Piolo Pascual, born on January 12, 1977 at Manila, is the youngest son of Amelia "Amy" Nonato Pascual, and Philip Victor Pascual who is half-Spanish and half-German. Piolo's father was the son of Harold Herzig, a full-blooded German, and his Filipina wife, thus explaining Piolo's Eurasian features. Harold Herzig, however, died while Piolo's father was young, which led to the remarriage of Piolo's grandmother to a Pascual.
While growing up, Piolo enjoyed a close bond with his siblings -- Chiqui, Paulette, Pam, Choi, and Patricia--despite their own father's early death. His father was a casting director for international films that are shot here in the Philippines, though Piolo can't recall if it affected his ambition on becoming an actor, ramp model or a performer. He lived an ordinary life; he went to school and spent time on outings and celebrations with his family. Piolo studied grade school and high school at St. Francis School in Santa Ana, Manila. When he was in Grade 5, Piolo joined the school theater group, Teatro Ni Kiko, wherein he was introduced to the world of theater and acting.
While he was in third year high school, Piolo started appearing in That's Entertainment, a popular teen variety show aired in the 1990's. He eventually left That's, however, to get into college full-time, studying at the University of Sto. Tomas (UST), where he took up AB General Education. He later shifted to Physical Therapy in preparation for his immigration to the States. Around 1996, however, Piolo had to put his study and career plans on hold due to his imminent migration to the US.
Piolo joined his family in the US that year. They made their home in Los Angeles, where Piolo worked as an ER representative in a hospital where his mother is working. When Piolo turned 21, he decided to return to Manila in order to pursue his acting career once again.
Currently, Pascual is also the proud father of a 9-year-old son, Iñigo. His son lives with his family in the States, but father and son frequently keep in touch.Early Career
In 1994, when Pascual was in high school, he was brought by a family friend to a taping of That's Entertainment, the musical teen variety show aired at GMA Network and hosted by German Moreno (popularly known as Kuya Germs). Kuya Germs noticed Pascual and asked him to audition on the spot. A few days later, he was called back to tape for the show.
Pascual's stint at That's Entertainment lasted a year and was hardly considered memorable though he admitted that the show is a training ground for him where he gained confidence and self-esteem. Back then, he was known as PJ Pascual. When he left That's to take up college full-time at UST, he joined the university theater group, Teatro Tomasino. Despite being a newbie in the group, he got in the play "Juan dela Cruz in New York City", where he was the only newcomer accepted. He found his passion there, and spent so much time at rehearsals that he almost got expelled.
Piolo auditioned for the ABS-CBN kid show ATBP in 1996, after being urged by his then manager Noel Nuguit. In his brief stint in that show, he was known as Kuya Miguel. He considers this as the official beginning of his acting career. He also had an early movie credit in the film The Untold Story: Vizconde Massacre 2 - God Have Mercy on Us (1994), directed by Carlo J. Caparas. In the movie, he played Jussi Leino, one of the criminals.
Soon, Piolo was spotted by a person from ABS-CBN and he tried his luck at the ABS-CBN Talent Center. In 1996, he passed the auditions and was supposed to be included in the Star Circle, Batch 2 (which included Diether Ocampo and Marvin Agustin). However, weeks before the launch, Pascual had to leave for the US to attend to his US petition, something which his mother had worked for in the past year. He promised ABS-CBN that he will be back for the launching.
Despite strong prohibitions from his mother, Piolo flew back to Manila after staying in the States for only a few weeks. Star Circle Batch 3 was formally launched in ASAP and he was offered a six-month contract by ABS-CBN. He stayed for six months, and then had to return to the US. His planned three-months stay in the States lasted for more than a year. He worked in a hospital, in the advertising field and in other odd jobs (i.e. he did security for the Oscar Awards once). He also joined acting workshops where he refined his acting skills.
PR man Joji Dincong, who would later become Piolo's manager, called up Piolo and met him in the States to encourage him to return to Manila for showbusiness as it was the right time for actors in his category to break into the scene. It took Piolo two months before he got the permission of his mother to go back to the Philippines and start anew in the profession he loves.
