend variety shows SOP and Party Pilipinas.

Then he was cast in Gumapang Ka Sa Lusak (2010), top-billed by real-life couple Jennylyn Mercado and Dennis Trillo.

Although Rocco only had a supporting role in this series, he was able to display his acting skills and got noticed.

Rocco was given his first-ever leading-man role in the teleserye Koreana, opposite Kris Bernal.

From then on, Rocco established himself as a reliable TV actor.

He was paired with some of GMA-7’s leading ladies, earning him the leading-man status.

Another notable character he played on prime-time TV was Aquil, the love interest of Sang’gre Danaya (played by Sanya Lopez), in the talked-about remake Encantadia (2016-2017).

His team-up with Sanya was widely welcomed by viewers that they eventually did more teleseryes as a love team.

Rocco also proved his acting mettle in movies.

In the 2012 movie Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa, he bagged the New Movie Actor award in the 28th PMPC Star Awards for Movies and Breakthrough Performance by an Actor in the 9th Golden Screen Awards.


Rocco was romantically linked to GMA-7 actresses Lovi Poe and Sanya Lopez.

Rocco and Lovi worked together in the Kapuso teleserye Akin Pa Rin ang Bukas (2013) and Beautiful Strangers (2015).

They eventually became a couple, but called it quits in 2016, after a two-year relationship.

It was not a good breakup, but the former couple eventually had closure a year after.

In a very recent interview, Rocco was asked once again why he and Lovi broke up.

The actor responded with a very intriguing statement.

“Well, let’s just say nanahimik na lang ako sa isyung iyan.

“Ayoko na lang manira ng tao, but… sasagutin ko ba ito?” he mused, thinking out loud.

“Let’s just say hindi ako iyong natakot,” he said followed by a laugh. “Hindi ako iyong naghanap.”

Lovi confirmed her relationship with British movie producer and medical scientist Montgomery "Monty" Blencowe in September 2019.

Meantime, Rocco also clarified that he and Sanya never became a couple in real life.

Last January 21, 2021, Rocco married his long-time girlfriend, professional volleyball player Melissa Gohing.

rocco nacino and melissa gohing wedding photo

The couple announced their engagement via Instagram in November 2020, after three years of being in a relationship.


They kept their wedding private and posted about this life-changing moment on social media a day after it happened.

They held their unique wedding in a battleship: the Philippine Navy’s BRP Davao del Sur LD602 Battleship.

Trivia: Rocco became a Philippine Navy reservist in November 2019, and has the rank of Petty Officer (PO) 3rd Class.

Asked about being a Navy reservist, Rocco explained, “Maraming nag-aakala na pag nasa reserve force ka, talagang susugod ka sa giyera. No.

“Ang pagiging isang reservist ay paggamit ng mga capabilities mo bilang isang sibilyan.

“Ako, nurse, [pag] may giyera man at kailangan ako, doon ako sa pagpapagamot ng mga tao, doon ako tutulong.

rocco nacino with philippine navy

(Rocco fourth from left, during his oath-taking as Philippine Navy reservist)

Rocco also underwent military training for his role in Descendants of the Sun (2020), where he played Technical Sgt. Diego Ramos.


On Instagram, Rocco has more than 760,000 followers.

On his verified Facebook account, he has more than 451,000 followers and 170,000 likes.

Meanwhile, he has more than 792,000 followers on Twitter and his Rocco Nacino official YouTube account, which he started March 2020, has more than 32,000 subscribers.


