You’re a Boracay first-timer and a debuting FHM cover girl. Which of the two firsts excited you more?
Mas naging excited ako siyempre sa FHM. Kasi alam ko namang makararating din ako sa Boracay someday. Pero ang FHM hindi ko iniexpect talaga na kaya kong gawin kasi I’ve had body issues before. When we first moved here from the States, pakiramdam ko super outsider ako kasi ang daming payat dito. I felt everyone was looking at me. That’s why this experience felt totally unexpected. I never really thought kakayanin kong magkaroon ng confidence to pose for FHM.
You looked like a pro out there.
I hardly felt the pressure. I was just thinking of the poses na bagay sa katawan ko, kung ano yung magandang angle and kung ano na something different ang maipapakita ko to our readers.
How long did it take for you to be convinced that this was the time to do an FHM cover?
A couple of years ago, GMA Artist Center asked if I wanted to pose for a magazine. I told them I wasn’t ready because I still didn’t have the body to do it. But I seriously thought about it late last year so I told my mom about my plan. I was really surprised that she supported my decision. Even when I told her that the magazine I was thinking about was FHM. Sabi ko sa kanya na it wouldn’t look bastusin, that it’d be done tastefully. FHM naman celebrates people like me, who’s coming into her own as a woman as she gets more mature and comfortable in her own skin, di ba? That’s what I want everyone to know. Sana rin maging magandang career move ito para sa akin.
Speaking of your mom, we love her already.
Truth is, super conservative ang mom and dad ko. I’m an only child kasi. In the past, she really wanted me to do teeny-bopper stuff or love teams. Kaso, hindi rin naman ako dumaan sa ganun because I started out with a number of contravida roles. As far as the FHM gig is concerned, I told her I wasn’t doing this because super magpapa-sexy na ako, na ang roles na kukunin ko super sexy na. I really just want to show a different side of me sa pictorial na ito.
It’s no secret that we here at FHM never hesitate to put a StarStruck alumnae on the cover. Did you ask, say, Rich Asuncion, how to handle the FHM cover experience?
Hindi nga eh, the funny thing was I kept everything to myself. Even Rich didn’t know, siya pa naman ang ka-batch ko sa talent show so close kami. Of course, I’ve seen all of my peers’ cover appearances. Hindi naman bastusin pag tinitingnan kasi sobrang gaganda nila. They all looked different and their careers got a lot spicier because of their covers.
What do you think will be worth remembering about your FHM debut?
Everything! It was a fun experience. Everyone was super, super nice. Sobrang pressure-free. That’s why I wasn’t, like, “Grabe, do I have to wear that?” Kasi I loved everything I wore and the look of the pictorial. I hope the issue sells well. I’m going to a buy a ton! Ha ha! Sana maging kasing successful ito ng mga covers ng lahat ng StarStruck babes.
We’re still puzzled by the fact that it was your first time in Boracay. You were a varsity swimmer in the States, you’re supposed to go to the beach all the time.
Grabe! Super hilig ko talaga sa tubig. When we moved back to the Philippines from Seattle, we lived in La Union, where I got my scuba diving license. Before sobrang tanned ako kasi ang hilig kong mag-swimming. Actually, ngayon lang talaga ako pumuti. Wala lang talaga masyadong time magvacation.
So how was your almost 20-hour stay in Boracay?
Halos 20 hours lang ba? Wow. Sobrang sarap. Ngayon puwede ko na talagang sabihin na Boracay is one of the best beaches in the world.
We heard you were quite an athlete growing up in Seattle. Aside from swimming, you were also a softball player.
Yes! When I was kid, my dream was to become a professional softball player. Baseball and softball were my favorite sports. I played softball for four years before we moved back to the Philippines. It was something I was really good at.
What was your position?
I was a pitcher.
How fast was your fastball?
It clocked at 64 miles per hour (about 102 kph) before.
Your boyfriend could see stars getting hit by a pitch that fast.
Ay di naman ako nambabato. Diyos ko, never akong nananakit. Actually, ako nga palagi ang nasasaktan. Ha ha! I’m not the violent type. Kasi ang pananaw ko sa relationship, if it’s going to work, it’s going to work. No need to make a huge deal about it. Definitely, no need to hurt each other physically. Kung ayaw, eh di ayaw, di ba?
FOR STEF'S FULL INTERVIEW, GRAB THE JUNE 2011 COPY OF FHM!
INTERVIEW: ALLAN A. MADRILEJOS
STYLING: CHARMAINE PALERMO, ASSISTED BY JOHN PARAS
MAKEUP: XENG ZULUETA
HAIR: FELICITY SON
SHOT ON LOCATION AT AQUA BORACAY BEACH VILLAGE, BULABOG BEACH, BORACAY;
SPECIAL THANKS TO MS. IDA HENARES, JENNY DONATO, GMA ARTIST CENTER, MARCO MANZON AND MARK BELISSIMO OF 7 STONES BORACAY