Piolo Pascual on musical 'Ibarra': 'Pressure is on'


Posted at May 26 2023 12:45 PM

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MANILA -- After nearly three decades, Kapamilya leading man Piolo Pascual is returning to his theater roots with the musical "Ibarra" as the idealist-turned-revolutionary Crisostomo Ibarra.

In an interview on ANC's "Headstart" wioth Karen Davila on Friday, Pascual admitted that it's exciting and also scary to make his theater comeback in "Ibarra," which will run for two weeks starting June 8 at GSIS Theater in Pasay City. 

"The pressure is on, t's daunting. It's a new territory for me. It's something I have never done. Before I did stage plays back in college but 30 years down the road it's like, it grows on me, every rehearsal. Yesterday, the red curtain that I saw , the velvet curtain from the stage it was just overwhelming for me but its quite an experience. You know getting out of your comfort zone it's always a challenge but it's quite rewarding after that. So I'm just looking forward seeing the audience and seeing it come to life. I guess I'm up for the challenge," Pascual said.

Asked of what made him decide to accept the project, he said: "I've been around for a quite a while in this business and I always wanted to do something that I have never done before. So as cliché as it may sound, it's something that you want to do as an artist, as a professional worker. So I guess it's just getting me out of my comfort zone that really got me to say yes to this."

"And I've always been a fan of musical, theater, acting in general and I've always wanted to do something different, I've always wanted to go back to theater. And, money was never a consideration for me. I just want to do it for the arts and showcase what we have here as Filipinos and also to boost the theater community as well. People are already out watching a lot of things. I want to be able to champion our own talents, our skills just do something for the country," he added.

Pascual, who will be doing 18 songs for the musical, has vocal coaches so he can learn how to project on stage and sing better.

"I've been sober for two weeks and it's the first time. I'm just really happy that I get to be disciplined this way because of this certain motivation. It's a nice feeling to do something that really shakes you to your nerves," he said.

"I don't know what to expect. But you don't want to rest on your laurels and breeze your way through. As much as I couldn't sleep before now I'm more than excited than nervous because it's all taking shape. It's all just happening before my very eyes and everyone is so supportive, everyone is just being around you and to be surrounded by these talent people nakaka-boost ng morale," he added.

According to Pascual, "Ibarra" will stay true to the story of Jose Rizal's "Noli Me Tangere." He is also hoping that the musical will enlighten the viewers, specifically those who belong to Gen Z, about history, and to do something for the country.
"I want to fight for my country in my own way. And this is one of the ways that I can do that, to showcase this kind of story," he said. "I guess it resonates with me in such a way that I have this love for my country and this is my way of showing what I can do to not just to influence but to just make people aware of our history and our story and how we can be a beacon of hope for people to do something for the betterment of our lives."

Directed by Frannie Zamora, "Ibarra" also stars Myramae Meneses as Maria Clara, Carla Guevarra-Laforteza as Doña Victorina, Nicole Laurel Asencio as Sisa; John Joven Uy as Pilosopo Tasio, Kevin Posadas as Elias, Meldea Chua as Doña Consolacion, Neil Tolentino as Don Tiburcio; Carlos Canlas as Padre Alferez, Floyd Tena as Padre Damaso, while his son JD Tena is Basilio, Elian Santos is Crispin, Jeffrey Hidalgo as Elias and Carlo Mañalac is Padre Salvi.

The music was composed by Joed Balsamo, while choreography was by Paul Alexander Morales.

After "Ibarra," Pascual will be doing concert tour in July. He is also set to have a concert in Manila on October and a solo tour in the United States in November.
He is also set to do two movies before the year ends.