On their ‘dateless’ Valentine’s, ideal dates and best love advice

Jodi Sta. Maria and Paulo Avelino  PHOTOS BY RENE H. DILAN

Jodi Sta. Maria and Paulo Avelino

Valentine’s Day is a few heart beats away and no amount of sappy love songs or declaration of independence on the part of the single peeps, can stop it from coming. Not even the sheer panic of couples who are yet to book tables last minute.

For ABS-CBN primetime stars Jodi Sta. Maria and Paulo Avelino, however, they are neither brooding nor celebrating the Day of the Hearts. At the launch of their latest endorsements for Avon Scent this week, the two explained why they feel no pressure this year on Valentine’s, while gamely answering questions about love, ideal dates and even the best love advice.

Jodi—a cherished woman
Turning 34 this year, the radiant and glowing Sta. Maria was Avon’s perfect choice for new scent Cherish, because of her “warm-welcome personality.”

“She’s that kind of cherished woman that can bring light into the room, on and off cam,” agreed the company’s executives.

When The Manila Times asked the actress the secret behind her glowing persona, she simply replied, “I just chose to live a healthier lifestyle by eating more fruits and veggies, shying away from the unhealthy stuff and drinking lots and lots of water.”

But going deeper than her physical routine, the Pangako Sa’Yo lead revealed, “Contentment, gratefulness and a happier disposition in life too. I think it really helps when you have peace.”

Sta. Maria is no stranger to show business having been a teen star in her younger days, while reigniting her star status with roles that modern women find inspirational in recent years. Now a style and fitness inspiration for many, she apparently had no clue she had such an effect on her female fans until The Manila Times pointed it out to her.

‘I believe one of the best love advice that was given to me is that we have to learn to love ourselves first,’ says Sta. Maria

‘I believe one of the best love advice that was given to me is that we have to learn to love ourselves first,’ says Sta. Maria

“Because I haven’t been in social media and [I haven’t been] out!” she explained her cluelessness with a laugh. “But learning that, thank you very much. It’s a privilege.”

As oblivious as she might be to her new status, Sta. Maria is very much aware of her responsibility to fans and viewers. “I’m praying for a good next project not only for myself but also for the televiewers. I want a project that would give or teach values especially to young people, and one way of being responsible is being careful of choosing what roles to portray,” she revealed. Her take on the iconic role of Amor Powers ends tonight as her highly successful drama series with Ian Veneracion, Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo ends. (See sidebar).

Shifting back to the love gear, The Manila Times asked Sta. Maria where she plans to spend her Valentine’s Day.

“It’s going to be spent with family because I’ve been super busy with work and now what I’m planning to do is to just make it up with my mom and my son,” she answered. Sta. Maria’s son Thirdy by ex-husband Panfilo “Pampi” Lacson Jr. is now 11 years old. She is in a relationship with Jolo Revilla, son of detained Sen. Bong Revilla, but chooses to be quiet about personal life.

Finally, The Manila Times asked the best love advice she has ever received, to which she replied, “I believe one of the best love advice that was given to me is that we have to learn to love ourselves first. Not to the point that we become selfish and just think of ourselves because self-centeredness if different from plainly loving yourself. It’s for the reason that if you don’t love yourself, how can you give love back? You cannot give what you don’t have.”

Paulo—the ideal man
Paulo Avelino is officially the face of Avon’s top selling men’s fragrance, Black Suede. Exuding the right mix of sophistication and ruggedness, he was deemed a perfect fit for the scent, and to his home network’s elite circle of leading ladies on prime time.

And indeed beyond what the public sees on TV, Avelino is just as charming to the ladies in real life.

Surprisingly though, the actor—whom most ladies would be very willing to go on a date with—will be spending Valentine’s Day working. He is scheduled to join other ABS-CBN stars in a show abroad.

“I’m spending [Valentine’s Day] on the plane, probably with a glass of champagne and my reading materials,” he teased.

Avelino advices, ‘If you love that special someone, never let go’

Avelino advices, ‘If you love that special someone, never let go’

If not for work, The Manila Times pressed, would he be celebrating the day especially dedicated to love? “I’m not the type to ride with the hype, yung sasabayan mo because everyone is doing it. For me, just treat every day like it’s Valentine ’s Day,” he answered. The actor’s last highly talked about relationship was with KC Concepcion.

Described by most people who knew him as an introvert, Avelino clearly expressed that he is not the type to go wild around the city. “Paulo off the set, writes, edits, plays the guitar, plays games and sometimes reads books or watches films,” he enumerated.

He further revealed to The Manila Times that he keeps a notebook with him where he doodles and writes his thoughts. “Dun lang umiikot yung mga nag-aaliw at nagpapasaya sa akin pag wala ako sa work.”

Being a leading man, The Manila Times asked Avelino how a lady can best impress him.

“For me, you don’t have to wear a lovely dress, you don’t have to wear make-up, you don’t have to go to a salon and get your hair fixed. You could just be there in front me as long as there’s something interesting to talk about. Or just smile—that’s it!” he said.

If he had a date this Valentine’s, where would he bring her? “To a quiet place where we can have coffee or lunch. Basta not anywhere crowded,” he answered.

“Hindi naman sa tinatago, basta sa tahimik,” he quickly added with a laugh.

Finally, just like Sta. Maria, The Manila Times asked Avelino of the best love advice he has ever received.

It took the handsome actor a moment to reply but in the end kept his answer short and sweet: “If you love that special someone, never let go.”


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