At 33 years old, Piolo Pascual deems himself ready to portray a father onscreen—a role that deviates from his usual character as a romantic lead. Starting tonight, July 12, viewers will be able to see the bond of fatherhood between the characters of Piolo and Zaijian Jaranilla of May Bukas Pa fame.
During the grand press conference of Noah held last July 6 at the ABS-CBN compound, the eight-year-old Zaijian shed all traces of the miracle boy Santino as he imbibed his character as a boy who is raised in the wild by a tribe of ape-like creatures.
Piolo then serenaded the press with the show’s theme song "Kahit Malayo Ka," which is composed by singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid.
In Noah, Piolo portrays a police officer who is very passionate about his job. Unfortunately, an accident occurred that caused him to be separated from his son and caused him to be in a coma for five years.
ABS-CBN created a unique set for this adventure-drama—a warehouse customized to look as a forest and home of the Ungtas. However, some of the scenes were still taken in the forests of Subic.
The Ultimate Heartthrob explains why he decided to accept this role in Noah. "I’ve done so many soaps already, puro mga romance, puro mga drama, and when this was offered I just felt na something new, something different, something that I’ve never done before. When this was offered, Zaijian was still doing May Bukas Pa and who could resist Zaijian?"
Piolo pointed out that the role of being a father was close to his heart because in real life, he is a single father to son Iñigo. "[There are] so many challenges, of course. First of all, it’s not your typical love story, it involves the family. As an actor, I think nacha-challenge ako because hindi ako nagko-concentrate sa love story but more of love for the family at yung konsepto nila ay hindi lang s’ya tipikal na drama lang, pampamilya pa."
How is Zaijian as an actor and how is it like working with him? "Once na ginawa namin yung unang una naming eksena, I was blown away hindi ko akalain na for his young age...Nashock talaga ako sa galing nung bata so na-excite ako lalo because hindi natin sya makikitaan ng kahit kaunting character na Santino dito--ibang iba."
Members of the press curiously asked Piolo: why did it take him a long time to accept a project like this?
"Yung Lobo was fantaserye na rin siya, di ba, si Angel [Locsin] yung Lobo. Sa Mangarap Ka may pagka fantasy din yun. Tapos dito sa Noah, hindi naman. Nararamdaman ko rin na eto yung best na concept...at bilang artista naghahanap tayo ng bago. Siyempre, malaking gift yung gumawa ka nang isang naiiba, isang masasabi mong hindi pa nagawa dito."
Jodi Sta. Maria is cast in this TV show as the wife of Piolo. She previously worked with the matinee idol in ABS-CBN’s 2007 teleserye Walang Kapalit. She observed that Piolo has matured and improved as an actor. "It’s always a pleasure working with him, very professional and kung ganyan naman kagwapo yung kaeksena mo, di ba? (laughs) Pero seriously, magaling. Gusto ko siyang kaeksena," says Jodi.
This primetime series also marks the reunion of Piolo and Kristine Hermosa, who is cast in this series as a diwata or fairy. Their last project together was Komiks presents Mars Ravelo’s Nasaan Ka Maruja? which aired in August 2009. It will be recalled that Piolo and Kristine also worked together in the 1998 soap opera Sa Sandaling Kailangan Mo Ako.
Other cast members of Noah are Cherry Pie Picache, Baron Geisler, Nonie Buencamino, Lou Veloso, Melissa Ricks, Jolo Revilla, Joem Bascon and Ana Capri.