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Cosmo Online Hunk Steven Silva: Studious Stud


For three straight months of summer, we undressed one hunk after another right before your eyes. This time, we want to give you a breath of fresh air (that will still be punctuated with a dreamy sigh, we swear). For the whole month of back-to-school June, we're featuring this wholesome tsinito cutie who was named the male Ultimate Survivor of GMA-7's artista search Starstruck Batch V, Steven Silva.

If fellow Starstruck V alumnus and April Online Hunk Rocco Nacino made Cosmo chicks swoon with his delish body, Steven will charm the pants off Cosmo chicks with his super cute, chinky-eyed smile and Am-boy wit. The 23-year-old half-Portugese, part-Filipino and part-Chinese stud may have grown up in the United States, but he and his family regularly visit the Philippines to see their relatives who are all in Davao. As you will later see, he has an innate Pinoy warmth and appeal.

Steven admitted to that playing a college student (this week we shot him "in class" and "in the library,") as our June Online Hunk was like a trip down memory lane for him; no wonder he was a natural. This mainstay of GMA-7’s Sunday variety show Party Pilipinas was once a regular student in a Bay Area college before transferring to a culinary school where he graduated with a degree in Culinary Arts.

Yes, you heard that right. This hunk can cook. And that’s just one of the many things that can make you melt like butter on a skillet for this guy. But don’t take our word for it. Read on to learn more about his life, how he was as a student, and what he daydreamed about in class.

You're a mix of several nationalities, right? Which ones?
I wish I was pure Filipino, but... Some people, when they see me, they think I’m Korean or Japanese--everything but Filipino. So let's break it down. My mom is half-Filipino, half-Chinese, so that's one-fourth each for me. And my dad is Portuguese, so that’s one-half. So my breakdown is half-Portuguese, 1/4 Filipino, and 1/4 Chinese. I'm Filipino, just not pure. I'm unpure. I'm dirty (laughs). I'm a dirty Filipino. Joke!

How often to do you visit the Philippines?

We usually go the Philippines for vacation, like maybe once every four or five years kasi it's expensive to come here, but it's nice to come here. I like it here.

Where is your family based?
My family's based in Sacramento, California. Actually, they're over there right now. The Bay Area, [where I used to study], is about or one or two hours away from Sacramento. It's not so far, but far enough to be homesick sometimes [when I was a student].

What do you like most about the Philippines?
There’s a lot of things to like about the Philippines. The one thing I noticed, compared to the States, the people here are a lot warmer, they are more receptive. Even kanina when we were coming to the shoot, we were a little lost, and we stopped a couple times just to ask people, “Do you know where this place is?” and it seems like they're happy to tell you, they're happy to help you. In the States if you walk to a stranger, siguro the first thing they'll tell you is “What do you want?” Everyone here, they all like to help each other. ‘Di ba? It's kinda true. Another thing, compared to the States, it's really beautiful here. Like, I know in the States there are freeways, buildings. Here, you could see a lot more of nature, nice beaches, the jungle, the vegetation. I also like the fruits here. I fell in love with durian. And it's funny ‘cause I hated durian before, but it's my mom's favorite. I [used to not] even remember the name back then, I just call it the stinky fruit. Every time she opens it, the house smells so bad, but my mom loves it. She keeps on feeding it to me. “Here, try some.” (Makes a gagging sound.) By the fifth or sixth time, I liked it. It's kind of an acquired taste sometimes. That's one thing I've found I love.

Who convinced you to audition for Starstruck?
My tita in Davao. Before, I wasn't so familiar with Starstruck. Then we saw the flash on TV about the Starstruck auditions, and then my tita told me, "'Oy, you should try Starstruck!" And I was like, "What's Starstruck?" "Just try it. You like to sing and, you know, ang gwapo mo." "Okay, sige let's try." So parang ako, I just tried it for fun. Pero as the competition went on, I started enjoying it a lot. (Smiles.) And you know, I'm now here, so it kinda worked out for the best.

Now that Starstruck’s over, in what shows can Cosmo readers see you? Do you have any upcoming projects?
Right now, [I’m doing] Party Pilipinas lang. But there's something coming up soon. We will be joining the Lovebug series coming up in June! (Smiles.) And how convenient, this is coming out in June, so hopefully by the time this comes out in, hopefully we'll be doing the filming for it and hopefully it would be airing soon in June. I'm excited for that! Also, I want to do a live Cosmo Chat!

