Ian Veneracion on leading ladies and finding 'A Love to Last'

MANILA, Philippines – Is it possible not to fall in love with your leading lady in real life? Actor Ian Veneracion said yes but it comes with a challenge. 

At the press conference for the finale of A Love To Last on Tuesday, August 29, Ian, who stars as Anton Noble on the show was asked how he snaps out of character and refrains from getting romantically involved with his leading ladies, considering his job is to fall in love with them onscreen. 

"Nandoon yung effort," Ian said who is married in real life to Pam Gallardo. "It's getting out of [character] It's harder than getting into it. And iyon, pag-cut back to reality. Pag nagkuwentuhan na kayo as real people and hindi na in character."(The effort is there. It's getting out of [character]. It's harder than getting into it. And when they say cut, back to reality. When you talk to each other again, it's as real people and no longer in character.)

Ian said the it helps that he's aware that Bea Alonzo and Iza Calzado, his leading ladies are both involved with respective partners. Bea has been romantically linked to actor Gerald Anderson while Iza is in a relationship with businessman Ben Wintle.

Ian with Bea Alozo and Iza Calzado during the presscon. The 3 stars will also perform in a concert scheduled on September 8. Photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

Ian with Bea Alozo and Iza Calzado during the presscon. The 3 stars will also perform in a concert scheduled on September 8.

Photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

"Kung single ako siguro, madali akong ma-sway kung saan-saan. (If I were single, yes, I would probably get swayed easily.) But I have an anchor in my life: [Pam], and that's my reference," Ian said.

The actor who has been married for over 20 years, says that loving unconditionally doesn't mean it's easy. "With kids, with children, it's always there, it's unconditional talaga. Effortlessly unconditional [love] but sometimes, kailangan ko magbigay ng effort, magbigay ng tough love. Kailangan ko mag-punish or reward. (I need to put in effort and give out tough love. I need to be able to mete out punishment or reward.) But with a romantic partner, I don't think it's good to train your partner or to psychologize your partner in [same] the way that you do with your children," he said. 

In the TV series, 'A Love to Last,' Ian's character performs a number of songs composed and performed by acclaimed singer-songwriter, Jose Mari Chan. Quite a feat for someone who doesn't consider himself a singer.

"Ni-record namin iyon for the show. And opo ako iyon. At hindi naman ako singer but iyon lang, sinusubukan natin because the role calls for it. Thank you that you really like it," he said. (We recorded it for the show. And yes that's me. I am not a singer but yes, we tried because the role calls for it. Thank you that you really like it.) 

In the final weeks of A Love to Last, Anton and Andeng's (Bea) relationship will be tested by a number challenges, including Andeng's brother Andrew (Enchong Dee) getting his girlfriend Bianca (Hazel Kinouchi) pregnant and the stroke of Andeng's grandmother Mame (Perla Bautista). Adding to the fire is the continuous existence of Grace (Iza), whom they must continue to deal with. Will the realtionship survive the trials? 

As a thank you to their fans, the cast is set to perform in Love Goals: A Love to Last Concert scheduled on September 8 at the Kia Theatre. Tickets can be purchased through www.ticketnet.com.ph. – Rappler.com