Skip to main content »

Marky Cielo: The Igorot Actor's Life and Death

Explore the life, career, and mysteries surrounding Marky Cielo, the first Igorot actor who left an enduring legacy in Philippine showbiz.

 |  9 min read

Marky Cielo was a Filipino actor and dancer who broke down barriers as the first Igorot to enter Philippine show business. He died suddenly at the age of 20, but his legacy lives on as a positive role model and an inspiration to many young people.

Marky Cielo was a Filipino actor and dancer who played a significant role in the world of Philippine show business. In this article, we'll delve into the life and career of Marky Cielo, focusing on his remarkable journey from being the first Igorot to break into the industry to the mystery surrounding his untimely passing.

Marky Cielo's story is one of both inspiration and intrigue. As an actor, he achieved fame and made a lasting impact, particularly as an Igorot artist, breaking barriers and paving the way for others to follow in his footsteps. However, his life took a tragic turn when he passed away under mysterious circumstances.

Join us as we uncover the details of Marky Cielo's life, his career achievements, and the unanswered questions surrounding his death. This article aims to provide an informative and objective perspective on his life and legacy.

Marky Cielo: A Remarkable Journey

Marky Cadaweng Cielo, born on May 12, 1988, in Butuan City, Caraga Region, was deeply rooted in his Igorot heritage. His upbringing and cultural background played a significant role in shaping his identity. Marky took great pride in his Igorot heritage, often speaking about his roots in interviews. Moreover, he was fluent in the Kankanaey language, further strengthening his bond with his heritage.

Marky's journey in Philippine show business began when he participated in the reality show StarStruck, a platform designed to discover and promote new talents. In 2005, he achieved a remarkable feat by winning the title of Ultimate Male Survivor, catapulting him into the spotlight and marking the beginning of his successful career.

This victory was not just a personal achievement but a groundbreaking moment for Igorot representation in Philippine show business. Marky Cielo's journey inspired many, highlighting the potential for indigenous artists to thrive in the industry.

Following his victory on StarStruck, Cielo's star continued to rise as he ventured into various television shows and movies. Notable among his roles was his appearance in the fantasy series Encantadia, where he captured the hearts of viewers with his talent. He also took on a leading role in the action series Zaido: Pulis Pangkalawakan, impressing audiences with his versatility.

Moreover, anime enthusiasts would recognize his voice as he portrayed the character of Ichigo Kurosaki in the popular anime Bleach. This venture into voice acting added another layer to his career and showcased his adaptability as an artist.

Marky Cielo was a rising star in Philippine show business. He starred in popular TV shows and movies, including Encantadia and Zaido: Pulis Pangkalawakan. His death at a young age was a tragedy, but his legacy lives on.

The Mysterious Death of Marky Cielo

On December 7, 2008, the Philippine entertainment world was shocked by the sudden and tragic news of Marky Cielo's passing. Marky, just 20 years old, was found unconscious in his home in Antipolo City by his mother. The night before, he had been engrossed in an online video game at an internet cafe in Quezon City until late.

Marky is said to have made several unanswered calls to his manager-mentor. When he arrived home, he engaged in a discussion with his mother about "something personal." His mother advised Marky to sort out his problem, saying, "Lutasin mo ang problema mo; ikaw lang ang makakalutas n'yan."

The next morning, at around six o'clock AM, Marky's mother entered his room to wake him up for a charity event. However, there was no response from him.

Concerned, she immediately rushed him to the nearby Antipolo Doctors Hospital, but despite the efforts of his family and medical professionals, Marky Cielo was declared dead upon arrival.

Amidst these tragic events, rumors began to circulate about a potential connection between Marky Cielo's death and his relationship with actress Lovi Poe. Speculations arose that threats had been made, allegedly coming from the son of Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson, Ronald, due to Marky being too close to Lovi Poe. These rumors, however, were never officially investigated, as there were concerns about becoming entangled in the influence of Gov. Singson.

The circumstances surrounding Marky Cielo's untimely death remain a complex and enigmatic puzzle. Speculations abound, including theories of depression, suicide, drug overdose, and even the possibility of a phenomenon known as "bangunot," which is associated with sleep paralysis. However, these theories lacked conclusive evidence, leaving the entertainment industry and his admirers with unanswered questions.

Legacy and Impact of Marky Cielo

Marky Cielo's untimely death sent shockwaves through the Philippine entertainment industry, leaving a void that could never be filled. His passing marked the loss of a promising talent whose star was on the rise. Yet, beyond the tragedy, Marky Cielo left behind a profound legacy that continues to resonate.

