Papa Piolo knows best
Iñigo with dad Piolo
Iñigo Pascual’s Instagram

Papa Piolo knows best

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - November 26, 2020 - 12:00am

In a Father’s Day forum for The STAR a few months ago, Iñigo Pascual related how his dad, Papa Piolo Pascual, taught him how to make his own way during a hike in Palawan.

“We were running the trails of Pangulasian Island. Going to the peak of the trail, my dad was ahead of me leading the way and going back to the resort, it started pouring so we had to rush back down. My dad let me lead the way and the run felt like it came out of a movie,” Iñigo graphically recalled that memorable incident. “A rainforest and a muddy trail and both of us just kept on running. One of the things I appreciated about my dad was how he let me be myself. That hike became more than just a hike, it became a life lesson for the both of us in a metaphorical way. It felt like my dad was ready to let me be my own man and to start running the trails of life without him leading me but still there behind me, always guiding me.”

Even now that at 23 (last Sept. 14) he’s living his own life, Iñigo considers his dad as his guiding light.

Iñigo Pascual

“My dad always reminds me to be patient and not to rush things,” Iñigo told Funfare during a one-on-one prior to the presscon proper organized by ABS-CBN Films for the coming-of-age comedy Boyette: Not a Girl Yet, distributed by Cinexpress and showing starting tomorrow, Nov. 27, on, iWant TFC app and website, TFC IPTV, Cignal pay-per-view and Sky Cable pay-per-view (for only P150). “I look up to my dad as my model in life. He always reminds me to be grateful and to never be greedy, to always share whatever I have, whatever blessing comes to my life, to find space and time to give back somehow.”

But Piolo is hands-off where Iñigo’s love life is concerned. “He just lets me be, lets me do my own thing. But he reminds me to be careful in getting into a situation that I am not sure of. He tells me to really take time to know the person very well, to be very sure.”

Boyette is about a kid (played by Zaijian Jaranilla, now 19 and was only 11 when he rose to stardom as a miracle boy in the ABS-CBN soap May Bukas Pa) who is openly gay with his family but a “closet” outside.

Iñigo with Maris Racal in the coming-of-age comedy Boyette: Not a Girl Yet
Photo by Ricky Lo

“I play Charles; Boyette and I are supposed to be kababata, childhood friends, so I know his secret,” explained Iñigo. “We are together in school and his dilemma is how to hide his real self. Can I be instrumental in helping him come out?”

Also in the cast is Maris Racal as Nancy, their schoolmate on whom Charles has a crush. Conflict crops up when Nancy develops a liking for Boyette.

“That’s how the story goes,” added Iñigo.

They were locked in at a hotel for three weeks during the shoot. Iñigo liked it.

“Ayos naman. Mas nagustuhan ko personally. We developed a kind of bonding. It was easy for us to stay in character. Every day, we were our characters until the last day of the shoot. Talagang we were immersed sa environment ng mga characters namin. Of course, nakaka-miss sa mga kasama mo sa bahay, ‘yung nakakauwi ka sa bahay mo. But for me, if you are going to be focused on the project, mas okey ang set-up na ‘ito.”

Boyette is Iñigo and Maris’ first project together after last year’s I’m Ellenya L. In a Funfare interview at that time, they both admitted that they had remained friends (following rumors, which they didn’t confirm, that they had just broken up). No awkwardness, according to Iñigo. They enjoyed working (comfortably) together.

Asked what his and Maris’ current status is, Iñigo was mum. Next question, please!

Na-enjoy ko siya,” said Iñigo. “Anytime I work with Maris, whether acting or singing, I really enjoy our time together, especially during the shoot of Boyette. Very light siya ka-trabaho at kitang-kita mo ang passion sa ginagawa niya. Her energy is infectious. The project is comedy so all of us really enjoyed it together on the set.”

Several days before the lockdown, Iñigo moved to his own condo.

“Nobody expected the pandemic to happen. Luckily, I was able to buy all that I needed. I have learned how to cook, how to clean the place and how to pay the bills, mga bagay na dati hindi ko ginagawa. I also joined the Plantito Club and started painting.”

Any plan to have a solo exhibit?

“That’s one of my plans but I still don’t know when. What I did was open an IG account for my paintings recently (last Nov. 9). I’m selling my paintings to raise funds for the victims of the Typhoon Ulysses.”

Iñigo is one of the six artists who collaborated on the song Rise for Tarsier Records, including Malaysia’s Zee Avi, Sam Concepcion, Grammy award-winning rapper Eric Bellinger, Tarsier founder and producer Moophs and songwriter Vince Nantes.

“The song is about coming together and not worrying about what’s going on. Everyone is going through something.This 2020 has been a crazy year for everybody. We wanted to do a song that is about hope, one that unifies all of us no matter what country we come from.”

Cancelled due to the pandemic was a UK tour with a boyband under Simon Cowell and another in Australia with a Singaporean artist.

“I am working on a remake of (my song) Catching Feelings with an artist from Hawaii,” added Iñigo. “Aside from that, I am releasing two more songs before the end of this year and working on tracks for my own album to be released next year. I’m thankful to Tarsier Records for the projects they are doing for me.”

Any collaboration with Papa Piolo?

“It’s one of my dreams. My dad and I have actually talked about it, not just for a single but for a full album to be composed of my own compositions and some of his own. That will come out someday...soon!!!”

Piolo said that he is Kapamilya Forever, never mind if he is now co-hosting TV5’s Sunday Noontime Live (SNL) show.

What about Iñigo?

“For me, ABS-CBN is the reason why I’m back in the Philippines. The network has been a part of my life ever since I was a baby because of my dad. Para sa akin, I will always be a Kapamilya. I’m forever grateful for all the opportunities that they are giving me, including international projects. I wouldn’t be able to do all these without their help. ABS-CBN has been very supportive in everything that I do. It’s not like we’re making decisions without letting them know. We make sure that if we are going to do any project, with ABS-CBN or without ABS-CBN, it’s always with their consent naman.”

Iñigo as a plantito.
Iñigo Pascual’s Instagram

(E-mail reactions at For more updates, photos and videos, visit or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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