THE new year is almost in sight and A-list celebrity Piolo Pascual looks back with profound gratitude to this transformational year in his colorful and long-standing career.
“I have so much to be thankful for this year. It’s a fact that things remained shaky after the pandemic but the industry fought so hard to make a comeback, and people got their jobs back and new projects were planned and hatched. Although we still need a few big steps before we enjoy the kind of normalcy we once had, but we are definitely on our way,” Pascual said, in his usual calm tone, almost contemplative and zen-like.
One achievement that Pascual is most proud of was finding time and giving his all to play the lead part of the musical Ibarra, which had 10 successful shows in the middle of this year. He had to start from scratch, learned each note of the original songs written for the musical and every dialogue that required of his character, and remain in character for every live performance.
“Ibarra was special because it opened my eyes to so many truths, not only about myself, but also about people, about my coworkers and their passion and sacrifices just to be able to mount a stage production. It also widened my scope of knowledge about history, patriotism, and how important it is for Filipinos to be reminded about the value of freedom, and how those who came ahead of us fought valiantly for it.”
By the time this piece comes out, Pascual would’ve most likely added another trophy to his vast collection. He is favored to win the Best Lead Actor in a Musical plum from the ALIW Awards (which was scheduled to hand out its trophies last night).
No doubt Pascual’s artistic pursuits are at an all time high, and he has learned to seize every good opportunity that gets near his path. “I guess I have reached that point in my career which has spanned many decades where I can call the shots and be comfortable in saying no to an offer if I don’t feel like accepting. And I’m saying it with humility, because I think I have worked so hard to reach that point, where my voice and opinion matter and my decision is valued and respected.”
Not many know that Pascual is no longer with Star Magic, the talent management arm of ABS-CBN. He is now part of Cornerstone Entertainment’s roster of bankable artists, and he works very closely with his good friend Erickson Raymundo, who is also his business partner in Spring Films, which has produced movies in the past. Lulu Romero, his longtime well-loved handler in Star Magic, now serves as Pascual’s manager.
“There is more room to flex now, and I am very happy that I am always a big part of decision-making, especially about projects that I want to commit to,” he added.
Right after Ibarra, Pascual buckled down to work on a movie project that stirred his curiosity but sent an avalanche of unfamiliar emotions down his system. That project is Mallari, a suspense-horror film inspired by the life of a documented Filipino serial killer priest named Severino Mallari in the 1800s.
Pascual embraced the challenge to portray three different characters in the movie directed by Derick Cabrido, produced by Bryan Dy for his Mentorque Productions, to be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Mallari is predicted to be in the top three bracket of the movies of this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival that are competing for both critical and commercial acclaim. We have a strong hunch that Pascual will also take home the filmfest best actor trophy.
For the new year, Piolo Pascual already knows his next moves, and he shared with us that his time will be distributed to include activities that will enrich his soul and reinvigorate his energies. “I will be with family, a few close friends and those dear to me, maybe travel to a few places I’ve never been to. As far as work is concerned, perhaps one or two major projects that will make me a happier artist.”