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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 21, 2017

Why Piolo Pascual Can Relate With His Role In 'Northern Lights: A Journey To Love' And Why He's Putting Love On The Backburner

PIOLO PASCUAL’S new movie, “Northern Lights: A Journey to Love”, is a co-production between Regal Entertainment, Star Cinema and his own company, Spring Films. Star Cinema had a presscon for the movie more than two weeks ago and the movie is showing on March 29 yet. Mother Lily is not satisfied with the publicity, so she called for her own presscon for Piolo held at her own Valencia Events Place.

The film is very near to Piolo’s heart as it’s about the relationship of a father and his long lost son, which he can relate with, since it happened to him in real life with his own son, Inigo. In the movie, playing his son is Kapamilya child actor Raikko Mateo. His name in the story is Charlie and Raikko is Charlie Junior. Raikko’s mom is Maricar Reyes, from whom Piolo got estranged after his family moved to Alaska.

Then eight years later, Piolo gets a message that Maricar has died and their son is being sent to him. The boy is entrusted to a young woman (Yen Santos) and this starts Piolo special journey to love not only with his son, who's naturally alienated with him, but also with Yen. The film was shot partly in Queenstown, New Zealand and also in Alaska, but Piolo himself didn’t get to see the fabulous Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.

“We shot our scenes in New Zealand last August kasi may snow pa roon, which we need as a backdrop, and it’s summer naman at that time in Alaska so walang snow,” he says. “Later on, our director, Dondon Santos, went to Alaska by himself nung winter na roon to shoot the Northern Lights na, after this year daw, it will take another 20 years bago makita uli. It’s definitely a must see for everyone and it’s still in my bucket list.”

How was it shooting in New Zealand? “It’s great, memorable. We got their own people there to work with us. But they’re very strict with their labor rules and we have to follow them, even their limited number of shooting hours. The locations are something new for our viewers here and I’m sure they’ll enjoy watching the beautiful sights we offer on the big screen.”

How is it working with a much younger leading lady like Yen? “This is actually her first movie and for a first timer, she definitely did good. When the project came up from Direk Dondon, he already said he wants Yen to play the female lead role. I saw her in the teleserye she did with Direk Dondon, ‘All of Me’, and also in ‘Pure Love’, kaya I know she’s a very good actress and also looks beautiful on screen, so I didn’t object at all. The film is Direk Dondon's concept and story anyway, so I just have to trust him. Hindi naman siya nagkamali sa choice niya.”

And how is it working with a young director like Dondon? “I’ve seen his past movies, like ‘Noy’ and ‘Dalaw’, also some of his work on TV like in ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ and ‘Ipaglaban Mo’, and I believe in his craft. There’s so much potential in him. I like his vision, energy and excitement while shooting and it’s contagious para mas mapaganda nyo ang pelikula. We more or less speak the same language and we can relate to each other as he’s also a father.”

He’s now 40 and everyone is concerned about his being unmarried. What can he say about this? “I don’t have any personal life right now as I’m married to my career. I just renewed my contract with ABS-CBN for two more years so let's just say that I’m married to my contract. I have many other plans as an actor, as a singer as there’s a new album planned for me, and as a producer. So I have to put my personal life on the back burner for now. After working with Lav Diaz and my exposure in the international filmmaking community, I want to push Filipino filmmaking more, so it won’t just be limited to the local market. I also want to try collaborating with other Asian filmmakers to expand our market in the region. But right now, I’m just happy and thankful that I’m able to enjoy my life and career so much.”

He got a lot of bashing after he said that he and Shaina Magdayao are exclusively dating and after his video kissing briefly with son Inigo was circulated on the net and haters quickly put malicious meaning into it. “You can never please everyone, so I just want to avoid thinking of negative things dahil makakasira lang sila ng mood at ng araw, gayong ang daming positive blessings na dumarating sa akin kaya let's just dwell on the positive.”