Born in 1965 in Quezon City, Jovy studied at La Salle, and began racing at 11 with go-karts. His father was into drag racing, motorcycles, and speedboats so wherever he raced, and this was all over Southeast Asia: Malaysia, Penang, Macau and the Philippines, Jovy went along. His family enjoyed of foreign races, such as the Indy Car, CART and Formula One races but, because there was no cable service carrying those sports, Jovy would watch the tapes.
Jovy left to study in the United States, first at St. Mary's, then Armstrong College in Berkeley, California. But with two years to go he dropped out to go racing. Hi father supported him, racing in junior formula at first but proving to be successful wherever he raced. Eddie sent him to the United Kingdom, where he raced at Silverstone and Brands Hatch.
International Formula 3000 was too expensive so Jovy raced in the New Zealand series. From there, Jovy he returned to the United States in the Toyota Atlantic Championship, where he was part of Duane Anderson's team in 1990. Jovy finished second to champion Mark Dismore and earned Rookie of the Year honours.
In 1991 Jovy earned a seat in Bill Fickling's P-1 Racing team and with Toyota and Marlboro sponsorship drove wheel-to-wheel with Canadian Jacques Villeneuve and Jimmy Vasser. He ended up winning the Championship from Vasser. “We basically had a very reliable car, and we finished 11 of the 13 races,” recalls Bill Fickling, who hired Marcelo to succeed his previous champion Mark Dismore. “We did win two of them. The first win at Lime Rock was just magic. I think it was the very first time a Filipino had ever won an FIA-sanctioned event, so we had a big party after that.”
Jovy wanted to enter Formula 1, but that was out of the question because the budget required. And after testing with Derrick Walker for the seat that ultimately went to Scott Goodyear, Marcelo found a CART ride with Antonio Ferrari’s Euromotorsport team. Jovy drove the Euromotorsports entry in the CART Indy League World Series and earned a spot at the Indy 500. He ahd a best finish of 14th at Surfer’s Paradise in the three races leading up to May. The month before the race, Jovy stayed in Indiana, getting used to the track. But on that sweltering day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, things went terribly wrong.
Jovy was not travelling at full speed. But heading into the first turn at about 170 mph, Jovy's car swung wide and smashed into the wall. The impact slammed Jovy's head against the side of his cockpit. Today, with Hans devices it is possible that Jovy would not have met the fate he did.
Jovy Marcelo's death is remembered by a marker at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway corner where he lost his life.
In remembrance of Jovy, the Toyota Atlantic Championship, now called the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, founded the Jovy Marcelo Sportsmanship Award the very year of Jovy's death, now an annual honour given to the driver who best exemplifies the sportsmanship of Jovy, a past champion.