Veteran actress Marissa Delgado helps OFWs achieve their dreams
Veteran actress Marissa Delgado has always wanted to be an actress as a young girl.
So fresh out of high school in 1966, Marissa, then 16 years old, did a screen test for Artemio Marquez’s “Dalawang Kumander sa WAC” with lead stars Dolphy and Chiquito. She passed and that began her show biz career.
“My favorite movie was ‘Lumuha Pati Mga Anghel’ where I played the role of the stepmother of Lorna Tolentino and Arnold Gamboa,” said Delgado. Directed by Lino Brocka, this earned Marissa her first Famas Best Supporting Award in 1971. Ishmael Bernal directed her in “Till Death Do Us Part” where she won her second Famas Best Supporting Actress Award in 1972.
One of Marissa’s recent TV appearance was in “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” with Coco Martin.
“We were like one happy family. There was no dull moment for us. Relationship among us was harmonious,” said Marissa, recalling her guest stint as Melba in that TV series. “Everyone felt relaxed on the set.”
She described Coco as “an amazing young director,” who was always concerned about the comfort of everyone, especially that of a senior citizen like her.
“He (Coco) made sure there was enough food for everyone on the set. He has respect for his coactors, especially for the more senior ones,” she said. “He was very focused on what he was doing. He was cool all the time. He would not raise his voice even when he was displeased on the set. His energy and enthusiasm were contagious. He has a good memory and could even dictate the dialogue that some of the actors sometimes forgot.”
For sexagenarians like Marissa (she’s now 68), movie and TV offers are hard to come by.
So she thought of venturing into the recruitment business, wanting to help overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) improve their lives.
She knew that a college degree would give her the necessary knowledge and help boost her self-confidence in managing a recruitment business.
“[Also] I decided to go back to school and get a degree to inspire my children and grandchildren, to impress upon them that nobody is too old for education,” said Marissa.
She was 65 years old when she graduated from the University of Visayas in Cebu with a BSBA major in Human Resource Management.
The dream of her lolo for his children and grandchildren also motivated her to pursue and finish a college degree. “He wanted us to have our diplomas displayed at home for relatives and friends to see the achievements of our family,” said Marissa.
She shared this advice for young and old people alike. “Pursue your dreams. You can land a better job if you have a college degree and have better chances of promotion. A higher education will enhance or improve your chances of a better life. Determinasyon lang ang kailangan,” she proudly said.
On how her college education helped her business, she said: “The principles of management that I learned in college and the books that I read have affirmed my style of management. I got updated on the new techniques and processes in running a business.”
With no star complex, Marissa nowadays personally goes around the country recruiting prospective OFWs who want to find their own success abroad. Through Mardel International, a recruitment company she established in 1985, Marissa has been able to find work opportunities for thousands of OFWs in Asia and the Middle East.
“I almost got discouraged because I was able to place only one talent after a year. I was about to give up when a friend advised me to be patient, and go on with the business,” recalled Marissa.
True enough, after another year, groups of Japanese promoters came to the Philippines and asked Mardel to supply them with performing artists.
Mardel, which has been operating for 33 years now, has been recognized by the Philippine Overseas Employment Adminisration as a Top Performer and cited for “zero welfare cases.”
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