When Ayala Malls dynamos Marivic Anonuevo and Rowena Tomeldan invite you to lunch, you can be sure it will be about malls, malls and more malls. Okay, another mall opening?
But when they mention the magic word — Piolo Pascual — you know you are going to be there on time. Twelve noon. Tapella, Greenbelt 5. You think you are early, but when you arrive, practically all the seats are taken. except yours. And it happens to be one beside Piolo. Such luck.
Everyone in the room is shamelessly — yes, proudly — a Piolo fan. How can you not be? The guy looks even more handsome in person. The best thing you discover is that Piolo is not just a good-looking face. He is naturally sincere, honest, kind, well-mannered, well-bred and intelligent.
So what is Piolo’s new role in the malling scene?He is starring in a silent auction and Christmas concert to be presented by Ayala Malls with partners Bench and Star Magic on Nov. 28 at the Fashion Walk of Greenbelt 5. Musical direction is by Ryan Cayabyab and stage direction by Johnny Manahan.
Ayala merchants Ana Rocha, Amina Aranaz, Arnel Papa, Myth, Firma, AC+632 and artists Arturo Luz, Wig Tysmans, Joe Mendoza and more are donating valuable pieces for auction. Proceeds from this and other current Ayala projects will be used for the Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig Campaign, the rehabilitation projects of Children’s Hour and Bayan ni Juan sa Calauan of Habitat for Humanity.
This December, Ayala is also launching its Christmas Shopping bag promo. For every P500 receipt in any Ayala mall with P5 donation, a customer gets a Christmas-edition shopping bag. For every P500 kit bought at Santa’s Factory at Glorietta 3 on Nov. 15-Dec. 27, and Glorietta 5 on Dec. 16-24, a portion goes to charity.
Piolo fits into this spirit of sharing and rebuilding advocated by Ayala. He really looks like a good person. Excerpts:
PHILIPPINE STAR: Let’s get it straight from you. Are you and KC Concepcion on?
PIOLO PASCUAL: Wow, that’s quite straightforward! KC is very charming. But she and I agreed that while we are in a film project together, we will focus on our job. If we declare that we are on, people may misconstrue this, as usual, and say we are just trying to promote our movie.
At what age will you start considering marriage?
I’m 32. Maybe when I’m 35.
That’s only three years from now. Have you found the right girl?
Maybe before I turn 40.
And what kind of girl are you looking for?
Somebody not from the business. Unfortunately, my exposure is only to showbiz people, so I haven’t had the chance to meet a lot of non-showbiz people.
What’s the most indecent proposal you have ever received?
Oh, you’d be surprised ... (silence)
Okay, what’s the usual pick-up line you hear from women?
They just approach you and invite you outright for a date. You are at a party with beautiful ladies and they just make the first move.
And how do you react to such aggressive women?
I would rather pursue a woman on my own, rather than go for someone who is trying to be all over me.
Have you ever had a broken heart?
Yes, in my mid-20s. When I entered showbiz, my girlfriend made me choose between my career and her. She broke up with me.
When was your last relationship?
Eight years ago.
What’s your fantasy?
I really have no fantasies.
Does that mean you get everything you wish for?
Oh, I do have a fantasy. My favorite place in the world is Assisi in Italy. I enjoy meditating in the garden where St. Francis stayed. I love the Italian countryside. I love the serenity, and with it, a slice of freshly baked pizza. My dream is to buy a dilapidated villa in Italy and restore it myself. I want to get married in Tuscany.
Okay, what’s your wildest fantasy?
I’d like to spend six months in Europe, and spend more time too in Asian countries. I’d like to go deepsea diving in Tubbataha, Seychelles, Palau, Micronesia. Go to Bukidnon again.
I spent one of the most peaceful moments of my life there.
What makes you happy?
When there’s sunshine. When everything is okay. When I’m able to do my work and get eight hours of sleep. I”m very simple.
Who is the Piolo Pascual that we don’t know?
I hate being late. I value my work. I hate wasting time. There are only 24 hours a day. I must have eight hours of sleep. And two hours in the gym — the gym is my playground. So all the rest of the day for work. It’s work the whole day for me.
What would be your biggest luxuries?
I only splurge on travel and food.
How about shopping — where do you usually go?
For my personal things, I love buying at H&M which sells reasonably priced, good stuff. And I also go to the Melrose chain of shops in Los Angeles, where I regularly visit because my mom and my son live there. For gifts, I usually go to Prada, Bottega Veneta and other Stores Specialists shops.
What would make you cry?
I don’t usually cry — except in the movies. I’m a positive person. I live a peaceful life. I don’t want to complicate things. When there’s a sad situation, I just pray about it.
Do you always have a driver-bodyguard or alalay with you?
I love driving alone. I feel safe in the Philippines. Well, I do have a PA, but she’s busy studying right now, she wants to be a chef. In fact, she already has a career. She played the role of Elena, the yaya in the film Kimmy Dora which my group (Spring Films) produced. And she already has offers coming up.
Kimmy Dora was a hit! What made you decide to be a film producer?
I wanted to be able to do something different. And to give people work as well. Many of them are friends who have talent.
Do you make it a point to watch the movies you appear in?
I watch myself so I can review my work. I look at my acting, my nuances, and see where I can improve on.
What movies do you enjoy watching?
I love The Awakening, and all The Transformers and Back to the Future movies. And all Adam Sandler films. The other actors I admire are Robin Williams, Gary Oldman, Jim Carrey, Susan Sarandon, Julia Roberts, Wynona Ryder and Natalie Portman.
Who is your mentor?
Mr. M — Johnny Manahan — who is also one of my icons. He is not just my mentor, he is also a father to me. You see, my father died when I was 16. Coincdenatlly, Mr. M looks like my dad, too.