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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.

Feb 24, 2019

Paolo Contis As Benjo In 'Hiram Na Anak', Plans To Marry LJ Reyes Someday

PAOLO CONTIS gave one of the best lead performances by an actor last year in “Through Night and Day”, a touching film about ill-fated lovers. He’s known for doing comedy in ‘Bubble Gang’ but he showed he can also tackle dramatic roles competently and, although the film didn’t make waves at the tills, we wish award-giving bodies would nominate him at the very least.

Now, he also tries doing drama in a soap once again in “Hiram na Anak”, shown mornings before “Eat Bulaga”. “Balik contravida ako rito,” he says. “I play Benjo, a seaman na mahilig sa chicks. Nabuntis ko si Empress Schuck pero ayokong panagutan. Gusto ko, makisama na lang siya sa’kin, pero may kinakasama na rin ako sa bahay, si Lauren Young, so pagsasabayin ko sila. Tiyak na maiinis na naman ang viewers sa’kin dito, lalo na nga’t may gagawin ako sa mag-asawang Yasmien Kurdi at Dion Ignacio na magiging dahil para mabago ang buhay nila.”

It’s common knowledge he’s now in a relationship with LJ Reyes and they already have a daughter named Summer Aryanna. “Hands on kami sa pag-aalaga sa kanya,” he says. 

Does he see himself and LJ walking down the aisle? “Yes. As soon as maayos lahat ng legalities, I’d love to marry her. But I’m still legally married to someone else.”

He’s referring to former dancer Lian Paz, who now lives in Cebu with their two daughters and her own new partner. “But I cannot talk about our annulment case. Basta na korte pa siya, pero inaayos naman namin. Aware naman si LJ sa status ko and she’s very patient about it. Alam naman niyang she’s the one I want to spend the rest of my life with,” Paolo adds.

LJ has a son, Aki, with Paulo Avelino, who complained in an interview that he has not seen their son. Is Paulo not allowed to do so? “I think it’s best na si LJ ang tanungin about that. Wala ako sa lugar para sumagot tungkol diyan but, I assure you, walang nagbabawal at all na dumalaw siya kay Aki.”

But is it true that the boy is now very close to him? “E, lagi ko siyang kasama, araw-araw. So, kapag ganun, mapapalapit talaga ang bata sa’yo.”

But does Aki know his real dad? “Oh yes, definitely! Nagkikita naman sila, e. He knows Paulo is his dad. Ako, alam niyang Tito Pao niya ako, but I treat him like my own son.”

How about his two daughters, Xonia and Xalene, who now live in Cebu? “I love them but magkalayo kami so I hope one day, maipaliwanag ko sa kanila ang lahat at, sana, ma-meet din nila balang araw ang sister nilang si Baby Summer. Alam mo, habang tumatanda ka, you just want to have a peaceful quiet life. Kung anuman ang mistakes na nagawa mo before, you just want correct them and live harmoniously with everyone in your life.”