The racing pride of the Philippines has talked about the ins and outs of his enviable profession, but here, he gets a little more personal. Marlon Stockinger may have the face of a god (and balls of steel), but he’s still very much human. From how he spends his time, to how he mingles with the opposite sex, to how he handles fame, to how he sees the world (the universe, rather)–Marlon gives us a peek into the soul of a drifter.
What do you do to unwind?
I’m a homebody. When I was younger I went out way too much. But because it’s always really fast paced (pun intended) on the racetracks, I expend a lot of energy. When i have my off days I just stay at home, relaxing and recovering.
How exhausting is racing?
I had a couple of 24 hour races the previous year. You literally race for 24 hours. You start at 4pm and you end the next day at 4pm. Obviously, not one driver does the 24 hours—I had two other teammates so we each did 8 hours total. 1-2 hours of sleep between each stint, then you’re racing again. I had mostly the nights too, so I was racing 10pm-12am, then 2am-4am, then 6am-8am. So your body clock’s messed up–plus, my body hurt so much that it was just painful to sleep! If you do a number of those, and other races along with it, you’ll get tired.
How do you take care of your body? Are you a healthy eater?
Yeah. I like to cook a lot alone. Real cooking, not like stick a pizza in the microwave thing [laughs]. I cook my own meals. If i can control what I’m eating, or if I buy healthy things, it’s just much better. But I do love my snacks and treats. I like drinking too—I’m a racing driver so we need to drink the champagne at the podium [laughs]. But I do it socially, because it’s just not that interesting.
My go-to is chicken breast with sweet potatoes and broccoli or boiled veggies. But there’s a lot of naughtier meals in between. [laughs]
Who are your 3 favourite people in the world?
Can I say four? My parents and my 2 siblings. My brother’s a lot younger than me, so we’re not competitive in the sense that we’re almost a generation apart. He doesn’t race–he’s just worried about being a teenager at the moment. And I’m very close to my sister, we’re only 2 years apart. Normally, brothers and sisters quarrel, but I feel like I have a best friend in my sister.
You’re dating Pia. How’d you guys meet?
We met in New York. I was there to visit a friend. It was in some bar, then we made plans. That was September of last year.
Were you friends prior to that?
Not really. We knew each other through social circles, common friends, and then…yeah. Somehow we got to get in touch with each other.
What attracted you to her, and vice versa?
With or without the crown, she’s 100% genuine, so you don’t have this fake persona of Pia when she has the crown on her. It’s the same thing when she takes it off. She’s so honest. Also, physically, she has really big eyes. You get lost in them.
There’s a pun there [laughs]. But me…I don’t know what she found in me. She says I’m always funny. I’m very good with my puns, so.
What is typical Marlon-Pia date?
So far, just in another country. I think we did 6 countries in 2 months, just because of her schedule being crazy, and also me being busy traveling. We just find time somewhere in the world. I think we’ve done 3 continents already.
Does the jet-setting affect the relationship?
If you’re a modern couple, especially with our generation being on social media so much, it’s not hard to keep in touch. Obviously, the hard part is not physically being together, but I actually think that’s better for a relationship. You don’t wanna overdo spending a lot of time together–it’s so easy to get stuck together, and even get sick of each other.
How is being apart a good thing?
I like the fact that we’re forced to have distance so we can focus on ourselves, and then we make the most out of the moments when we actually get together. I like the pace of that. I don’t wanna be straight away full-on with something. I guess also that’s why it works. In a relationship, nobody’s kinda waiting for the other one. We just get on with what we’re supposed to do, and then we enjoy each other’s company when we have the free time.
How does this jet-setting lifestyle affect your style?
The best way is to pack light. It’s easy to overpack, but I’ve learned to be efficient–one toiletry bag, comfy clothes. When I’m gonna be on long haul flights, I wear joggers and sneakers. If I’m on vacation in Europe, I’ll wear a leather jacket and boots.
H&M suits your laid-back style–chic basics are their specialty. What do you think about the retail giant?
I like their recent tie-up with Alexander Wang. And Kenzo! [For tips on Marlon’s laid-back style and more H&M Fashion Inspo, click here.]
Do you dress up?
I don’t mind dressing up. As a racing driver you have to look proper. For higher end, I don’t go for the usual. I like custom-made Italian suits. My younger sister works for an online collective. She sends me European-inspired merchandise and gear. I get clothes I’ve never heard of! I like that European laid back style. [For tips on Marlon’s formal style and more H&M Fashion Inspo, click here.]
Who do you hang out with aside from Pia?
I have a small group of friends. I can count them on both hands. It’s been that way since I was a kid. I like being around them, they like being around me, so that’s pretty much it. I can be myself when I’m with them. We fool around a lot.
Are you the jokester?
I’m the bunso, so I get a lot of shit from them. They’re like 3-5 years older, and we share the sport, so I can relate in that sense. They’re like older brothers to me, so I have them to look up to. We just chill a lot, but it’s also pretty cut throat–it doesn’t matter who you are, they’ll be quick to cut you down and humble you. Really good set of friends.
How do you feel being a spectacle in the public eye?
I’ve been beside Pia and I know what that’s like. But I don’t care for it. I hope that just through what I’m doing in motorsport, that’s what I get recognised for. Fame is not something that I live for or chase for. It just so happens that motorsport is a nice platform to promote yourself and represent your country. But just for the pure spotlight, no. I’d be happy chilling in a coffee shop watching people instead of them watching me.
Do you interact with your followers on IG?
Sometimes if they send a message and I really like it, I’ll reply to them if I have time. When I’m at home relaxing after a race weekend, I try and give time to interact with them. FB live, IG stories, throw questions around, just see what’s up.
Any advice to them?
You gotta have that “never give up” mentality, especially if you want to get into motorsport. There are so many factors not only in yourself, but outside of yourself. A racing car already has thousands of components. If something breaks down, that’s not your fault. You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. So you just gotta keep your chin up and push on. That’s the best way to look at it.
How do you keep your chin up?
Whether it’s business, sports, studying—it’s about enjoying what you do as well. When the pressure comes in, they stress themselves out. But when you’re actually being successful at something, you realize that hey–I’m just racing around in circles, and I’m not saving anyone’s life!
How do you avoid stressing yourself out?
It’s just more about not forgetting the fun about it. The reason I got into motorsport is because it’s fun, I made friends, I got to compete, I liked winning. It’s really easy to forget about that when you’re under pressure and when you’re trying to perform. If I relax and depend more on my talent, I do a lot better than when I overthink it. Whether it’s racing, or just life in general. ~
Story | Iris Lee Photography | Johanne Dalogdog Assistant Photographer | Franco Hosena Styling | Raizel Dy Hair | Everlyn Galab of Maquillage Professionnel Makeup | Etine Bautista