Article and Photos By Alex Datu
“Nagpapawis lang everyday para maalis ang toxin. ‘Pag late ang call time, bihis lang ako, suot ako ng mask tapos dadaan ako sa kalye. I ran kahit saan ako, kahit sa set. Hindi ako nakikilala dahil may mask ako, shaded then, sombrero. Tapos mag-bike na naka-maskara. I guess that plays a lot para ma-preserve ‘yung katawan natin na kailangan talaga mabalanse para mapatagal pa natin ang karera natin.”
In his latest movie Love Me Tomorrow, a Star Cinema film, Piolo Pascual is essaying a naughty character. Playing a disc jockey, he claimed that its a new character for him. Instead of making it boring, he tried to add more angst, that is, not only being playful to his music, but also to girls.
“This can be a naughty character, dj kasi siya, but we don’t want to stereo-type the role, ayaw namin maging boring but not necessarily generalizing the life of a dj. It’s like walang patutunguhan ‘yung buhay niya for I find it real,” he explained.
At this point in his career, Piolo is very thankful that ABS-CBN is tracking the roles he has done previously to avoid repetition. The moment he received the script, immediately he tried to find out the kind of character he would be tackling and if it’s similar to what he had done before, immediately he called for a deliberation.
“I make sure na ina-adjust nila na hindi didikit doon sa karakter ko ‘yung role na dati ko nang nagawa. Maganda talaga na may management na nagta-track ng characters mo sa movie that you do para hindi pare-pareho,” he clarified.
Papa P admitted that at his age, he just enjoy what is coming his way. He believed it’s just like giving birth to a new baby. “They say, you are only good as your last project so parang tinataya naming lahat in every project with what we do, lahat itinataya namin para walang sisihan in the end. Whatever the outcome is, as long as you gave your best. Bahala na si Lord,” he quipped.
In this highly technical world, anything can happen. The young ones just do it without thinking the consequence. But he begged not to call his role daring since he engaged in a one night stand because it happened nowadays especially with the young ones.
“One night stand, I don’t wanna say its normal. I mean, if you love yourself, it’s not even about religion, it’s about preserving yourself for someone who deserves it. Di naman kailangan, if it’s the norm, it’s not neccesary to follow the norm. Nasa sa’yo na ‘yun kung hanggang saan mo irerespeto ang sarili mo. Kung saan mo ibibigay. So, kanya-kanya yan,” he stressed.
Piolo has two leading ladies in the movie, a seasoned actress Dawn Zulueta and the youngest cast Coleen Garcia. He said that doing a daring scene with Coleen, he didn’t need to ask permission from Billy Crawford, Coleen’s boyfriend.
“Billy and I are good friends and he is not really jealous. He stayed on the set and we have a good relationship. I don’t feel any conflict with him and you cannot call the person seloso. He is not stupid naman not to trust his girlfriend sa isang pelikula dahil both of them are matalino naman,” he insisted.
With Dawn, it’s a different story when they make love on screen. He is not much concern with the actress hubby because he has adjusted already to the career of his wife.
“Mas careful tayo, kay Ms Dawn,” he said. “It’s not her husband we gonna protect but her kids. And that’s always my concern because she has kids. Kailangan mo talagang protektahan because mga bata pa talaga. It’s not because you are an artista, you can kiss anyone. I can see it in the story and that’s what you explain to them.”
With the impending soap opera with Toni Gonzaga, Piolo believed it was a blessing in-disguise, otherwise, this movie with Dawn wouldn’t materialize.
“Matagal na akong bakante but I’ve done more than a dozen soaps before. In the span of my 18 years in this business, gusto ko munang mag-focus sa movies, and I’m still very part of ASAP. Sabi ni Tin, she’s ready to start doing the soap in January. Pero sabi ko pahinga mo na siya because she needs time para sa family niya, para sa bata,” he related.
“I was the last to know that she is pregnant. Three months na ‘ata siyang pregnant pero kahit alam ko, I wanted her to come to me and tell me that she is pregnant. Kahit in-announce na niya sa ASAP, alam ko naman pero dapat nasabi niya sa akin before para alam ko kung saan to position myself. They told me that they wanted to replace her pero nakakasa na kami, two weeks na ‘yung nagawa namin eh. Parang nakakasa na ako doon sa hitsura ni Tin na asawa ko na may anak kami. Pag-iniba ko, ‘pag inulit pa bukod sa magastos, gusto ko si Tin pa rin kasi we have not done a soap together,” he continued.
In Love Me Tomorrow (to be shown May 25), a more physique and sexier Piolo will be ushered to us on screen. And he seemed not to grow old. Any secret of keeping the fountain of youth? “Just do a lot of exerecise,” he replied.
Is this the reason of your staying power, even if a lot of young actors just come and go?
“Trabaho lang naman sa akin ito eh. Honestly, ‘pag inilagay ko sa utak ko ‘yun baka lumaki lang ang ulo ko. As long as I know I am doing my job well, at the end of the day, these are all compliments kaya hindi dapat dinidibdib baka yumabang ka pa…salamat pero I’m just doing my job. Basta trabaho ko lang is to present myself accordingly and not waste my life because at the end of the day, ikaw ‘yung produkto mo eh, you are the product kung ano man ang pinipresent mo, kung ano ang ibinigay mo sa mga tao, ‘yun ang tini-take nila,” he answered.
As an active member of the industry, what is your stand on the 8-hour to 12-hour working time to be imposed by DOLE?
“More than being an actor, I’m also a producer, medyo nakakatakot. Siguro, the important thing there is to regulate the 8-hour work but you also do a lot of pre-prods to avoid delay, to avoid more gastos. So, there’s a way to it pero siyempre, mas magaling ‘yung less working hours para may magawa pa tayo sa buhay natin kasi basically, nakagawian na natin ito,” he defended.
“Before nga, more than 24 hours pa nga eh, pero nasa 18 hours na, pinapababa nila ng 8 hours to 12 hours. I think reasonable naman ‘yung 12 hours, huwag naman 8 hours bilang producer. But last night, kami ni Dawn pareho kaming may cut off pero pinaki-usapan kami kasi may bayad sa set, may bayad sa location, hindi namin u-ulitin. So, you know things like that kailangan mong i-bend eh, dahil nga hindi matatapos ‘yung pelikula.”
“Ang soap ang iniiwasan ko kasi laging may compromise eh,” he lamented. “It will take sometime bago ma-implement ang gan’ung regulations pero kailangan talaga everyone has to work together para ma- implement natin. Pero kapag na -implement ito tiyak mababawasan ang talent fee ng mga artista, production and everyone else, will be affected by it. Ako, I’m okay with 18 hours or 16 hours, but siyempre may mga bagay na kailangan natin ayusin.”