Taylor-made, just for you

- Nicola M. Sebastian -

Manila, Philippines - It’s curious phenomenon that should a Thai and a Filipino meet, they’re likely to get along grandly. Or perhaps not so curious. After all, we’re both South-east Asian. They avoid confrontation if they can, and we absolutely detest it. We like to bargain, and they’re professional hagglers. They love soap operas, and we live in the land of telenovelas. We’re loud, and they’re, well, quite soft-spoken actually.

So it’s no wonder that Thai model-types have been making their way onto our shores and into our TV shows and mega-billboards, promoting the latest cosmetic or hosting yet another celeb birthday bash. And Paula Taylor is no exception to this brood of exceptional Eurasian good looks. “It’s just something I fell into,” explains the English-Thai Taylor of her foray into modelling. “I grew up in a very strict household, so it was always fun to be allowed to go out and do something different and meet new people…so I decided to give it a try and I’ve never looked back.”

Taylor, who grew up in Australia, was a Thai celebrity in her own right, doing the VJ thing for Channel V and starring in films both big and small, before appearing on the second season of Amazing Race Asia. The self-confessed speed demon may have ended the Race as a finalist, but you could say she was a champ for the horde of Pinoy fan-boys she won over in the process. And just as she was snapped up by agents the second she landed in Thailand for a little family holiday, the Philippine modeling circuit has adopted her as one of its own quicker than you can say “product endorsement.” From Kenny Rogers to Colgate, Taylor’s pretty face has been a recurring wet dream in the country’s commercial subconscious.

Nowadays she can be found gracing the ad spaces of local fashion fave, Plains and Prints. But busybee Taylor is forever shuttling back and forth between her homeland and her second home. “In Thailand I’ve been shooting Channel V, my weekly sitcom True Love Next Door, and I’m shooting a new Lays potato chips ad — I’m gonna make you crave [it even] more,” shares Paula with a laugh.

The never-ending workdays must be driving her cuckoo. “A little bit! I spent the past week getting some much needed R&R in Phuket, but now it’s back to work!”

Still, hers isn’t a bad lot. Caught between two paradises, divided between one exotic country and another, getting dolled up and fawned at for a living. “Thais and Filipinos are both gentle, happy, smiley people. That’s why at times I feel I can fit right in,” muses Taylor on her instinctual connection to our archipelago. “Plus I’ve done many amazing things since I first visited the Philippines. I’ve swam with the whale sharks in Donsol; climbed a volcano (Taal) on a horse in the rain; walked underwater in one of those underwater helmet things in Boracay…there’s so much to do here!”

Some girls have it all. But that doesn’t mean they can’t let down their hair, get messy, and turn things upside-down and topsy-turvy once in a while. We all need a little crazy in our lives.

* * *

Paula Taylor

I’m happiest when: I’ve got wind blowing on my face whilst hanging out on a boat. Any type of boat, it could be a paraw or a luxury yacht!

Right now, I’m listening to: (laughs) There’s nothing else I can say…Lady Gaga! Love it!

I could read: Twilight!!! over and over again.

What makes me truly Thai is: I’m typically shy and conservative like a lot of Thai girls.

But what makes me an adopted Pinoy at heart is: Sisig! Bulalo! Sinigang! Yummmy!

What I miss most about Thailand is: my bed, it’s so nice to sleep in your own bed. A small luxury that does not happen too often for me.

What I love the most about the Philippines are: my friends!

But what drives me crazy about the Philippines is: pollution. (Thailand has it bad as well…be green people! Clean up!)

Style means: Dressing how you feel, how you want, when you want. My own style is all about being a girl and proud of it. Anything with a bow on it has my name on it! (Laughs.)

My motto in life is: do upon others as you would have upon yourself.

My secret fantasy is to: have a “Paula” empire! (hotels, business etc.)

In a guy I love: a good sense of humor and a guy that can be a goofy and himself.

The craziest thing I’ve ever done: Amazing Race was pretty crazy!

When I have some down time, I love to: read, watch DVDs, and be a big dork and do jigsaw puzzles.

My biggest frustration is: speaking in public.

My hidden talent is: driving. I want to be a racecar driver. I love to drive…fast!

I go absolutely gaga for: bows, anything sparkly, and good food.

This drives me absolutely nuts: racism, mean-ness and irresponsibility.

I must have been a princess in a former life, because I’m still one now!

Life is about: having fun and living it to the fullest ‘cause you only have it once.

* * *

Paula Taylor is being represented by W Talent Management in the Philippines. www.wtalentmanagement.com









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