Piolo Pascual's participation in the ABS-CBN teleserye Nasaan Ka, Maruja? was held secret for a long time. Even when he performed "I'll Be Seeing You," the theme song of the TV series during the trade launch of the show, it was not revealed that he would be part of the show starring Kristine Hermosa, Derek Ramsay and Karylle.
Last week, Piolo was slowly introduced to the TV series and today, June 27, viewers will finally be able to see the matinee idol as he portrays a mysterious character who once lived in the 1940s with Kristine.
It seems that Piolo has much in common with the man living in the past. In a previous interview with the press for Nasaan Ka, Maruja?, Piolo admitted that he prefers to court KC Concepcion the traditional way.
"Nanliligaw po ako sa kanya. Matagal na," he says, but then he stops short of revealing the status of his relationship with the daughter of Megastar Sharon Cuneta. "The reason why I am like this is that I want to protect [what we have] since we are so public and we are coming out in Lovers in Paris. Baka sabihin ng tao ginagamit for promo, so sa akin, whatever personal thing that we have, we want to keep it to ourselves."
He also revealed how he woos KC. "Umaakyat po ako ng ligaw. Flowers lang po ang binibigay ko, hindi po chocolate kasi nakakataba po yun," he added with a laugh.
The actor said he actually asked permission from KC's parents before courting her. He even calls Senator Kiko Pangilinan "sir."
Piolo shared that he and KC have a grueling schedule for Lovers in Paris, their first teleserye together, which is scheduled to be aired on ABS-CBN this August.
"We'll be taping every other day, Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Hanggang ipalabas kami, hanggang matapos kami, so I'm looking forward to it, because this is our first soap, at alam naman nating lahat na hindi birong gumawa ng soap. So I wanna be there, I wanna support her. I hope mag-enjoy siya sa paggawa ng soap."
MOST BEAUTIFUL FACES. During the presscon proper, Piolo admitted that he was a fan of Kristine Hermosa.
"We're friends, we're both from Star Magic. Nakita namin yung isa't isa sa pag-grow. Wala namang nagbago sa kanya. And I must say, she's one of the top three prettiest faces, masasabi ko talagang hindi ka magsasawang tignan."
When pressed to name the other most beautiful faces in the industry, Piolo politely declined by saying, "Kanya-kanya namang beauty yan, e, but every time I look at Kristine, kahit saang anggulo... There's was a time we did a cover together and ako, super effort na 'ko sa pagpo-pose, si Kristine titingin lang sa camera ang ganda na.
"Grabe talaga ang kagandahan niya, so I'm a fan. Yun sa pagkakita ko sa kanya dati, tapos nakikita ko pa siya ngayon that she's evolving and she's a good actress. Kaya nga excited din akong makasama siya."
He also recalled the first time that he was able to work with Kristine 10 years ago.
"Actually parang reunion namin ito ni Kristine. Because sa mga hindi po nakakaalam, when I got back in '98 [from the U.S.], Kristine was only 14 or 15 when we did Sa Sandaling Kailangan Mo Ako. And we were together for two years, Sa Sandaling Kailangan Mo Ako Books 1 and 2, magkasama po kami nun and siya yung bida. Kontrabida po ako dun, ako yung umaagaw sa kanya kay Marvin [Agustin]. Ngayon lang po ulit kami nagkasama after, I think, 10 years."
Does he see himself courting Kristine Hermosa in the future?
"Masyadong maliit ang mundo namin [laughs]. Tin and I are friends, I don't know kung saan hahantung 'yon, but, ah, as of now I could say na we're good friends. Matagal na rin kaming magkakilala ni Kristine, batang bata palang kami pareho."
He later added: "Same church pa kami, same management, of course, Star Magic, so nakita ko rin yung pag-evolve niya. So, whomever she'll end up with, of course blessed yung taong yon. I'm excited because after this series, Kristine and I might do a film. So I hope matuloy yun, and, ah, sana, sana pumayag si Kristine."
Since Piolo has shot a kissing scene with both KC and Kristine, the press asked him to choose between his two leading ladies.
He declined but simply said, "Trabaho lang. Si Kristine batang bata pa kami sa Sa Sandaling Kailangan Mo Ako nung kinasal kami, may kissing scene 'ata kami. When you're doing it in front of the cam, I don't think you put malice. Ako I'd rather just concentrate on the scene and the character kaysa yung i-compare pa, mahirap naman. Pero siguro bonus na rin yun."
Since he mentioned Kristine as having one of the most beautiful faces in the industry, Piolo was asked if he considers KC Concepcion as another entry to his list. The actor agreed but then he refused to name the third female who could be included in his list.
ON RICA PERALEJO'S ENGAGEMENT. It will be recalled that Piolo courted Rica Peralejo in the past. What is his reaction to the news of her engagement to pastor Joseph Bonifacio?
"Happy ako for her. Happy ako, for, ah, for them. And I know the guy also. It's a blessing. I mean nakakatuwa 'pag sa church makikita mo nagkakatuluyan and they start a family, so I only have prayers for them."
Did he feel envious about this development?
"Darating tayo dun. Parang nag-aasawa na silang lahat, everybody's settling down... I think I'd rather concentrate on the moment when it happens. Parang you wanna see things happen in a natural way, ganoon. Hindi mo kailangang isipin dahil [nainip] ka lang, dahil kailangan lang, na yung nahuhuli ka na, hindi. So I'd rather just wait and see kung kelan at kung papaano mangyayari."
Komiks Presents Nasaan Ka, Maruja? airs on ABS-CBN every Saturday afternoon right after Cinema FPJ.
(Click HERE to view behind-the-scenes photos of Piolo Pascual and Kristine Hermosa.)