Piolo and son Iñigo Pascual
Instagram/Piolo Pascual
Piolo Pascual: 'I’m no stage dad'
(Philstar.com) - March 22, 2017 - 10:25am

MANILA, Philippines — Shock and awe are the twin emotions Piolo Pascual  felt when fatherhood made a surprise appearance in his life.   

“My son Inigo (aged 19) was already here in the Philippines when I arrived from the US,” he recalls.

A thousand and one questions were swirling in his mind, mainly about how it is to raise a son. After all, Piolo was not around when Inigo was born. The actor did not see his son make the transition from childhood to adolescence. The sight of a teenage boy looking at him with curious, wary eyes, was so sudden for Piolo.

But he knew he had no choice but to make up for lost time.

“One day, I realized my son really looks like me,” he revealed in a blog con for his upcoming project, "Northern Lights: A Journey to Love" (produced by Regal Entertainment, Star Cinema and Spring Films).

So, he accepted his flesh and blood – warts and all.

Piolo was not afraid to lose fans who idolized him for his matinee idol image. Nor did he fear changing his priorities because of this new addition in his life. All he knew is that here is someone who has a right to be loved.  His son needs his time and attention, and busy Piolo admits feeling guilty he cannot give enough.

All these make him the right actor to play a desolate single dad looking for his direction in life in "Northern Lights."

“Charlie (his character) is based in Alaska (where one can see the Northern Lights). His ex-girlfriend, his son’s mom, suddenly calls up to say the boy needs to live with him,” relates Piolo.

The mom found a new love, and for some reason, cannot keep the boy anymore.

Charlie felt the same mixed emotions Piolo knew so well the first time he saw Inigo.

And so the story is about healing, forgiveness, and love for family.

In some ways, Piolo can identify with the boy Raikko Mateo is playing in the movie.  

Like Raikko’s character, Piolo comes from a broken home. But he realized all is not lost because “I have a mom and dad.”  It was hard for him to accept reality, but he was content having both parents while growing up. This is why Piolo cannot take men who walk away from their paternal duties.

“They’re not real men. Whether the child was planned or unplanned, the kid deserves a parent who loves him or her."

Fatherhood, Piolo goes on, demands selflessness. On the other hand, children whose dad or mom suddenly shows up and tries to reach out to them, need help.

Piolo offers them this piece of advice: “Love your parents. Only then will you know how to forgive and heal. Life becomes such a waste if you spend it carrying emotional baggage.”

Piolo has since let go of the emotional baggage he carried the first time he came face to face with Inigo.  And the showbiz newbie can always count on Piolo for support.

The actor-producer even bankrolled a  movie for Inigo. Piolo is  the first to applaud his son’s efforts in creating a niche for himself as an actor and musician. But Piolo will never be a stage dad.

“I want him to focus on his studies. But I won’t  spoon-feed and dictate on him. He’s his own man. He must discover his own passion and direction in life.”

In letting his son be, Piolo is proving he has what it takes to be a good dad.

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