May 10, 2021 – Alike Editorial
Filipina-British model, actress, singer, and entrepreneur Yassi Pressman on growing into new roles and accepting new challenges while keeping grounded with fans, friends, and family.
They say behind every great man, is a great woman. To Coco Martin’s immortal Probinsyano, that woman would be Alyana Arevalo, known in real-life as Yassi Pressman. “I wasn't the best when I started in Ang Probinsyano,” confesses the humble Pressman, “I was very very far from that. Raw.” And yet starring in the Philippines' biggest show was a challenge she was more than ready to undertake, especially given her mentors. “Boss Vic, Boss Veronique, Sir Deo, Tita Cory, and Coco,” she rattles off names with no need for a script, “these are people I would never ever forget.”
Yassi credits the show as having a great impact on both her work and personal life. “It made me grow so much because I was on that show at 21, still pretty young, still trying to figure out life, and I matured…” She relates her growth from a ‘little woman,’ to a ‘real woman’ - brought about by the responsibilities she undertook for over half a decade - “to continue to keep up, and to learn from our experiences.”
Pushed to do her best, she often wonders why so many believed in her. “They didn't stop calling me, supporting me, and guiding me…” And instead of wondering, Yassi instead vows to pay it forward someday. “Instilled in my heart, every person - the directors, the cast, the people behind the scene - they’re unforgettable to me. And I will be forever grateful to all of them.” It’s advice she’s well-positioned to dispense, given her time in the industry.
Go-Sees from Overseas
From commercials to dancing to stints as background extras, Yassi has done it all. “Yet the stage feels most like home,” she shares, before remembering her early work on Gulong ng Palad “it was a huge stepping stone. It brought me into the eyes of the people who gave me even more opportunities.” She pauses, thoughtfully considering her origins and today’s influencer culture. “I think it’s a great opportunity for so many people,” she says. Yassi recalls the early auditions, the callbacks, the queues, before standing in front of the decision makers. “What’s great now is that people can create their content at home. The digital world has grown so much that people are searching for the people who can create their own content.”
Slowly learning to hold her own social media platforms, Yassi and her team have churned out more content on Youtube, as well as TikTok. “I want to be a little bit more busy. I want to start a cooking show on youtube as well.” Her new endeavor, called ‘Teach Yassi How to Cook,’ promises to take viewers on a show where they can “learn with me…or watch me fail! That’s cool! I would still enjoy that!” She considers it another exciting step forward, just one of several.
In the next few months, Yassi is also slated to star in a film called “More Than Blue” for Viva films. The Korean franchise has “an amazing script, and an amazing director - Director Nuel Naval,” whom Yassi trusts to help her bring another character to life. Yassi’s other major media project is as a host for a UK game show franchise. “In the next coming months I’m also focusing on “Rolling In It!” She exclaims. “I feel very honored and very nervous.” With rehearsals starting just a few days ago, Yassi hopes everything ‘rolls’ smoothly. “I hope to bring joy to the audience, viewers, and participants.” With her busy schedule, however; Yassi, makes it a point to schedule downtime, not surprisingly, in the province.
Yassi recounts the time she and her friends went to Palawan for Christmas and New Year’s. “We treated it like a field trip - sort of like a company outing to keep our friendship exciting.” With she and her closest buddies working on their new endeavors, it was time to recover and not feel drowned from working every day. “That was super fun. We love traveling!” It’s one of the things she resolves to do more off once things stabilize. “I miss going to hotel rooftops, having afternoon snacks, afternoon drinks, and watching the sunset with my friends, catching up with the people I don’t get to see often,” reminisces Yassi. “Covid just takes such a toll on mental health. I want to take care of my friends like that - see how they’re doing in life - basically check-up on them.”
For a celebrity, Yassi also has typical unwinding habits. “I watch films, and have nice dinners.” Her guilty pleasure is rice. “Facts!” She smiles, gleefully. “I’m trying to change to brown rice, but it takes effort.” And among other things, she takes pleasure in seeing her fans smile. “I really love my fans! I love seeing them smile! That feeling of them being so happy to see me. It’s such an honor!” And while she admits to sometimes not being able to wrap her mind around why they’re so happy— she reveals that being able to bring that happiness to people fills her heart with joy. Very possibly, she learned that from the people she grew up around.
