Fashionable couple, fashionable resort

- Ricky Lo -

Did you know that before they were thrown together on an island in Thailand with 16 other castaways in the GMA extreme game show Survivor Philippines Celebrity Edition, Akihiro Sato (who would emerge the Ultimate Survivor) and Solenn Heussaff first crossed paths in a resort as fashionable as they are — the Misibis Bay Resort in Albay (which Leonardo DiCaprio was reported to have “almost” visited last year)?

They were there for the pictorial of Penshoppe’s 2011 Summer Campaign, photographed by Pilar Tuason (creative director/lead photographer for Wedding Belle Magazine, I Create, Stuff, Lonely Planet and Olive Magazine, and editor-in-chief of Digital Photographer Philippines Magazine) who has done most of the shoots for Penshoppe. The Misibis shoot was for the 25th anniversary of Golden ABC, the company behind Penshoppe.

    “Our team wanted to shoot in a nearby place that looks truly international. Misibis Bay evokes the exact vision that we wanted to achieve, and Penshoppe wanted to create a campaign that could transport you anywhere in sophisticated, jet-set summer clothes that can be as comfortable on the shore as they are on the streets,” explained Penshoppe brand director Alex Mendoza.

Brazilian-Japanese (Brapanese, for short) Akihiro and Fil-French Solenn unwittingly had some kind of “conditioning” for the rigid/rigorous Survivor challenges in the luxury Misibis Resort which is touted ”to have been blessed with the longest summer spell…180 days of pure bliss and sun” — with a big difference. On the Thai island, the castaways were reduced to their bare essentials reminiscent of soldiers training in jungle survival; but in Misibis, Akihiro and Solenn frolicked in sophisticated style, lounging under the sun on signature hand-woven outdoor furniture and white sand beach.

Both Kapuso artists, Akihiro and Solenn have inevitably ventured into showbiz, appearing with Richard Gutierrez in the new GMA adventure series Captain Barbell. Solenn is also cast with Heart Evangelista, Marian Rivera and Lovi Poe in Regal Films’ remake of its campy flick Temptation Island, a Joey Gosiengfiao classic.

Did you two know each other before you did the Penshoppe shoot?

Akihiro: Yes, she did make-up on me when I arrived in Manila.

Solenn: I knew of him and had seen his pictures but hadn’t met him personally.

What did you discover about each other on the set of Survivor Philippines?

Akihiro: Sobra mabait sya.

Solenn: Akihiro is a very nice guy. He’s always laughing even if what you say is not funny. Hahahahaha!

Are you available?

Akihiro: I’m in a relationship and I’m very happy.

Solenn: Yup! I have been single for a year and a half, and I have no plans yet to be dating.

If Solenn were free, would you court her?

Akihiro: I see Solenn as a friend.

If Akihiro were free and he courted you, would he have a chance?

Solenn: These are things that I can’t predict. But he’s got a good personality although I see him more as a cool, laid-back guy-friend to have than a possible boyfriend.

Are you happy with the way your career is going?

Akihiro: Sobra masaya buhay ko.

Solenn: I’m very happy. All this was so unexpected…unplanned.

You are both noted for your beautiful body, how do you maintain it?

Akihiro: Diet and boxing sa Gold’s Gym. And I do martial arts.

Solenn: I haven’t had much time for myself or to exercise recently but I go to the gym and do circuit training for an hour and a half or do bikram yoga. I eat as much as I can and limit my portions. I do have a “cheat day” every week, though.

Given a choice, what genre do you think you would best fit in?

Akihiro: Comedy and action.

Solenn: I think I would be good at action. I want to do stunts. I’d like to do “bad-ass” roles.

How was it growing up abroad?

Akihiro: At first it was very hard to be away from family but when I got used to it, I made my family my inspiration and I see them every chance I get.

Solenn: I grew up here. I just studied abroad (Paris). It was a fun experience and I learned a lot about myself.

Are you doing some soul-searching during the Holy Week?

Akihiro: I’m going somewhere, looking for nice waves for surfing.

Solenn: Not really soul-searching but just to be at peace and have quality TV time.

What is the best and the worst thing about you?

Akihiro: The best thing is that I am very mabait but the worst thing is I am too mabait.

Solenn: The best would be that I get along with anyone I am introduced to. The worst would be that I’m hard-headed. If I wanna do something, NOTHING will convince me otherwise.

Describe your fashion taste.

Akihiro: I wear what I am most comfortable in and of course something that looks good and fashionable. I wear Penshoppe!

Solenn: I love comfortable clothes. And simple styles. You will usually see me in jean shorts and an oversized boyfriend T-shirt. And I can do just that with what Penshoppe has to offer. I love wearing Penshoppe’s men’s “leather-ish look a like” jack.

(E-mail reactions at [email protected] or at [email protected]. You may also send your questions to [email protected]. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare.)








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