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Milestones for newly engaged Mark Herras

Philippines Daily Inquirer logo Philippines Daily Inquirer 6/10/2020 Philippines Daily Inquirer
Mark Herras standing posing for the camera © Philippines Daily Inquirer

May has been a particularly special month for Mark Herras. On May 30, after several weeks of surges in cross-posting social media traffic, the first male winner of GMA 7’s “StarStruck” hit an impressive milestone in new media: His followers on Titktok finally breached the one-million mark—that’s almost twice the number when the month began.

The dazzling dance videos he posts while in quarantine—from the “StarStruck” throwback number inspired by Y-Not’s “Average Joe” and the sexier grooves he choreographed for Juan Caoile’s “Marikit” and Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How to Dougie,” to his edgier terpsichorean creation for Megan Thee Stallion and Beyonce’s “Savage”—are sparking renewed interest in the 33-year-old actor, with good reason.

The actor-dancer, last seen regularly in the 98-episode, 30-minute series “Bihag,” executes even repurposed choreography and makes them look as fresh as he does.

In Inquirer Entertainment’s catch-up interview with Mark on June 3, he even clued us in on the next big milestone in his life.

After noting that he was one of the country’s most eligible bachelors, we asked Mark why he seemed to be pretty elusive. What would convince him to finally give up being single? His short reply: “Nicole [Donesa], my girlfriend.”

Nicole is an actress (“Descendants of the Sun”) and a beauty queen. She was crowned third princess (fourth place) in the 2014 Miss World Philippines pageant, topped by Valerie Weigmann. (Trivia: It was in this same beauty tilt that Rachel Peters placed fifth, just three years before she bounced back and bagged the 2017 Bb. Pilipinas Universe crown. But that’s another story …)

Then, on June 6, Mark posted a photo of Nicole’s hand showing a band on her ring finger, with the caption, “Ang mahalin ka at makasama ka habang buhay … I love you, itchybear. #toinfinityandbeyond.” And, judging from the home videos they post separately, it sure looks like that’s exactly where these lovebirds are headed.

Our Q&A with Mark:

How do you stay productive in quarantine?

I do a lot of dance videos and I cook. I became more active on social media to connect with my fans because I didn’t realize that my videos made a lot of people happy. So as much and as often as I can, I reply to them and repost their tags on my IG (Instagram) Stories.

What lessons have you learned from this long period of isolation?

I realized the importance of saving your money. Kapag ‘di ka nag-ingat at naging irresponsible ka during this period, you and our loved ones stand to suffer as a consequence.

You’ve been heating up social media because of your catchy dance videos. How do you create choreography?

Many of them are created by other dancers. But I also create my own choreo. When I do my own, I usually listen to the music first before ko s’ya magawan ng choreography.

Can you talk about your video collaborations with 22-year-old Julian Trono?

Si anak (laughs)? Si Jemjem, marami na kaming performances na pinagsamahan sa stage, at hindi ako magsasawang sumayaw kasama ang batang ‘yon. Our TikTok “dance duets” are almost always a last-minute thing. Biglaan ang mga ‘yon. Usually, he goes first, then I join in. Mahusay rin kasing mag-choreograph ang batang ‘yon.

What kind of music do you enjoy grooving to? Any favorite dance? And which other local celebrity do you wish to collaborate with?

I’m more into hip-hop. Nakatrabaho ko na po halos lahat sa loob ng 17 years ko sa industry. I’m thankful for the chance to perform and work with them. This has informed my craft as a dancer. INQ

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