Piolo Pascual insists he hasn’t replaced John Lloyd Cruz in sitcom

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Piolo Pascual.

Every year is pretty much an eventful year for Piolo Pascual.

But the actor will likely remember 2017 as more special than the previous years. For starters, this is the year he marked a personal milestone when he turned 40 last January. His son, Iñigo made history when he became the first artist to top Billboard’s Philippine Top 20 chart with the hit ballad, “Dahil Sa Yo.” The acclaimed romantic comedy “Kita Kita,” which he co-produced, is now officially one of the year’s biggest blockbusters.

On his own, Piolo headlined two hit movies in “Northern Lights: A Journey to Love” and “Last Night,” which reunited him with “Starting Over Again” co-star Toni Gonzaga. A third film, “Ang Panahon ng Halimaw,” his second for acclaimed filmmaker Lav Diaz, is now in post-production. One of his well-loved classics, “Don’t Give Up On Us,” co-starring Judy Ann Santos, was successfully restored by ABS-CBN Film Restoration.

On television, Piolo has filled the void left by the controversial John Lloyd Cruz after the latter took an indefinite leave of absence from the top-rated weekend sitcom “Home Sweetie Home” last month. Piolo, who plays the cousin of John Lloyd’s character, however, has made it clear that he does not intend to replace the former, who was his co-star in “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis.”

Just the same, it looks like his viewers will see more of Piolo in the weeks to come as there is still no indication that John Lloyd is returning to the show anytime soon.

In a recent interview with InterAksyon, Piolo revealed one big reason for his success — his determination to vigorously follow his dreams.

“I have so many dreams, I’ve so many plans and goals and I won’t stop at nothing, I guess. What’s important is that you always excite yourself and your viewers with something you haven’t done before. So there’s a conscious effort to always challenge yourself to do things that you haven’t done before.”

Piolo obviously prefers to wear many hats these days. But despite his busy workload as an actor and the numerous promising projects that he’s looking at as a producer, Piolo has learned how to separate his work from his personal life.

“I’ve learned to not take my work home. I leave it on the set. After work, I go straight. There’s no stress. I don’t stress myself with work,” he said during a recent promotional activity for Highlands Corned Beef with Angus Beef.

As the brand ambassador of the recently launched canned meat product, Piolo said he prefers to be associated with brands and products that he’s personally proud of.

“I try as much as possible not to hard sell and let the product speak for itself. But based on what people see on social media, people see what you eat, what you do. When I first tried Highlands Corned Beef, I thought it was good and flavorful. This is the only corned beef with Angus Beef so this is definitely my kind of comfort food,” he shared.

“When I believe in a product, I’d like the people to see it, try it. I’m very proud of Highlands Corned Beef. It has become my go-to comfort food when I get home. I add onions and cook it myself, ginisa style,” he shared.

Although the actor is known for working out a lot, Piolo said that one of the reasons he is able to keep himself and maintain a high level of energy is that he also loves to eat. Eating is something that the actor considers as reward to himself.

“I can eat anything. There’s nothing I can’t eat and I personally don’t want to deprive myself, given the kind of life that I live.”

And while he still won’t categorically state the real score between him and rumored girlfriend Shaina Magdayao, just about everything else about Piolo is an open book.

Just recently, Piolo still managed to take time off from his film and television commitments and together with filmmaker and business partner Joyce Bernal met with fellow actor Robin Padilla to donate P1.5 million for the rehabilitation of war-ravaged Marawi City.

“People nowadays like it raw, like it real. Me as a host, as a singer, as an actor, they are different characters. But what you put out there, it’s you, yourself. It’s private but it’s also personal. I wanted to share my life. I want people to identify with me,” he pointed out.