It’s easy to be con­fused by the gor­geous fea­tures of teen star Taki Saito, whose screen name is sim­ply Taki. Is she Pi­nay, Ja­panese, or Span­ish? Is she ti­say or tsinita?

As it turns out, she’s all of the above. The per­fect ex­am­ple of a mul­tira­cial beauty, Taki has a mix of Ja­panese, Brazil­ian, Span­ish, and Filipino blood flow­ing through her veins. “Si Mama is half-Ja­panese, half- Span­ish, at may konting Filipino,” she ex­plains. Her bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther is Brazil­ian-Ja­panese. So that makes her around 10 per­cent Filipino, she says. “Pero at heart, I’m 100 per­cent Pi­noy!” she pro­claims.

In­deed, the 17-year-old new­bie, feels right at home on Philip­pine soil. Though born in Ja­pan, she ini­tially lived in the Philip­pines un­til age 5, and then moved to Paris, where she stayed for eight years. Af­ter her mom gave birth to Taki’s baby brother, the fam­ily moved to Manila in 2013. Ini­tially, the plan was to stay for just a lit­tle while. Four years later, they’ve found them­selves set­tled in quite nicely, with Taki find­ing her­self un­der the showbiz spot­light—and thor­oughly en­joy­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Di­rec­tor Do­minic Za­p­ata, a fam­ily friend, saw Taki’s po­ten­tial and in­tro­duced her to An­to­nio Tu­viera’s ta­lent agency, Triple A, where Taki is now un­der con­tract. “Direk Dom was able to show me around tap­ings,” Taki re­calls, “and doon ko po nare­al­ize na ‘Ay, parang gusto ko po [ mag-artista].”

She started with a stint on TV5’s teen hor­ror-com­edy se­ries, #ParangNor­mal Ac­tiv­ity, which was fol­lowed by GMA’s fam­ily com­edy- drama se­ries, Calle Si­ete. Her big­gest breaks came when she be­came part of the long­time noon­time show Eat Bulaga! and when she was cast as the lead star in Trops, a teen-ori­ented show, also on GMA. All this in a span of two years!

Of­ten mis­taken for her fel­low celeb Coleen Gar­cia—which she con­sid­ers a ma­jor com­pli­ment—Taki is blessed with sim­i­larly stun­ning fea­tures: porce­lain skin, per­fect nose, del­i­cate lips, big and ex­pres­sive eyes. But while Taki may ap­pear pic­ture-per­fect on screen or on her In­sta­gram posts, she ad­mits that she suf­fers from acne break­outs, just like any reg­u­lar teen. “Hindi ako gaano ka-blessed with my skin,” she says, lament­ing the fact that she didn’t in­herit her mom’s com­plex­ion. “It’s re­ally hard… Brazil­ians are known to have not very nice skin!”

De­spite this, she says she’s very lowkey when it comes to her skin care reg­i­men: “I just reg­u­larly wash my face with soap.” When her skin gets dry, she uses a mois­tur­izer that she got from Ja­pan. That’s about it. “Hindi po ta­laga ako high-main­te­nance.”

This sim­plic­ity also ex­tends to her per­sonal makeup rou­tine. Her es­sen­tials: pow­der, blush-on, and lip­stick.

And on days when her skin isn’t act­ing up, Taki ac­tu­ally prefers to go barefaced. She con­fesses she can’t live with­out lip­stick, though. Cur­rently, she owns around 30 tubes. “I like light shades, mga peach, pink. My fa­vorites are Kylie Cos­met­ics Lip Kit in Koko K and Happy Skin’s The Morn­ing Af­ter. Pag wala akong makeup, lip­stick lang, pic­ture-ready na.”

And who’s her ul­ti­mate beauty peg? “Se­lena Gomez, all the way! La­hat ng mu­sic videos niya, I dream to have some­thing like that.”

Taki, it goes with­out say­ing, also loves singing and danc­ing. Truth be told, go­ing the Se­lena Gomez route is not a very far-fetched dream for Taki, given her ta­lent and charm. But for now, she just hopes she gets to stay in show busi­ness for as long as she wants. •

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