As a talented actor and dancer, Marky had already achieved remarkable success at a young age. His roles in popular television series like "Encantadia" and "Zaido: Pulis Pangkalawakan" had endeared him to audiences across the nation. In the anime world, his voice brought life to the character of Ichigo Kurosaki in "Bleach." His versatility as a performer was evident, and his potential seemed boundless.

Marky Cielo's legacy, however, extends far beyond his artistic contributions. He is remembered as the first Igorot to break into the Philippine show business, a feat that shattered barriers and paved the way for other indigenous artists to pursue their dreams. He proudly embraced his cultural heritage, often speaking about his roots in interviews and showcasing the richness of Igorot culture to a wider audience. Moreover, he was fluent in the Kankanaey language, further emphasizing his connection to his heritage.

Marky Cielo's wake was a testament to the impact he had on the nation. It was held in his home for three days, allowing fans and loved ones to pay their respects and remember the young talent who had touched their lives. His remains were then brought to the Cathedral of the Resurrection in Baguio City, where they stayed for a day, receiving final blessings and tributes from those who admired his work.

His burial on December 15 was a poignant moment, as it honored traditional Kankanaey customs. Marky Cielo was laid to rest in Sinto, Bauko, Mountain Province, in his family's backyard. This final act of respect and remembrance reflected his deep connection to his roots and culture.

Notably, during the burial, the presence of well-known actor Robin Padilla added to the significance of the event. His presence underscored the impact Marky Cielo had on the entertainment industry and the admiration he garnered from fellow artists.

Marky Cielo's death, though a tragedy, serves as a poignant reminder of the fragility of life. His story encourages us all to cherish the time we have and make the most of every opportunity. He was a young man with a bright future ahead of him, and his passing serves as an inspiration to many who aspire to pursue their dreams with passion and dedication.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Who was Marky Cielo, and what was his significance in Philippine show business?

A: Marky Cielo was a Filipino actor and dancer known for being the first Igorot to break into the Philippine entertainment industry. He achieved fame as the "Ultimate Male Survivor" of the reality show "StarStruck" in 2005, paving the way for indigenous artists in the industry.

Q2: What were Marky Cielo's career achievements and notable roles in the industry?

A: Marky Cielo had a successful career in Philippine show business, with notable roles in TV series like "Encantadia" and "Zaido: Pulis Pangkalawakan." He also contributed to the anime world by voicing the character Ichigo Kurosaki in "Bleach."

Q3: What is the mystery surrounding Marky Cielo's death?

A: The mystery surrounding Marky Cielo's death lies in the unknown cause. On December 7, 2008, he was found unconscious and later declared dead. Despite investigations, various theories, including depression, suicide, drug overdose, and "bangunot" (associated with sleep paralysis), lack conclusive evidence.

Q4: How did Marky Cielo's cultural heritage influence his career?

A: Marky Cielo was deeply rooted in his Igorot heritage and took pride in his cultural background. He often spoke about his roots in interviews and was fluent in the Kankanaey language, highlighting the importance of cultural identity.

Q5: Were there any controversies or speculations surrounding Marky Cielo's death?

A: Yes, speculations and controversies arose after Marky's death, including rumors of threats related to his relationship with actress Lovi Poe. However, these were not officially investigated due to concerns about political influence.

Q6: What was the impact of Marky Cielo's death on the Philippine entertainment industry?

A: Marky Cielo's untimely death left a void in the industry, as he was a promising talent. His passing had a profound impact, serving as a reminder of the fragility of life and inspiring others to pursue their dreams.

Q7: How did Marky Cielo's family and fellow artists react to his passing?

A: His family and colleagues were deeply affected by his death. His wake allowed fans and loved ones to pay their respects, and he was laid to rest following traditional Kankanaey customs.

Q8: What was the traditional customs followed during Marky Cielo's burial?

A: Marky Cielo's burial followed traditional Kankanaey customs. His remains were laid to rest in Sinto, Bauko, Mountain Province, in his family's backyard, reflecting his strong connection to his heritage.

Q9: What is "bangunot," and how does it relate to Marky Cielo's death?

A: "Bangunot" is associated with sleep paralysis, but its exact relevance to Marky Cielo's death remains unclear. It is one of the theories explored, but conclusive evidence is lacking.

Q10: What was the confirmed cause of Marky Cielo's death?

