He fell silent for a second. Marlo Mortel was talking on "Tonight With Boy Abunda" about his mother's cancer battle. He said he is scared that someday he will not be able to keep up with the expensive medical fees that continue to swamp his family.
"Natatakot na din ako," he acknowledged, as he also opened up about the emotions he had been keeping pent up inside him because he did not want his mother to see him cry.
Mortel said that this is one of the toughest interviews he has ever had to do, sharing the times he felt frightened after being confronted by cancer and with the thought of losing the most important woman in his life.
Mortel's mother is currently battling the most advanced stage of her breast cancer.
"Malakas siya, fighter siya," he said. "But nagbibilin na siya sa akin na ako na daw bahala sa daddy ko. Bahala na daw kaming dalawa -- umiiyak siya."
"Deep inside, gustong-gusto ko na talagang umiyak rin. Hindi ko mapigilan pero huminga ako ng malalim talaga at sabi ko sa kanya, 'Hindi ako iiyak. Kasi kapag kaharap kita, kapag nakita mo akong umiiyak lalo kang mada-down.' "
Mortel was on the late-night talk show to promote an upcoming benefit concert he organized with the help of some friends. All proceeds from the gig will go straight to paying for his mother's medical fees.
Titled "Songs for Mama," it will be held on October 13 at Centris, Quezon City and will feature performances by him and special guests Jed Madela, Janella Salvador, Maymay Entrata, Kisses Delavin, Michael Pangilinan and Morisette.
"Para ito sa mommy ko," he said.