Turning 40 this week, Piolo Pascual continues to be at the top of his game. Affectionately called Papa P and dubbed as the Ultimate Heartthrob for his ageless features and ripped physique, he remains as one of the hottest and most sought-after leading men in showbiz. But apart from his inherent good looks, Piolo is first and foremost a consummate artist. Applauded for his remarkable acting skills that had won him multiple awards, including his most coveted grand slam Best Supporting Actor win for the critically acclaimed film “Dekada ‘70,” Piolo has undoubtedly established himself as one of the most talented actors ever in the industry, both in the big screen and on TV.
And as he celebrates his 40th birthday, let us look back at Piolo’s remarkable teleserye journey.
(2001) Sa Puso Ko, Iingatan Ka
“Sa Puso Ko, Iingatan Ka” reunited Piolo and Judy Ann on TV at the height of their phenomenal team up. Piolo played as Jordan Villamines, Patricia’s (Judy Ann) love interest and the man who became her source of happiness and hope in her challenging life. The soap ran for almost two years and featured high-caliber cast members that included Zsa Zsa Padilla, Coney Reyes, and Edu Manzano.
(2004) Mangarap Ka
“Mangarap Ka” may be remembered as the first teleserye that Piolo top billed alone. It is a light action-adventure drama which featured daily life in the streets of Quiapo. Piolo played the savvy Oslec whose life was transformed after meeting the lost young boy Tikoy (Steven Christian Fermo), while Nova Villa, Rio Locsin and Angelica Panganiban played quirky, offbeat roles. “Mangarap Ka” won Best Drama Actor for Piolo in the first ever Golden Screen Awards.
(2006) Sa Piling Mo
This 2006 PMPC Best Drama Series featured Piolo and Judy Ann in more mature roles and aired right on the heels of their blockbuster movie, “Don’t Give Up on Us.” It tackled the story of childhood sweethearts Jennifer (Judy Ann) and Adrian (Piolo) and the sacrifices they made in the name of love. Desperate to restore Adrian’s eyesight at all costs before his condition becomes permanent, Jennifer got herself embroiled in a crime and ended up being imprisoned. Though she is rescued by Benicio (Albert Martinez), she is forced to assume a new identity which prevents her from going back to the man she loves. Adrian, on the other hand, is driven to the arms of Nicole (Rica Peralejo), a rich azucarera heiress, who helps him restore his eyesight. After marrying other people, will Jennifer and Adrian ever find their way back to each other?
(2007) Walang Kapalit
Piolo’s next teleserye saw him teamed up with Claudine Barretto, three years after their phenomenal movie “Milan.” “Walang Kapalit” revolved around stepsiblings Melanie (Claudine) and Noel (Piolo) who hated each other from the moment their parents, Ariston (Edu Manzano) and Agnes (Dina Bonnevie), married. However, as time passed, Melanie and Noel grew closer and their dislike for one another turned to love. Though they are not related by blood, they are forced to choose between fighting for what they feel and giving up on the love that society deems immoral.
After two heavy drama series, Piolo is paired up with Angel Locsin in the fantasy-horror teleserye, “Lobo.” It won several Best Drama Series awards and a PMPC Best Drama Actor award for Piolo. “Lobo” offered a different TV experience for audiences as it featured the love story of Noah (Piolo), a Philippine Army 2nd lieutenant, and Lyka (Angel), an aspiring fashion designer who harbors a secret that could tear them apart. Lyka is in fact a white werewolf believed to be their clan’s last hope, the one they call “Ang Huling Bantay.” Lyka and Noah’s love is further tested by the age-old battle between the Luna and the Waya factions.
(2009) Lovers in Paris
Ever the ultimate leading man, Piolo is next cast as Carlo Aranaz, opposite KC Concepcion who played Vivian, in the local adaptation of the hit Korean romantic series, “Lovers in Paris.” Vivian goes after her dream of becoming a director by attending a film school in Paris where she takes up part-time jobs to cover her expenses. She ends up working as a maid for Carlo, an uptight businessman who dismisses Vivian in several occasions. A series of events lead them to fall in love in Paris but the huge disparity in their social status and a secret in Carlo’s family will tear them apart. “Lovers in Paris” also stars Christopher de Leon, Zanjoe Marudo, Maricar Reyes, and Assunta de Rossi.
“Noah” marks Piolo’s return to the fantasy genre. He played as Gabriel who lost his son, Jacob (Zaijan Jaranilla), in an accident as he was performing his duties as a police officer. After waking up from his 5-year coma, Gabriel searches for Jacob who he believes is still alive. His search takes him to the mysterious island called Noah where the Unta tribe lives. These apelike creatures saved and raised Jacob whom they have named Eli. Unable to convince Eli to return with him right away, Gabriel is left with no choice but to assist in his son’s quest, a quest that may very well determine the fate of the world.
(2012) Dahil sa Pag-ibig
“Dahil Sa Pag-ibig” is an award-winning, high-caliber drama that pitted two of the greatest dramatic actors of their generation, Piolo and Jericho Rosales. It centered on the lives of a political family in a small town. The lies, greediness, and crimes of Gov. Leo Valderama (Christopher de Leon) leads to two brothers, Fr. Alfred (Piolo) and Oliver (Jericho), becoming arch enemies. As the title suggests, “Dahil sa Pag-ibig” delves into the extent of what we are capable of doing for the people we love.
(2013) Apoy sa Dagat
One will be able to tell from the title alone that “Apoy sa Dagat” is a riveting and sizzling story of love. In this teleserye, Angelica Panganiban played two characters, Serena and Rebecca. Serena grew up without any recollection of her real identity or why she was swept off to an island. She falls in love with the village champion, Ruben (Piolo), but an accident will force her to commit a desperate act. The mysterious Rebecca and a man named Anton (Diether Ocampo) appear who further put Serena and Ruben’s love to the test and will reveal how far they are willing to go for each other.
It is not blood that makes a family, but love. This is the premise of the 2014 family drama “Hawak-Kamay.” It told the story of Gin (Piolo), a musician who ends up with the guardianship of the three children that his deceased sister had previously adopted. Though he is reluctant at first and unprepared for the huge responsibility of parenthood, Gin eventually learns to become a good father figure to Emong (Zaijan Jaranilla), Dara (Xyriel Manabat) and Ningning (Yesha Camile), with the help of Atty. Bianca (Iza Calzado) and her daughter, Lorrie (Andrea Brillantes). But just as they are about to build one happy family, the many trials of life threaten to tear them apart.