A: The confirmed cause of Marky Cielo's death remains unknown. Despite investigations and various speculations, including depression, suicide, and drug overdose, conclusive evidence has not been found, leaving the cause a mystery.


Marky Cielo's story is one of remarkable talent, cultural pride, and untimely tragedy. From his early days as a contestant on "StarStruck," where he claimed the title of "Ultimate Male Survivor," to his iconic roles in television series and voice acting in anime, Marky left an indelible mark on the Philippine entertainment industry.

As the first Igorot to break into Philippine show business, Marky Cielo shattered barriers and ignited hope for aspiring indigenous artists. His passion for his cultural heritage, fluency in the Kankanaey language, and unwavering commitment to his roots endeared him to fans and admirers alike.

Yet, his untimely death on December 7, 2008, remains shrouded in mystery. Speculations about the cause-whether it be depression, suicide, drug overdose, or a phenomenon like "bangunot"-have lingered without conclusive answers.

Nevertheless, Marky Cielo's legacy endures. His memory continues to inspire artists to pursue their dreams with fervor, to embrace their cultural identities proudly, and to cherish the moments they have. In celebrating Marky's life, we not only honor his talent but also the potential within us all to break barriers and leave an enduring legacy.

Marky Cadaweng Cielo may have departed this world too soon, but his impact and inspiration will remain eternally alive.

Sharing is caring, kailian!

We do hope you find something great in this story. If you find this helpful, please do share it with the people you care about.

Igorotage is a platform for people to share their thoughts and ideas. The views expressed on Igorotage are the opinions of the individual users, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Igorotage.


Sign in to share your thoughts. No account yet?

What to learn next?

You might also like to read more related articles filed under Artists — or jump to a random article!

Artists Surprise me

The Most Notable Igorot Personalities (Complete List)

Explore a complete list of remarkable Igorot personalities who've left a lasting impact not just in the Cordillera or Philippines but the world.

Sep 16 · 44 min read

Michelle Dee's Miss Universe Gown: Honoring Apo Whang-od's Legacy or Exploiting Her Image?

Was Michelle Dee's Miss Universe evening gown a tribute to Apo Whang-od or a shameless act of cultural appropriation?

Nov 20 · 7 min read

Igorot Beauty Queen joins Showbiz

Miss Earth 2020 1st Runner Up Roxanne Baeyens has finally made her transition from being a beauty queen to the country's next biggest star.

Apr 27, 2022 · 2 min read

Mai Fanglayan: Igorot Actor Making History in Filipino Cinema

Witness history as Mai Fanglayan, an Igorot actor, wins Best Actress Award in her debut film Tanabata's Wife.

Mon at 02:55pm · 10 min read

Barlig Eagle Statue: Where Culture and Conservation Soar in Mountain Province

Barlig's Eagle Statue isn't just a panorama; it's a cultural and conservation symbol. Explore its stories and immerse yourself in the Barlig spirit.

Mon at 09:16am · 6 min read

Why Apo Whang-od is NOT Eligible for the National Artist Award

Explore the reasons why Apo Whang-od, the esteemed Igorot mambabatok tattoo artist from Kalinga, is not eligible for the National Artist Award.

Thu at 10:16pm · 3 min read

5 Best Igorot MMA Fighters who became World Champions

The inspiring journey of the 5 best Igorot MMA fighters who achieved world champion status in ONE Championship.

Nov 25 · 17 min read

Why Igorot MMA Legend Eduard Folayang Should Retire

Igorot MMA Legend Eduard Folayang just turned 40, here's a comprehensive article on why the Filipino pride should consider hanging up the gloves.

Nov 22 · 17 min read

CAFGU Member Takes Own Life After Shooting 3 Others in Mount Polis, Banaue

Tragedy strikes as a member of the CAFGU committed suicide after killing an army officer and two other CAFGU members in Mount Polis, Banaue, Ifugao.

Nov 20 · 2 min read

2LT Godffrey Paligan: Ikalinga Trailblazer Joins Royal Canadian Mounted Police

2LT Godffrey Blaquera Paligan from Tabuk, has made history by becoming the first Ikalinga to join the prestigious Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Nov 15 · 3 min read
Join the tribe

Proud Igorot?

Imagine an online community where Igorot from all corners of the world come together to connect, share stories, and celebrate the rich tapestry of Igorot culture. That's precisely what Igorotage offers.

Join us now to be a part of this vibrant digital tapestry and contribute your unique thread to the story of the Igorot people.

Join Igorotage About us