For someone who just ran a grueling marathon earlier that day, Piolo Pascual looked surprisingly relaxed when he faced the media inside a backstage tent of the Star Magic Gives Back concert Saturday night at the Venice Piazza in Taguig City.
The actor actually looked eager for a chat—quite a difference from his guarded, at times detached, disposition that show biz scribes usually complain about when interviewing him.
Sporting a simple, grey long-sleeved shirt and denim jeans, Piolo sat comfortably on a couch, his legs folded. “Ready when you are!” he teased a reporter as she fumbled with her recorder. He quickly added, chuckling, “Just kidding!”
“Was the 12K run a piece of cake?” he was asked. “Ang hirap kaya (It was hard)!” Piolo shot back. “We did simulations and interval training yesterday at University of the Philippines (Diliman). I was nervous this morning because my legs were sore. But when we started the race, iba ’yung feeling, knowing it was for a good cause.” Also that day, he spearheaded the SunPIOLOGY run, a fund-raising event for various charity organizations.
The 37-year-old Kapamilya star continued to gamely and lightheartedly answer questions, even when the conversation swung abruptly to his former onscreen leading lady, Judy Ann Santos.
“I’ve been vocal about wanting to work with her [again]. Juday gave me the biggest break of my career,” he noted. “I’ll always be grateful to her.”
In a previous interview, Juday said she was unsure about the reunion project. That’s just how things are, Piolo quipped. “If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. Let’s just wait.”
He was to take on the lead male role in Auraeus Solito’s “Baybayin,” but his tight schedule made doing the indie film impossible. His role went to newbie Adrian Sebastian.
But Piolo is looking forward to other projects, like the coming action film he will be doing with Gerald Anderson, “OTJ (On the Job),” to be directed by Erik Matti.
“I’ll play an NBI agent [and] I’m excited. It’s not your typical action film that’s heavy on fight and chase scenes,” he related. “It’s kind of dark and edgy. That’s what we want as artists—to always raise the bar.”
He was asked about rumors linking him to Shaina Magdayao. They were reportedly seen being extra sweet to each other during the recent Singapore trip of the Sunday noontime show “ASAP 2012.”
Usually, such a question would be the cue for his handlers to whisk him away. But Piolo stayed put and explained: “We have to be more careful so people won’t judge or jump to conclusions. But we’re okay.”
But is he open to a possible romance with the 23-year-old actress? “It’s not good to preempt these things, but let’s see,” said Piolo. “I’d like to protect Shai. She deserves respect from everyone and this business … she’s a fine girl.”
A few hours later, Piolo took the stage and performed such songs such as “Mangarap Ka” and “Every Breath You Take.”
The singing wasn’t exactly impressive, but it didn’t seem to matter to the fans who cheered and screamed just the same.
Even Pokwang, one of the show’s hosts, couldn’t stop herself from singing along and twirling backstage.
To cap off the night, the actor was joined by fellow ABS-CBN talents in performing the station’s Christmas ID theme, “Lumiliwanag ang Mundo sa Kwento ng Pasko.”
Among those featured in the concert were: Xian Lim, Maja Salvador, Angeline Quinto, Rayver Cruz, JM de Guzman, Bangs Garcia, Enrique Gil, Empress Schuck, Matteo Guidicelli, Jessy Mendiola, Paulo Avelino, and Yeng Constantino.
The SunPIOLOGY Run and Star Magic Gives Back will both aid Lingkod Kapamilya by ABS-CBN, Hebreo Foundation, Reception and Study Center for Children, and Sanctuary Center.