Daddy’s girl

Cosmopolitan (Philippines) - - The Cosmo Interview -

of that is do­ing my job off-screen.” For her though, abs are a bonus. “Be­ing fit is the ex­tra goal. Be­ing healthy is the pri­or­ity. You don’t have to be batak. You don’t have to have a six-pack. We all want to live our lives to the fullest so let’s take care of our bod­ies.” Doe-eyed with stun­ning mes­tiza good looks—you’d ex­pect these in­gre­di­ents to carve out a pretty easy path to star­dom for Yassi. But she was a pretty face amid a sea of pretty faces, all with the same dreams. What’s worse was that ev­ery­one told her that she could never be the star.

She was just a dancer. Dancers were meant to sway their hips and kick up their heels while some siren took up the spot­light. “I felt very held back be­fore. Peo­ple told me hang­gangdi­tokalang.” Yassi’s voice rises slightly, still ap­palled by the mem­ory. “I don’t agree! Danc­ing is an amaz­ing ta­lent. When I was start­ing out, peo­ple de­scribed me as ‘the dancer,’ and I al­ways took pride in that.” Suf­fice to say, it wasn’t a very good point in her ca­reer.

It’s ironic that Yassi now hosts a show called Born­to­beas­tar. It could very well be four-word short­hand of her life.

The Princess of the Dance Floor doesn’t es­pouse com­plex wis­dom for the lessons she’s learned, and the leg up she needed was only as far as the bed­room next door. Way back when, her dad ad­vised her to never give up, and it’s his en­cour­age­ment that has guided her from school to show­biz. His words are like a well-worn pair of jeans, be­com­ing more and more ac­cus­tomed with time. “He said, ‘I be­lieve in your tal­ents. You just need to be­lieve in them as much as I see it hap­pen­ing.’”

Yassi’s isn’t the strength you get from the gym. Her par­ents sep­a­rated when she was young, and like all chil­dren who ex­pe­ri­ence such cir­cum­stances early on, she had to grow up fast. “Their sep­a­ra­tion spanned my grade school and high school years. They were try­ing to work it out, and as kids, my sis­ter and I ap­pre­ci­ated that they wanted to keep us a fam­ily,” she re­calls. Prac­ti­cal­ity en­ters her tone. “Some peo­ple are just hap­pier apart and what my par­ents had is still amaz­ing,” adding, “As long as you’re happy, you stay where you are. If you’re not, then leave. That’s not a bad thing,”

Yassi de­scribes her dad and lit­tle sis­ter (“I used to hate her, but now she’s the best gift my par­ents have ever given me”) as “amaz­ing.” “Then, if you see the ra­tio of bash­ers to the sweet com­ments from my fans… so­brang­walata­laga!” With such a solid sup­port sys­tem, it feels, then, that the triv­i­al­i­ties of show­biz are just that—triv­ial. Un­scripted, Un­fil­tered Yassi’s 1.2 mil­lion In­sta­gram fol­low­ers have seen nearly all sides to her per­son­al­ity, from the smok­ing-hot girl drink­ing fruit shakes on the beach to caf­feine-crazed dancer shak­ing it to Justin Bieber at mid­night.

march 2016


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