When Piolo returned to the Philippines in August 1998 to pick up where he left off, he was represented for a while by Joji Dingcong. Dingcong eventually brought him back to ABS-CBN Talent Center, which welcomed him back and gave him a 5 year television/management contract. That year Johnny Manahan Vice President for ABS-CBN Talent Center, launched Pascual as a solo actor. He was reintroduced as Piolo Pascual.
Pascual got a supporting role in the movie Batang PX (1997) directed by Jose Javier Reyes. He also got a key role in the soap opera Esperanza which starred Judy Ann Santos. However, it was in the weekly primetime series Sa Sandaling Kailangan Mo Ako, directed by Olivia M. Lamasan, that he got his big break. In 1999, he received an Asian TV Awards nomination for Best Drama Actor for his portrayal of the villain Raffy in the said TV series. After his successful role in the series, he was offered a 2 and a half year contract for 5 films by Star Cinema and Crown-7. In the same year, he also appeared in the film version of the series, Esperanza: The Movie.
His first big cinema break, came in the movie Lagarista (2000), directed by Mel Chionglo, where Pascual played the title role. For his performance, he received his first Gawad Urian nomination for Best Actor. The film was exhibited in the Toronto, Pusan, and Hongkong film festivals.
After Lagarista, Piolo got busy with a series of several projects. He was paired with Judy Ann Santos for the following projects, leading to one of the more famous love teams in recent Philippine cinema history: the movie Kahit Isang Saglit (2000), the TV series Sa Puso Ko Iingatan Ka (2001-2003), movies Bakit 'Di Totohanin (2001) and Till There Was You (2003). Their latest pairings were in 2006 in the film Don't Give Up On Us and the soap opera Sa Piling Mo.
Pascual also appeared for a supporting role in Mila directed by Joel Lamangan opposite Maricel Soriano. Portraying Primo, the drug addict lover of school teacher Mila, he received a Best Supporting actor nomination for a Luna Award (formerly The Film Academy of the Philippines).
In 2002, Pascual was cast, along with veteran actors Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon, in the film Dekada '70, a movie based on Lualhati Bautista's popular novel of the same title. Directed by Chito Rono, the film centered around a woman and her family's struggle during the Marcos regime in the Philippines. For his role as "Jules Bartolome," he garnered a Best Supporting Actor grand slam, earning a total of eight awards that began with the Metro Manila Film Festival in December 2002 and ending with the Gawad Urian in May 2003.
Since then, Pascual has been paired, in both the big screen and small screen, with many of the famous young actresses in showbusiness, such as Angelica Panganiban in the movie Mangarap Ka, Claudine Barretto in the movie Milan (2004) and the TV series Walang Kapalit(2007), Bea Alonzo in the film Dreamboy, and Regine Velasquez in the movie Paano Kita Iibigin (2007).
Currently, Pascual's career is managed by Johnny Manahan, now the Senior Vice President for ABS-CBN (Star Magic). On July of 2007, Pascual signed another exclusive three-picture contract deal with Star Cinema. Piolo starred in a TV series with Angel Locsin, formerly GMA's biggest star who recently moved to ABS-CBN. The series, written by Ricardo Lee and directed by Cathy Grace-Molina is entitled Lobo.
In 2003, Pascual formed part of ASAP Mania's popular singing and dancing quintet, the Hunks, together with Diether Ocampo, Carlos Agassi, Bernard Palanca, and Jericho Rosales. They frequently appeared in the variety show, establishing their popularity, which led to a sitcom entitled Bora: Sons of the Beach.
Since then, Pascual's singing career has led him to four album releases for Star Records, mount a solo concert at the Araneta Coliseum, and several road shows both locally and abroad. In the film Don't Give Up On Us, Pascual also performed the theme song for the movie. His self-titled first album went platinum 4 months after its release. In his second album, "The Gift" and "Hindi na Lang Ikaw", were both number one hits. With less than two months, his sophomore album turned platinum. His third album turned gold a week after its release.
Pascual celebrated his 10th year in showbiz via his second solo major concert entitled Ten: Piolo Pascual at the Araneta Coliseum (Big Dome) last November 30, 2007. During the said concert, Pascual also launched his new coffee-table book, entitled Piolo: Believing, which is a chronicle of his life in both text and pictures.
Piolo bagged the title "Male Recording Artist of the Year" from the 38th Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation in May 2008, together with other artists from ABS-CBN and GMA Network.