Man of the world
Article By JASER A. MARASIGAN
Photos by JERICO MONTEMAYOR
Styled by JP Diche (Asst Stylist PIERRE PERALTA)
Grooming by RHINA MONTEMAYOR
Hair by DAVE GRONA
Location HIS HOUSE!!!
November 16, 2011
MANILA, Philippines — Marc Nelson has the whole wide world to thank for what is probably the best education he got.
Since he was a little boy, this TV host/model has been globe trotting — experiencing cultures, meeting different people, and learning from them. From Mauritius to Egypt, from Estonia to Brazil, and so many more places, the world was indeed Marc’s classroom.
“Traveling broadens your mind. It gives you refreshing perspectives, with more than enough life lessons to boot,” says the Australia-born hunk, who is part English, Burmese, and Chinese. With a keen interest in world cultures, it is no surprise that Marc graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology.
But after living in countries as diverse as Tanzania, Kenya, Hong Kong and Canada, as well as in his native Australia, Marc found himself most at home in the Philippines. It is here where he found his true calling.
Marc was a mere backpacking tourist when he arrived in the country a few years back. Two female models befriended him and helped him snag his first modeling gig. It also helped that Marc could easily pass off as a Filipino. Before he knew it, he was already working the catwalk, teaching a step or two in a TV dance show, and doing commercials and product endorsements in between. To think modeling is something he never even considered doing!
“I’ve never had a plan. I know I needed to go to a university and get a degree, but I had no idea what I wanted to do. My parents have been very understanding.
They instilled a certain wanderlust in me that inspired me to keep on traveling. When I graduated from the university, I bought a one-way ticket and went backpacking around the world,” he relates.
Yet Marc knew he had to get a real job. He worked as a bartender, a concierge, and a newspaper boy. He stacked shelves in a grocery, sold audio-video equipment, and managed a café and restaurant. He also coached children’s gymnastics, tutored English to Bulgarians, and ran an office at a Silicon Valleybased company. “You name it, I’ve probably done it,” describes Marc of his almost nomadic existence.
Early on, the discipline and work ethic had been instilled in Marc. “I learned the value of money and the value of hard work from a very young age and it really helped me. It got me very grounded, and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he says.
That same discipline, he also applies in keeping himself fit. “One of my drives now is to get Filipinos to be fit and healthy, to go out there and exercise, and to eat healthy.
It scares me that Filipinos are in danger of becoming like the American population where so many people are obese because they’re just going for junk food all the time. But I’m as guilty. I don’t have a sweet tooth but I like crunchy things. Recently I was introduced to a local brand called Soyami which is soya chips.
They’re actually healthy and high in protein, low in sodium, low fat, and they taste good. If you got to snack then don’t buy the crap. You can still enjoy the food and be healthy,” he explains.
Marc’s long-running sports/adventure program “Sports Unlimited” on ABS-CBN, has been an avenue for this hunk not only to display his good looks and perfect physique, but also his athleticism and wit. He eventually became more popular in other countries after he and best buddy, Rovilson Fernandez, represented Team Philippines in The Amazing Race Asia 2 and finished among the top three.
Nowadays, Marc is more concentrated on hosting here and abroad. He has also managed to use his celebrity to support several causes, which has endeared him even more to Filipinos. Among these is World Vision were he sends 11 children through school at present. Every December, he adds two children to support.
Charity work is something that Marc got into quite young. “When I was still in school, I started a program to get some of the kids doing charity drives, try and help fund projects in communities, like giving books to kids and getting clean water. I guess that opened up the charitable aspect of me early on,” he recalls.
Also known to be a staunch environmentalist, Marc was named World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature National Ambassador. But even before his involvement with WWF, Marc has already been doing his own share in environmental conservation and promotion.
“As I travel around the country I see how rich this country is in natural resources and in tourism opportunities.
But I also see how poor the people are and how education can do wonders, not only education for the youth, but also environmental education for the communities to help them realize how they can protect the natural environment and actually make money from protecting the environment,” he shares.
In between all these, Marc still manages to squeeze in some R&R by cooking for friends, hitting the gym, watching movies, and reading.
A certified book lover, he joins the roster of celebrities supporting the National Book Development Board’s (NBDB) Get Caught Reading campaign. He swears that in spite of his being an outdoorsy and sporty person, he always makes time for reading — from Terry Pratchett to Wilbur Smith to Jeffrey Archer. He has a whole library of books at his house.
“I read all kinds of books. I read anywhere in the house, on that chair there in the living room, upstairs
in my room. When I travel I always have a book with me. I spent most of my life in places where there’s no TV, especially in Africa. Reading is a great way of escaping, and to learn so much about,” says Marc, who has also participated in a few book readings to kids for Kythe Foundation, Hands On Manila, and to different schools in Metro Manila.
A self-confessed techie, Marc’s latest obsession is downloading books to his iPhone and iPad, even communicating to fans via his Twitter (QuickOffTheMarc).
“Going around, seeing how much people appreciate you trying to help them out. It’s more gratifying than doing showbiz work really. I like that feeling and sharing that feeling to people. This country has been so good to me. It gave me the best job and the greatest friends.
And the charity work that I do is just my own little way of thanking the Philippines for all of the blessings that have been given to me,” Marc says, as he flashes that smile that has sent many a girl’s hearts a-fluttering.
MY ONE THING
Recently, WWF-Philippines launched the “My 1 Thing” campaign, which seeks to inspire people to commit to one thing for the environment, no matter how small, that will lessen their carbon footprint, fight climate change, and ultimately, preserve the environment.
“People think, I got to do everything. I got to take the bike, not to use plastic bags when I go shopping. I need to turn off the lights, conserve water, all these things it can be system overload. So just commit to one thing,” he says. “Since I’ve been committed to a lot of things already, I even tried to make my house as green as possible, my new thing is to commit to getting a recycling project in the village where I live.”
As WWF ambassador, Marc has been tasked to go to different schools and teach about the environment, how to protect different communities, and all the different animals, especially.
“We try and educate the kids about the dugong, whale sharks, and turtles, among others. I’m so amazed at how quickly the kids just pick up on things. We want these kids to teach their communities as well because sometimes adults can be a little bit stubborn. But if they’re getting it from their kids, hopefully they’ll be a little bit more susceptible to learning. We teach the kids and they can teach the adults,” explains Marc.
Article from mb.com.ph
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