Piolo Pascual (right) and son Iņigo gamely pose for this photo taken by the actor's long-time assistant Hatima "Moi Bien" Marcampo and posted on her Instagram page

MANILA, AUGUST 19, 2013 (ABS-CBN) Piolo Pascual brought up a "promise" he made to his son, Iņigo, in explaining why he has opted not to settle down yet at 36.

The actor, dubbed the country's "Ultimate Heartthrob," said he intends to devote his attention to his only child with his former non-showbiz partner until he comes of age.

"Of course. Gusto ko po sana bago ako mag-40," Pascual said an interview on "Showbiz Inside Report" aired Saturday, when asked whether he still hopes to start a new family.

"[Although] I'm at an age na pwede na, not a lot of people know na I promised my son, when he's 18, that's the only time na magko-concentrate ako sa magiging future ko with a family," he said.

Iņigo, who is based in California with his mother, is turning 16 on September 14. "So I'm giving myself four years [to settle down]," Pascual said. "I'm 36. I'm not getting any younger."

Asked how he feels about being a single dad, Pascual said, "Okay naman. Minsan hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala na mayroon akong anak na 16 anyos."

"Kasi feeling ko, parang binata pa naman ako. Pero may anak na ako. Pero ang sarap ng pakiramdam," he added.

Pascual has said that while Iņigo is based in the United States, he maintains constant communication with him and makes frequent visits there.

In an interview in February, the actor said he also remains civil with Iņigo's mother, who updates him on their son's education.

Now that Iņigo has expressed interest in joining showbiz -- Pascual would only allow him to go full-time once he turns 18 -- the actor said he tries "to set an example."

"You have to make things right for him. Para, at least, you know na 'yung susundan niyang yapak is hindi siya maliligaw," said Pascual, who is approaching his 20th year in showbiz.

Pascual is currently doing promotions for his latest film, the crime-thriller "OTJ," which premieres on August 28. He is also filming a Star Cinema movie with actress Toni Gonzaga and director Olivia Lamasan.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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