While some people insisted on creating as much noise as possible before 2011 wrapped up (it was New Year’s, after all), and setting tongues wagging once 2012 rang in (might be those weird feng shui forecasts), there was one person who mysteriously kept mum in the middle of this ruckus: Piolo Pascual. In spite of being front and center in most entertainment headlines, the darling leading man drew as little attention to himself as possible, choosing instead to focus on upcoming projects. This week, Supreme shares a little quiet time with the man fondly referred to as “Papa P” in order to out what’s been keeping him so busy — and so silent.SUPREME: 2011 was a tumultuous year not just for you, but for a lot of people. When people are going through certain difficulties, they talk about it, but you chose to keep quiet.
PIOLO PASCUAL: Oh, because I always look on the brighter side of things. I’m a very positive person and I don’t dwell on negative things. I always look forward, I always look ahead, and I just pray.
S: Can you tell us about the new show that you’re filming?
PP: It’s a new series entitled Ng Dahil Sa Pag-Ibig and it’s coming out very soon. As an actor, I always look forward to something like this because I get to do it for a long time. One season is 13 weeks minimum, so as an actor, you devote a lot of your time to it, plus it’s fun building a character and being seen every night on primetime. When you do a drama series with ABS-CBN, you can be sure that it’s top-notch, and delivered with a (certain) caliber because they always have the best creative team working on the project. One of the things that I treasure most as an actor is being able to come up with a character and being able to do a soap, which is, for me, an achievement as an artist.
S: What can you say about the cast of Ng Dahil Sa Pag-Ibig?
PP: I’m excited because it’s the first time I’m working with Christine Reyes, it’s the first time I’m doing drama with Jericho Rosales, and I’m excited to work again with Maricar. The last time I worked with her was in Lovers in Paris. I’m also reuniting with my dad in some shows I’ve done — Christopher de Leon. It’s nice to be working with people you enjoy working with because they always bring out the best in you.
S: What is the teleserye about?
PP: Well, in a nutshell, the story is about the most universal thing, which is love, and how it revolves around the four main characters. I play a priest here, so the scandal of that arises when I have to choose between love for the Lord, which is a high calling, given all the vows, and love for another person — love for a woman who I want to be romantically involved with. So, that’s my main conflict as the character, and I’m excited since this is the first time I’m playing a priest.
S: What’s the name of your character?
PP: Alfred. The Valderrama family adopts me, so Christine is my sister, legally, and then we end up having an affair. Kind of mature.
S: So have you ever wanted to be a priest?
PP: Yeah, I remember back in high school when we were asked to apply already for college, I remember applying (to) UST, and I said to myself, if I don’t pass the entrance examination, I’ll (take) the seminary route. So I just waited for the results and obviously, I got in to UST, and it changed my destiny, of course. But I’ve always had this fascination for the Church, and it’s a good thing that I didn’t have to choose between Church and love because you know, being a commoner, a normal person, I don’t want to experience that kind of conflict.
S: What other projects are you looking forward to this year?
PP: I’m still shooting this movie with Angelica Panganiban. It’s entitled Every Breath You Take. It’s coming out in April and we’ve been shooting since last year. I just finished my runs with Timex and Sun Life, and I still do ASAP. We’re also celebrating the 20 years of Star Magic, and we’re producing a film for it to celebrate. This year, my production team is going to Korea to film the second part of the Kimmy Dora series. I’m also working on an album, so I have my hands full for the rest of the year, hopefully.
S: What genre does Every Breath You Take fall under?
PP: It’s a romantic comedy. It’s fun. The last time I worked with her was for TV in Mangarap Ka — she was only 17 then. Now that she’s more versatile as an actress, I’m excited because this is her forte. She’s very funny, and I like the story because it’s something different for me.
S: We also heard that you have a tour in the US coming up soon.
PP: Celebrating our 20th year in Star Magic, we are going to Hawaii for a tour, and hopefully by that time, we’ll be able to shoot some scenes for the Star Magic movie abroad. We might go to another country to film for the Star Magic movie while we are touring.
S: Apart from work, what else has been keeping you busy?
PP: I train a lot. I registered for the Berlin marathon in September. I registered for the relay for Iron Man in Cebu, and I love to play badminton. My greatest passion for now is running, so I always include that in my daily routine. Other than that, I guess, I don’t have any time for anything else!
S: Is there a reason why you chose the Berlin marathon in particular?
PP: Because it’s the easiest among the five majors! When I checked all the five majors, it’s the easiest because first of all, I have to consider weather. I was in New York last November and I was going to register for it, but I was running in Central Park and I realized that it’s just too cold. I live in a tropical country, so I’m not used to being in the cold. With Berlin, it happens in September, and it’s the easiest because it’s flat. I want to conquer all five, of course, but with that being the easiest, I guess I’ll have a better time, and a better chance to finish.