She has the right to be happy,” declared actor-TV host Paolo Contis when asked to react to the news that his former partner, actress LJ Reyes, is set to marry nonshow biz boyfriend Philip Evangelista.“Of course, I’m happy for her. Everyone deserves love. I don’t have anything bad to say. I’m actually very happy that she’s getting married,” Paolo told reporters who visited the location of his look-test session with John Arcilla, his costar in the movie “Fuchsia Libre.”
Paolo and LJ broke up in August 2021. They have a daughter named Summer. Meanwhile, Paolo has two other daughters with former dancer Lian Paz, named Xonia and Xalene.
The discussion then turned to the topic of his alleged failure to give financial support to his children. To this, Paolo said: “I don’t need to post on social media everything that I’m doing, especially those that are related to my personal life. Yes, I understand that we’re in a time now when people say, ‘If you don’t post it, it didn’t happen.’ I think that’s wrong. I prefer to just keep quiet about a lot of things. These content creators will only twist whatever I say. Then, they will get a photo of me crying and use it for clickbait.”
Keeping things private
Paolo continued: “If I am able to help people, I feel like I don’t have to announce this because this doesn’t concern everybody. People nowadays feel too entitled. I guess it’s also my mistake. I shared a lot of stuff before and then, I stopped suddenly. The personal details that people knew about me stopped there. It was a conscious decision. I realized that being quiet is better. So far, things are doing great.”
The decision to keep things private extends to his relationship with actress Yen Santos. “I will not subject her to any criticism just because I want to be with her in public. She doesn’t deserve that. We will get to that, eventually. It’s the same thing if we go out to attend a premiere night, for example, or eat out for dinner. The second option is much better.”
He was also asked if, at 39, he already has plans to settle down. “That time will come, eventually. I keep saying that the things that are happening to me right now—all the job opportunities coming my way—are all part of how I am preparing for my future. I consider them blessings,” he pointed out.
Paolo said he would only consider settling down “when everything is already at its place. Of course, I don’t want to be unfair to all parties. I want everything sorted out before I turn my attention to that part of my life. I think Yen deserves that,” he said.
Does he think Yen is already the right one for him? “Of course,” Paolo declared. “Why not? With all the things we went through, I saw that she is a very good person. Like what I said, she deserves a clean slate.”
Paolo admitted that the period between the time his separation from LJ was made public and the time he admitted to dating Yen had been the toughest. “Yes, that was a difficult time. Up to now, I still get criticized because of that, but this doesn’t affect me anymore. As long as my core remains intact, I’m OK. Their support is a big deal to me,” he began.
Value on work
“I never thought I’d survive that period. I’m thankful to them. This is actually a testimony that, at the end of the day, at least in this industry, people put value on the work that you do more than on whatever personal problems you may have,” he said. “Even though I was going through problems, I made sure I come up with good work, that I’m professional and that I’m able to deliver all that’s required of me. Now, the blessings are coming in.”
Aside from hosting the noontime show “Eat Bulaga” and the gag show “Bubble Gang,” Paolo is also busy shooting RC delos Reyes’ drama-comedy “Fuchsia Libre,” where he plays the son of award-winning actor John Arcilla.“I play a gay character here. This is symbolized by the color fuchsia. Put the word ‘libre’ next to it and it will mean my character’s struggles to free his true self. It’s also a journey of a parent toward accepting what his son truly is,” Paolo explained. “Fuchsia Libre,” set for release later this year, is a Mavx Productions. INQ
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