She remembers her father, and how he showed love, and espoused a commitment to happiness. “He was the rock of my life,” Yassi says of her recently departed father, “it was such a difficult time - We grew up in such a humble way and we never felt like it wasn’t enough. We would get socks for Christmas and be happy. We’d go to high school with 20 pesos - and it was always enough because we were focused on love and care and studies.” With her and her sisters carrying on his legacy, Yassi shares that the best way they can do it is through example. “His encouragement made us feel like we could do anything that we wanted as long as we set our mind to it.” True to form, Yassi encourages everyone, especially the youth, to just go for it. “I will try my best to be there.. exactly the way my mentors were there for me!”
Apart from individuals, Yassi also believes in the power of groups and stories. Herself an ardent supporter of start-ups, she considers herself blessed with the spotlight, which she promises to shine on others. “I really do hope that all the next stories that Alike will be writing about can create a Community Of People who are here to inspire, help, and support each other,” she says in the tone of a true leading lady.
Moving Past, Moving On, and Moving Beyond
Protagonists in films and tv are fascinating not just for their beauty or brawn, but also for their growth. In this sense, Yassi Pressman’s reel life isn’t different from her real life. Moving past her usual roles and into new ones, she finds herself firmly clutching the reins of leadership…literally.
“Presidential Paws is a sister-founded company based on my sister, Issa (Pressman) and I’s love for dogs,” shares Yassi. The company is special to the Pressman sisters since their love for dogs began after their father’s passing. After this painful event, they needed to bring more life into their homes so they got their first bulldog named Rolee. Rolee, whose name takes after their father’s initials, served as a source of comfort and joy to both Yassi and Issa.
Later on, Yassi and Issa had a huge family of bullies and eventually, Presidential Paws was found. “It later turned into an affair with friends who’ve become family (Keiko, Jon, Gio, Neil).” She describes her new canine venture as a fashionable connection with owners and their furry friends. Yet what started out as a passion project of sharing a logo-band color and cord set, turned into something more. “Our first product sold out right away!” Yassi recalls, at which point they decided to actually try for a business. With new bowls and other fashionable items in the pipeline, Yassi believes they found their niche in today’s post-covid market since “Everyone's a little bit closer to the pets that they have with them during this time.” The group even has plans to launch the Presidential Paws Lounge mobile to “visit villages, cities, one at a time, and give pets the presidential treatment that they never knew they needed!”
ALIKE is totally loving the aesthetic of Presidential Paws! Their collection gives off a modern and boss feel that will definitely elevate your fur babies’ vibe. Presidential Paws understands that fur babies deserve to be styled too. We believe that they are definitely starting a powerful trend of style for fur babies and as a fur mom/dad, you wouldn’t want your baby to be left out of style right?
From pet care to dental hygiene, Yassi also hears the music and wants to share it with everyone through Wavee. “It’s the world’s first electric toothbrush speaker system,” she recounts of their Consumer Electronics Show visit in Las Vegas that went very well, and since then Wavee has won a couple of Design Awards worldwide. “It went through a lot of product development, and we found partners to work with.” She cites WeSmile New York as one of their partners as well as Dr. Steve Gan, as one of their advisors. The experience has been so far, a learning experience. “It has taught me so much,” says Yassi, “the product alone, building it from scratch, nothing is white-labeled, everything is original.” And even with the tough conditions presented by Covid, hiding everyone’s smiles, Yassi believes dental health should never take a back seat. “Eating proper food, working out is required, but oral hygiene is just as important.” Yassi believes that a minute’s worth of proper tooth brushing is worth more than expensive trips to the dentist when you get problems. She believes in making the experience more fun through the power of music, and encourages everyone to adopt a healthier habit.
We find that Wavee is definitely an interesting product. Now we know the reason behind Yassi’s clear teeth and bright smile. Not only does Wavee bring benefits to your dental care but it also brings in good vibes during your tooth brushing sesh. We love the idea of music and proper dental care. Great investment, Yassi!
Only time will tell if the Yassi Pressman’s ventures both on and off-screen pan out. Though the way she gushes about projects, marketing plans with her partners, and spiels about bringing in more products is very encouraging. “I can’t wait for the next few months,” she says. And as much as her life is in the public eye, she still holds a few cards close. “I have also invested in a mental health company!” It’s almost like watching a TV show plot unfolding and frankly, we can’t wait for the next chapter.
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Catch Atty Martin Loon's inspiring story as Cocolife's CEO and Leader, soon.