Family, friends of Zanjoe Marudo recall his humble beginnings in documentary

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 26 2021 04:23 PM

Screenshot from Star Magic's YouTube video
Screenshot from Star Magic's YouTube video

To mark Zanjoe Marudo's 15th year in the entertainment industry, Star Magic released the first part of the documentary about him that featured how he started in showbiz and celebrities’ first impression of him.

In 20-minute video clip titled “Ep 1: Simulan Natin Sa Pangarap | HANEP! KINSE NA PALA!”, some of Marudo’s friends in the industry shared how they first met the actor, who has been one of the most in-demand leading men in the country. 

“Una pa lang, magaan na loob ko sa kaniya kasi alam ko naman na mabuting tao siya. Even 'pag nakakasama ko siya sa mga show namin, nakakapag-open na rin siya,” Piolo Pascual said. 

Other celebrities who opened up about their relationship with Marudo were Angelica Panganiban, Jodi Sta. Maria, Angel Locsin, and Daniel Padilla.

For Panganiban, the actor became her go-to friend whenever she had struggles.

“Si Zanjoe yung kaibigan na natatakbuhan ko pag-ubos na ubos na 'ko. Literal. Sa lahat ng bagay,” the veteran actress quipped. 

His closest friends Hyubs Azarcon and basketball icon LA Tenorio also appeared in the documentary where they spoke about how quiet and snobbish Marudo is as a person. 

“Tahimik 'yan. Pero 'pag nagsalita si Z, malaman,” Azarcon shared. 

Zanjoe as a brother 

Marudo’s family imparted what kind of a brother and son he is.

According to his younger sisters, he was a bully older brother back when they were little, but transformed to be a role model when he started to mature.

Zaniejean, for instance, recalled how he was surprised by Zanjoe with Converse shoes while Zjaye took pride in the professionalism she is learning from her brother. 

His father Zosimo described him as a kind and supportive son ever since he was a kid. The Marudo patriarch shared that his son always dreamed of becoming rich to be able to travel. 

This was echoed by the actor’s brother Agila who said he was not sure back then how Zanjoe would become wealthy but noticed the path he was taking: basketball and modeling. 

From basketball to Pinoy Big Brother

While Marudo had always wanted to become rich, he did not see himself in showbiz before as he was passionate about basketball back in grade school and high school.

In fact, he got a scholarship as a varsity player for San Sebastian College-Recoletos. 

“Yun yung naging hobby ko, 'yun yung naging hilig ko nung kabataan ko,” said Marudo, whose ambition was to become a professional basketball player.

Little did he know, his stint in the hardcourt would pave the way for his showbiz career. In one of his games, the late Douglas Quijano saw him and invited him to join a modeling pageant.

“Sa pagba-basketball ko, dun ako na-discover. May isang game ako na nanonood si Tito Dougs. Siya yung naka-discover sa'kin. Nung nakita niya 'kong naglalaro, tinanong niya ko kung willing ako sumali sa modeling pageant,” he said. 
He did not waste the opportunity and tried his luck in modeling. 

Marudo was fixing his modeling portfolio as he planned to take his talent overseas, but the reality show “PBB” happened. 

According to ABS-CBN executive Lauren Dyogi, he was in a shopping mall when he came across a huge photo of Marudo in a department store.

“We were already casting for Celebrity edition at that time. Gusto ko sana nun, halo-halo... He was a good option. It started with his picture,” Dyogi revealed. “We felt he would be a good addition to celebrity housemates.”

When he got the invitation to be a housemate, Marudo was hesitant to accept it, knowing that he is a quiet and reserved person.

“Nakita ko yung season 1. Nakita ko kung paano sila nahirapan sa bahay. Yung challenge, ikukulong ka doon. Dun ako una nag-worry na kaya ko ba. Kayo ko ba makisama sa mga strangers na 'di ko kilala?” Marudo said. 

But after asking opinions from his friends and family, Marudo was convinced to give the competition a try. 

Marudo made it to the first Celebrity edition of “PBB” in 2006. True to his personality, he was best remembered as the chill housemate of their batch.

“Towards the end na lang naramdaman. Yung first month, iyak nang iyak mga kasama niya, siya tahimik lang siya,” host Toni Gonzaga quipped. 

His personality brought him to the finale, making it to the Big 4 despite getting nominated almost every week.

“Nung umpisa, 'di ko in-expect na aabot ako sa dulo kasi unang linggo pa lang nominated na ko. Nung naging Big 4 na ako, in-expect ko na na pwede ako manalo kasi 'di ako natatanggal hanggang sa huli,” Marudo said. 

Marudo’s family also did their part to support his PBB campaign, which included distributing flyers in Greenbelt and different offices. 

“After PBB, may expectation na 'ko na magigigng maganda venue ito para makapasok ako sa ABS para magtrabaho. Nakita ko 'yung nangyari sa first batch,” Zanjoe added. 

Part 2 and 3 of the documentary series will be released on October 2 and 9.


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