  • StarStruck V (GMA-7, 2009) as himself
  • SOP Fully Charged (GMA-7, 2009-2010) as Himself
  • Party Pilipinas (GMA-7, 2010-2013) as Himself
  • Bubble Gang (GMA-7, 2010)
  • Gumaang Ka Sa Lusak (GMA-7, 2010) as RJ Guatlo
  • Kaya ng Powers (GMA-7, 2010) as Clinton Llib
  • Koreana (GMA-7, 2010) as Benjamin “Benjo” Bautista Jr.
  • Puso ng Pasko: Artista Challenge (GMA-7, 2010) as a challenger
  • Maestra (GMA-7, 2011) as Kiko
  • Maynila: Besfriends & A Girl (GMA-7, 2011) as Bogs
  • PLUMA: Rizal, Ang Dakilang Manunulat (GMA News TV, 2011) as Jose Rizal
  • Mistaken Identity (GMA-7, 2011) as Sinag
  • Time of My Life (GMA-7, 2011) as Jason
  • Amaya (GMA-7, 2012) as Adult Banuk
  • Makapiling Kang Muli (GMA-7, 2012) as Ferdinand
  • Yesterday’s Bride (GMA-7, 2013) as Justin Ramirez
  • AHA! (GMA-7, 2012) as guest co-host
  • Bayan Ko (GMA News TV, 2013) as Mayor Joseph Santiago
  • Titser (GMA News TV, 2013) as Mayor Joseph Santiago
  • Unforgettable (GMA-7, 2013) as Terrence Rosario
  • Magpakailanman: Mga Trabahong Lahat (GMA-7, 2013) as Patrick
  • Ako Pa Rin Ang Bukas (GMA-7, 2013) as Gerardo “Jerry” Sebastian
  • Out of Control (GMA-7, 2013) as co-host
  • Sunday All Stars (GMA-7, 2013-2015) as performer
  • Wagas: The Jiggy and Marnie Manicad Love Story (GMA News TV, 2013) Jiggy Manicad
  • Magpakailanman: Ama Ina Anak (GMA-7) as Marlon
  • Hiram na Alaala (GMA-7, 2014-2015) as Joseph Cruz
  • Ang Lihim ni Annasandra (GMA-7, 2015) as Renee
  • Eat Bulaga Lenten Special: Pangako ng Pag-ibig (GMA-7, 2015) as Michael
  • Karelasyon (GMA-5, 2015) as Eric
  • Magpakailanman: Alab ng Puso (GMA-7, 2015) Nicky DC. Nacino
  • Beautiful Strangers (GMA-7, 2015) as Noel Ilagan
  • Dear Uge: 2nd Mom ko si Ma’am! (GMA-7, 2016) Miguel Sandoval
  • Dear Uge: Ang Triplets ng Tres Marias (GMA-7) as Adam/Elmer/Brian
  • Encantadia (GMA-7, 2016-2017) as Aquil
  • Magpakailanman: Losing Jeffrey, Finding Jason (GMA-7, 2017) as Jayson Tomas/Jeffrey
  • Haplos (GMA-7, 2017-2018) as Gerald Cortez / John “Janjan” Montecines
  • Alaala: A Martial Law Special (GMA-7, 2017) Jose Paria “Pete” Lacaba
  • Tadhana (GMA-7, 2018) as Roger
  • Pamilya Roces (GMA-7, 2018) as Hugo Javellana
  • Descendants of the Sun (GMA-7, 2020) as Technical Sgt. Diego Ramos


  • My Valentine Girls (GMA Films & Regal Entertainment, 2011) as Marvin
  • Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (Cinemalaya, 2011) as Dennis
  • Tween Academy: Class of 2012 (GMA Films) cameo role
  • My House Husband: Ikaw Na! (GMA Films) as Erik
  • Madaling Araw Mahabang Gabi (Panoramanila Pictures) as Roland
  • I Luv U, Pare Ko (Krix Film Productions) as Sam
  • My Lady Boss (GMA Films & Regal Films) as Henry Posadas Enrile
  • Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir (Wings Entertainment) as Pedro Calungsod
  • Flotsam (Banana Pancake Trail Productions) as Tisoy
  • La Amigas (OctoArts Films & GMA Films) as Deacon
  • Bar Boys (TropicFrills Film Productions & Wild Sound Studions) as Torran Jose
  • Write About Love (TBA Studios)


  • Second Prince on StarStruck V (2010)
  • Nominated Outstanding Breakthrough Performance by an Actor in 2011 ENPRESS Golden Screen TV Awards for Koreana (2011)
  • New Movie Actor at the 28th PMPC Star Awards for Movies for Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (2012)
  • Breakthrough Performance by an Actor at the 9th Golden Screen Awards for Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (2012)
  • Most Promising Male Star of the Year at the 43rd Box-Office Entertainment Awards (2012)
  • Nominee for Most Promising Actor of the Year at the Yahoo! OMG Awards (2012)
  • Daytime Prince at the FMTM Awards (2012)
  • Nominated Best Festival Actor at the 39th Metro Manila Film Festival for Pedro Calungsod Batang Martir (2013)
  • Nominated Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Single Drama/Telemovie program at the Golden Screen TV Awards (2014)
  • Nominated Pinakapasadong Katuwang na Aktor at the 17th Gawad PASADO Awards for Hustisya (2015)
  • Nominated Best Actor at the 63rd FAMAS Awards for Hustisya (2015)
  • German Moreno Power Tandem Award with (Sanya Lopez) at the 31st PMPC Star Awards for TV (2017)
  • Nominated Best Festival Actor at the 45th Metro Manila Film Festival for Write About Love (2019)
  • Nominated Beshie Ng Taon at the RAWR Awards for Descendants of the Sun (2020)


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From being a runner-up in GMA-7 artista search StarStruck V in 2009, Rocco Nacino has indeed come a long way. This actor is also an entrepreneur, an athlete, a registered nurse with Master's degree, and a Philippine Navy reservist.
PHOTO/S: @nacinorocco on Instagram
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