Piolo Pascual (MNS photo)

MANILA, Feb 22 (Mabuhay) — Despite being popularly known as country’s “Papa P,” heartthrob Piolo Pascual admitted that he felt awkward with the moniker at first.

During a virtual press conference for his upcoming sitcom “My Papa Pi”, Pascual recalled how the term of endearment started.

According to the actor, it began when he guested on the now-defunct show “Magandang Tanghali Bayan” where comedienne Ai-Ai delas Alas called him “Papa P” on air.

“I was a guest one time. And she called me Papa P. I called her Mama Ai. And it just stuck sa ABS to the point that even the cameramen are calling me Papa P,” he said.

Pascual remembered feeling awkward when the Kapamilya network’s cameramen started to use the moniker but eventually accepted it as part of his showbiz identity.

“At first, it was really awkward kasi ‘pag babae tumawag sa ‘yo ng Papa P, especially mga bata, okay lang. Pero umaabot kasi sa punto na pati mga cameraman Papa P. Napagtanto ko na out of respect na rin ibigay na lang natin. Natanggap ko na lang kaya may show tayong ganito,” Pascual explained.

He also jokingly said that he is glad to take “Papa P” as his name rather than being called a “tito.”

“At first, nakakatawa di ba? Pero habang tumatanda ka, kesa tawagin kang tito, okay na ‘yung Papa P. Pag tinatawag kang tito nakakatanda. Okay din pala ‘yung Papa P. Okay na ‘yun,” he said laughing.

Pascual is excited for his TV comeback, especially since it is far from his usual heavy drama projects.

For him, “My Papa Pi” is a nice breather that will also challenge his skills as an actor.

“To step out of the box, to do something different, to do something that is challenging that will get you out of your comfort zone. It’s always nice to portray something na hindi mo pa nagagawa,” he quipped.

“Ang sarap na alam mong ‘di mabigat kapag pumapasok ka sa set. ‘Pag nakakapagpatawa ka, kapag nakakapagbigay ka ng ligaya, it’s a nice feeling pabalik sa ‘yo.”

Pascual also shared that he enjoys embracing his light role on the sitcom as it is not something he used to. It also tests his funny side, and creativity.

Pascual revealed that he accepted the show right away when it was pitched to him despite knowing a little about the show. It will air starting March 5.

The project was first announced in September, when Pascual renewed his contract with ABS-CBN after a nearly year-long hiatus.

“My Papa Pi” will mark Pascual’s return to the sitcom format after a recurring and later regular role in “Home Sweetie Home,” which concluded in 2020.(MNS)

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