What course did you take up in college, and in which school?
The school I went to was the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, California, back in the States. I finished my studies there, and I hold an associates degree in Culinary Arts. So, Culinary Arts was my course.

Were you in college for four years, like in regular colleges?
Before I went to culinary school, I was actually going to like, I guess a "regular college." I was going to a regular college for um, two or three years. But I don't know, I kept switching courses, like I couldn't find something to stay in. I was studying Science, and then Languages, and then finally I switched to Culinary. So, yeah, two or three years I was going to a regular college, [with] books, studying for classes, and stuff like that. Culinary school and the college I was attending before are so different.

In what ways?
Kasi ‘di ba in a regular college, you don't get to eat your test after (laughs.) Kasi in culinary school, it's something to look forward to, kasi I like making stuff with my hands. So ‘di ba after the exam, you get to try what you made. And you know, kahit ano’ng grade that you receive, you can tell, you know, if you did a good job and if you worked hard on it. So that's kind of a cool difference.

How were you as a student?
I would say I was a good student, pero ‘yung problem ko, I was a procrastinator. I would always wait until the last minute to do stuff. And while it's bad, I really try a lot because my mom and dad would always say schooling is really important. One thing my mom always told me, and she told me she got this from her dad, [is] no matter what happens to you, the stuff that you learn and the stuff that you gained through school and life, you can always take that with you. Things like your clothes, your money, those little material things, when you pass away, those things will go away. But things that you'll learn, those things will stay with you. Something like that. That's what my mom taught me.

What were your favorite subjects?
My favorite subject was Philosophy. Before taking that class, I didn't know what Philosophy was about, but after I took the class, it's one of those classes that really opened my mind a little bit. It makes you kind of question things, like you shouldn't always accept something and maybe kind of dig deeper to find out [certain] problems in your life.

Another class I really liked was Baking. Of course, you know that was from culinary school. But yeah, I like baking. Before, though, I wasn't really into baking that much. You think it's kind of like a girly thing or something. But baking is really cool. People who really bake, they're like a different breed. 'Cause baking, para sa akin, ‘yung baking mas mahirap. Kasi when you're measuring things, everything has to be sakto, really. If you don't, things can mess up. Even with the temperatures when you bake. Also, I really like bread. Bread's really cool to make.

Oh, then there’s Restaurant Management. Thing is, in our culinary school, we're fortunate enough to have our own restaurant. What they do is they make their students work in the restaurant. Thing is, it's run by the students. The students are the waiters, they are the ones cooking, they're doing everything—they’re cleaning, they're setting up. I have never been a waiter before, so it built me up to be more confident in talking to people. 'Cause you're going like, "Hey, sir, can I take your order?" And you know [how] customers are not always the nicest people in the world. They expect a lot from you. And if you get an order wrong or you're late, people would say something like, "Wow, you took a while" or "This food's not so good." They'll say these things and you just have to take it, especially [since] in the hospitality business, the customers are always right. Even if they're wrong, they're right. You just have to smile and say, "Yes sir" or "Yes ma'am." So that was one class I learned a lot from.

What did you normally wear to school back then?
Oh, man. Parang I had no sense of style. I remember I used to wear the same pair of jeans (chuckles), same pair of shoes, like almost the same thing, everyday. I would only change my shirt, really. I would wear like long-sleeved shirts, T-shirts, really simple. I really didn't have much of a style back then. For me, it's just plain, anything that's comfortable.

What did you often daydream about in class?
I daydreamed about girls. I would see if there's a girl in class, I would daydream about what it would be like if I would be her boyfriend or something like that. Like typical stuff. But then, when I try talking to them, it's not the same as [my] daydream (laughs)! It's not the same! Like, in your mind, okay, I'm going to say this. And then when you go up to her, blah, blah, blah, it's different! I also used to daydream about video games, hanging out with friends. I guess I daydreamed a lot about the future, too.

Did you ever dream that you would be where you are now?
I can tell you, back in high school or in college, I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever (a million times) have believed that I would be here right now. I mean, doing an interview with you, Trixie and Marco, from I would never believe that I would be in showbiz. Back then, really, I daydreamed about where I'm gonna be, and it was scary. I'd be like, “What if school doesn't work out?” or “What if this happens?”

Do you have plans of studying again?
Um, as of now, no. Not right now. But, siguro in the future, we'll see.

Shot on location at Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street, The Fort. Special thanks to Rhea Llamas, Aimee Diego, Camille Alba, and JC Pullan.

Grooming by Cats del Rosario
Styling by Liz Anne Bautista

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