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The ascend of Lovi Poe through body ink, sheer talent and daily cheat days.

by Karl R. De Mesa

APRIL 2012

Nowadays, meeting Lovi Poe is the closest thing anyone will likely get to actually shaking hands with her late father Fernando, a.k.a. “Da King,” bless his action hero heart. And what strikes you first about his daughter is how husky and soft spoken she is. As if the amazingly well-put-together progeny of Da King has been conditioned to be humble, modest and meek exactly because her father was of such popularity that he may be the closest thing we have to actual royalty.

Born in 1989 to legendary actor Fernando Poe, Jr., Lourdes Virginia Moran Poe got her big break by playing the role of Kristal in the 2006 TV series Bakekang. Previous to that, she had a solid educational background at the Colegio San Agustin in Makati where she graduated in 2007. Later she took courses at the International Academy of Management and Economics at Miriam College. Nowadays she’s hailed as local entertainment’s princess and can be seen in the GMA Network soap Legacy.

Daring nature

In terms of her health routine, the svelte twenty-something reveals that she did gymnastics in high school before she decided to stop. Why so? “I was getting really big na around the arms and shoulders,” she grins. “Hindi si Pink ang peg ko, si Katy Perry or a Victoria’s Secret model like Adrianna Lima.”

There does seem to be a dash of the brash American singer’s daring in Lovi, previous citations notwithstanding. At the time of the shoot, she was still bright-eyed and grinning from a post-concert high after attending Katy Perry’s performance—something she enjoyed with aplomb.

Her fit and lean physique needs to be maintained more than fought for, unlike the rest of us. Such a natural gift from the DNA of her parents is accentuated by the natural movement of her limbs, like swaying bamboo. It’s something that’s enabled her to climb the heights of TV and movie land.

Really though, it’s her Catholic institution articulation, daubed with finishing school politesse that’s the prize here. There’s a sing-song, come hither quality to her raspy speech that conjures up an intimate space; somewhere lamp lit with the sound of waves in the distance and good wine within arm’s reach. Each word is measured, thought out, especially in the company of acquaintances and almost-strangers.

Her talent, fit figure and facial structure of classic Pinay beauty has enabled her to do a wide range of projects from variety shows like Party Pilipinas, soap operas such as Ang Babaeng Hinugot Sa Aking Tadyang, indie dramas (Mayohan), genre series (Zaido), and a pretty good crop of horror and suspense movies like Aswang and Shake, Rattle and Roll 9.

“I’m really glad I’ve gotten to star in horror movies and that I’ve gotten good feedback,” she shares. “In Aswang it was a very different kind of acting. Very nuanced. I didn’t watch horror movies to prepare, I just read the script and internalized the character. I let my imagination go wild.”

Her workout routine doesn’t need to be regular as of yet. Still, her sporadic runs do help to keep her weight down.

“Sometimes I will work out, like right before a shoot. I’ll do the treadmill and some stretching for 30 minutes,” she says, adding that dietary restrictions are still a thing of mystery to her but she does realize the value of small portions. “I eat what I want to eat but in small portions only. I believe that if you deprive yourself you’ll grow weak but if you eat when you want and eat what you want, you’ll gain more control. I eat rice in small portions. Always make sure you stop when you’re not hungry anymore.” Lovi explains that she used to polish off her plate, despite having sated her appetite several spoonfuls ago—perhaps borne from being advised by an adult to not waste food.

But she’s not into depriving herself. Lovi continues: “Healthy food for me is brown rice ... na may liempo! But seriously, salads and fish are okay, too. Kahit late matapos ang shoot ko, kahit 12 a.m., kakain pa rin ako. I am so glad my body is low-maintenance.”

For cheat day there’s only one thing on her mind: Tostitos chips with cheese dip. “I love Tostitos! Which makes every day a cheat day!” she laughs. “I just can’t say no to chips.”

Lovi exhorts that it’s usually a three-way tie when it comes to her priorities. Friends, family and career are given equal attention as much as possible. She laughs when asked what she does for fun during her free time, citing she has very little opportunities for it due to work—not that she’s complaining. “Kaya ako haggard kasi they’re all number one,” she grins. Hovering somewhere near all those priorities is getting a good night’s sleep.

This young woman who loves romantic comedies and is a fan of Edward Norton wishes she could run a marathon one day, but with the proper incentive. “I need someone to push me and get me out of bed for the training and the motivation.”

Royal ink

On the topic of tattoos, Lovi agrees that the idea behind getting inked is not primarily for decoration, but as reminders of who you are and what you could become. Hers are on either side of her torso perpendicular to her ribs, with “My Gravity” on the left side and “My Wings” on the right, in calligraphic script that is approximately three inches high, and there’s a third one that says “Quiet Child.”

“They’re all for my dad, because he’s my balance,” she explains. “That’s because he makes me fly, but pulls me back to the ground. And Quiet Child is also for him because not a lot of people know our story. He called me his quiet child.”

For tattoo enthusiasts, there is the shared belief that you are not the same person when you come out from under the needle. There is acquired strength, there is something akin to transformation when the last smudge of blood and ink is wiped away. “I do plan to get more because they’re great reminders that you’re not the same person anymore when you come out,” she clarifies.

For more on Lovi Poe and the film heiress’ rise to stardom, grab your copy of the April issue of HealthToday, out now in major newsstands and bookstores.

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