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.