Different destinies | BusinessMirror


ONE dream.  Two paths. Every step is a decision.

When Cogie Domingo, once a stellar name in show business, recently figured in a drug-related offense, almost every one we knew that knew him could only utter, “What a waste!” Netizens also feasted on Domingo’s predicament, offering all sorts of opinions and speculations as though they knew the actor all too well.

The scenario was a far cry from the Cogie Domingo of almost 20 years ago when he was first thrust into the spotlight. Born to a rich family, success came fast and lead roles were, almost always, offered to Domingo on a silver platter.

He starred alongside Maricel Soriano in Sa Piling ng Mga Aswang, the moving little dramas Yakapin Mo ang Umaga and Anghel sa Lupa (both directed by Jose Javier Reyes), and TV shows for both GMA and ABS-CBN. Perhaps he is most remembered for his breakthrough role as a juvenile offender in the 2000 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry Deathrow, where he was billed alongside the iconic Eddie Garcia in the Joel Lamangan movie.

Cogie was always on everyone’s list of showbiz’s best young actors, a potent mix of matinee-idol good looks and acting chops. He would win praise for his performances, and even garnered a couple of Urian Best Actor nominations for some of his films.

As he was about to reach his pinnacle, he exited without many taking notice. Rumors circulated that he had dangerous liaisons with both influential people and viperous vices. These talks never died.

Cogie would make some small “I shall return” splashes that never turned into ripples. In 2010 he attempted a comeback via the acclaimed gay love story Muli, where he played opposite the exceptional Sid Lucero. Sid and Cogie were a perfect fit, like fire and ice. Lucero won an Urian Best Actor trophy for the Adolf Alix film, while Domingo was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category.

Cogie would go on another hiatus and when he tried to stage another comeback, he would woefully languish in roles that were sadly small and insignificant. People had come to have this perception that Cogie was not serious in pursuing a career comeback, unless it was the easiest way to satisfy his other passions and priorities.


PASSION. Focus. Hardwork. Determination. All these characterize Coco Martin’s continuous and steady climb to success. He is the man of the hour, the former ordinary duckling that transformed into the most handsome swan in the lake.

Unlike Domingo, Martin came from humble beginnings, someone who was not afraid to work hard and take risks.

Coco started his uphill climb by way of the indie film route. His first stellar role was in Masahista in 2005, which won him the award for Best Performance from the Young Critics Circle. He followed it up with a string of noteworthy performances in Jay, Tirador, Serbis and Kinatay. Few knew that while he was doing these indie ventures, which admittedly didn’t pay much, Coco thought of quitting showbiz and tried his luck overseas, even taking on ordinary cleaning jobs.

He admitted upon his return that life was hard and, perhaps, it was a good decision for him to try his luck again. Armed with nothing else but a dream and a passion, he took another shot at  being an actor.

Coco reconnected with industry friends and took small steps which eventually paid off. He accepted a small, minor support role in an ABS-CBN afternoon series, titled Ligaw na Bulaklak, which starred Sid Lucero and Roxanne Guinoo. And more doors opened for him after that.

He landed bigger roles and was elevated to A-list status following the successes of shows like Tayong Dalawa, Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin and Walang Hanggan, all on ABS-CBN.

Today Coco’s star continues to shine even brighter in the most popular and longest-running series on local TV, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano. The show remains the one to beat in the ratings game even after more than a year on the air.

The 36-year-old actor actually occupies a very comfortable position in the industry. The former favorite indie player has crossed over to mainstream movies with huge success. Not only that, Coco has spread his wings and taken on a new role as film director.  He calls the shots for Ang Panday, obviously another paean to his idol and inspiration, the late Fernando Poe Jr. The film already has a sure slot in next month’s annual MMFF, and Coco’s hands are full at the moment with the postproduction of his directorial debut.

When we start to ponder on life, people, things and situations, we all go back to the basics. Patience, perseverance, passion, being with the right people and unwavering faith will, in time, never go unrewarded.

Success, peace, love, contentment, happiness, freedom—everything is a decision.

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