Samantha Yen is a woman that's a different kind of tough.
At 22 years young, she's spry and bright, a quick dose of sunshine to keep the rain at bay. There's a bounce to her step the way she moved around on set—the irritatingly springy kind that if she hadn't been pretty, you'd most likely tell her to stop and behave. Greeting everyone with a smile during the shoot, she was just one of those upbeat models whom you'll find easily drawn to.
These, of course, would lead even the slightly jaded to believe that life has been easy for her so far. Which, in fact, is not the case.
In one of her stories—and she always has about a million of those—she opened up about this one time when she took part in The Fashion Show From Hell. Are we being overly dramatic? Perhaps. But try being a painter without eyes, and you'll feel how it must have felt when an up-and-coming beauty like her discovered that her formerly immaculate skin had been damaged because of friggin' body paint. "Puhunan 'yun e," were her own words.
Those things leave a mark, beyond the physical ones. But check it out: she's made it to our pages. What have we learned? Through the insecurity, and you know, a whole lot of pain, what Samantha proves is that toughing it out doesn't always mean that you become a grizzled, scowling veteran of Life. When shit happens, snuff out the stink with good old positivity, and you'll be fine. The proof is in her words and on these pictures.
What do you love about being a model?
I love that I get to go to a lot of events. Kasi you encounter a lot of different people. Iba iba talaga. Malalaman mo yung mga different personalities ng mga tao. Kailangan mo silang harapin at maging approachable. You learn how to interact and read people.
Are you naturally affable? What would your friends say about you?
Supportive sila sa akin. Every time may gagawin sila, masama man yun or hindi, binibigyan ko sila ng advice, if ever humingi sila. Pero hanggang advice at suporta lang ako. Ang strategy ko is sasabihin ko lang kung ano ‘yung mga puwedeng consequences ng mga gagawin nila, pero in the end, hindi ko pa rin naman papakialaman ‘yung decision nila. Hindi mo naman mafo-force yung opinion mo sa isang tao eh.
Do you find yourself gravitating towards a certain personality type when meeting new people?
Ang alam ko lang may mga tao kang mami-meet na bastos. Siyempre ayoko nun. Pero may mami-meet ka rin na approachable at down-to-earth. Those are the people that make life easier as a model.
We hope you’ve been meeting more of the latter.
Generally, oo. But I’ve had a really bad experience before. This was two years ago. It was a fashion show, which involved body paint. Sa Carmona, Cavite siya ginawa, and I was referred to the shoot by a guy I met in a car show.
So ayun, during the event, they applied the body paint. Pininturahan kami. What I didn’t expect was that it would be so itchy at saka mahapdi. Ang sabi ko ayoko na ituloy, kasi nangangamoy na eh, and amoy gas. Gusto ko nang burahin noon palang—at dapat nga binura ko na.
Ang sagot ng organizers wala lang daw yun, tiisin ko lang daw muna kasi allergy lang yun or something. Later on mawawala naman daw yun at isang rampa lang daw naman eh. Eh di pumayag na rin ako.
INTERVIEW BY GELO GONZALES
MAKEUP BY CHA MONTENEGRO
STYLING BY GERALDINE ANNE NUQUI
HAIR BY LANCE VASQUEZ
Lingerie from Pink Kurve; Shoes from Sugarfree, Accessories from Forever 21
Special Thanks to Liz Dungca of Royal Hotel Golf and Country Club
Shot on location at the Presidential Suite, Royal Hotel Golf and Country Club, Angeles City.