MANILA -- Fresh off the success of "Starting Over Again" at the box office, lead star Piolo Pascual on Monday started work on his new TV series with Iza Calzado, who also co-starred with him in the Star Cinema film.
Pascual shot scenes at Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna for the Mae Cruz-directed soap, where he will portray a frustrated musician fighting for the adoption of four children orphaned after the death of his rich sibling.
"Saktong-sakto siguro sa edad ko, na kahit maraming mga bata 'to, hindi mo naman iisipin na nakakatanda 'yun. I have a 16-year-old son," Pascual told ABS-CBN News' Mario Dumaual, referring to his only child, Inigo.
"Ba't pa ako magpapatumpik-tumpik pa, 'di ba? I'd just like to work with children because I kind of see myself with them," the 37-year-old actor said.
Aside from Calzado, joining Pascual in the cast of the project with the working title "Hawak Kamay" are Nikki Gil, Zaijan Jaranilla, Xyriel Manabat and Andrea Brillantes.
"Sobrang flawless nung acting [ni Iza]," Pascual said. "At the same time, siguro 'pag ka-eksena ko siya... na-e-exite ako, how passionate she is with her craft."
The series marks the third time Pascual and Calzado will act opposite each other in a major project, following "Starting Over Again" and 2004's "Milan."
Going with the flow
Prior to the box-office success of "Starting Over Again," which has so far earned P400 million nationwide as of Sunday, Pascual contemplated retiring from showbiz. The actor turned emotional in revealing this during a recent victory party for the film's success.
"Kailangan ko ng breather, kailangan ko ng new environment," Pascual said on Monday, explaining why he had entertained thoughts of quitting showbiz. "Pero doon ko na-realize na if it's not God's will, or if it's not ABS-CBN's will (laughs), wala tayong magagawa."
With a career spanning 20 years now -- he debuted on "That's Entertainment" in 1994 -- Pascual is one of the most awarded actors among his contemporaries. Notably, he had a grand slam in 2002 for his supporting role in Chito Roño's film adaptation of "Dekada '70."
He so far has seven albums under his name, and with his long list of leading man roles in TV and films, is dubbed local showbiz's "Ultimate Heartthrob."
"Hindi ko puwedeng tuldukan, e, kasi tinry ko, napahiya ako. Ayaw, e. Ayaw ng P400 million!" Pascual said, laughing. "Ang kapal ng mukha!"
Turning serious, he added: "I can safely say na I can still go with the flow."