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Sandara Park goes daring
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By JOJO P. PANALIGAN

wholesome Korean actress Sandara Park startles people by posing sexy in the latest issue of popular men’s magazine, UNO Magazine, that hit stands a couple of days ago.

Appearing on the cover and a six-page spread wearing nothing but leather undies and two-piece swim wear, Sandara hopes the move would beef up her fan base of women and children with teen males.

"I’m 21 years old. Pwede nang magpasexy," she says during a recent interview.

UNO magazine’s managing editor Johnbee Sales disclosed that they have been "pursuing" Sandy for months before she finally acceded to bare.

"I guess she finally realized that we only get classy cover girls of a league and never starlets" says he. "On our part, the more she refused, the more we were motivated to get her. Though she would tell us later that many actually told her she’s not sexy enough, the results in our latest issue says otherwise."

John was able to prove people’s incredulity over Sandara posing sexy when he spoke with the actress' handler, Rikka Dy-Lim of ABS-CBN.

"I was trying to tell her ‘Don’t worry, we’ll keep it classy.’ She said, ‘That’s not what I’m worried about. I’m worried this is all but a big joke!’" says John.

Conceptualized to directly depart from Sandara’s goody two-shoes image, the shots cast the actress as temptress in control; sort of a sadomasochist ringmaster in leather boots and with whip. It’s suggestively risque with shades of the tongue-in-cheek.

When asked what they find sexy in Sandara considering most would describe her more as ‘slim,’ John says it’s "that face" and attitude that convinced them she fits the bill.

"You’d be surprised but many of our cover girls who came across coy initially just needed the right motivation," says he. "Once they are into their fourth or five shot, we just stand back and watch the fire lit from within. I guess, it’s every girl’s secret dream: To be seen sexy at least once in their lives."

Sandara says that she told her family about her UNO pictorials only after she had done it.

"They were worried at first that this might be indication of a new direction I want to take my career to. But I told them I am doing this just once and that I will continue to be wholesome. Besides, hindi naman malaswa ang kinalabasan so I have nothing to be ashamed of," says Sandara.

Explaining it to her boyfriend, actor Joseph Bitangcol, was also touchy moment.

"I asked him, ‘Okay lang ba?’ and he goes, ‘May magagawa pa ba ako?’ Pero saglit lang siya nagsungit. Later, he just asked me to tell him right away once I’m doing the pictorial how many men were in the shoot and what it is exactly UNO wanted me to wear," Sandara says.

She adds: "Now, if Jason asks me, ‘Is it okay if I pose in my briefs, too?’ I know what I’ll say for sure: ‘No!’"

Though Sandara does not work out ("I have gym membership, but I don’t go — nahihilo ako sa treadmill"), Johnbee says UNO saw no need to enhance the images save for basic color correction.

"If you look at one of the pictures, you’d see that Sandara’s hands are wrinkled which they definitely aren’t in reality," says he. "Sobrang lamig lang kasi ng aircon dun sa kwarto where we did the shoot."

The as-close-to-real-as-it-gets results of Sandara’s pictures also stem from UNO getting the services of ace photographer John de Los Reyes. John is the US-trained photographer and nephew of businessman Manny Pangilinan who heads the cutting edge company, Fisheye Studio that also lens-ed an international beverage print ad recently.

Styling, meanwhile, was done by Rachell Lisbeth with make-up magic courtesy of Mickey See of Shue Emura.

To test how majority of her fans might react to her UNO pictures which she chose herself from 140 prints, Sandara showed a seven-year old fan the pictures.

"He said, ‘Hindi na kita crush!’ I almost had to tell him that the pictures are not real but cartoons," says Sandara.

The actress is proud of her work. When she saw fellow-celebrity Angelica Panganiban who posed earlier for another men’s magazine, she told her in jest, "Magkaribal na tayo ngayon!"

UNO is prouder. Instead of just printing the usual 60,000 copies, the number of Sandara issue on the market was doubled at 120,000 copies and will be available for two months.

Sandara Park, fondly referred to by people as "Krung Krung ng Bayan," rose to fame by winning in the first "Star Circle Quest." She had put out a couple of dance-oriented albums and recently starred in the comedy film, "D’Lucky Ones." She is currently working on the forthcoming ABS-CBN television show, "Crazy For You."

UNO Magazine has been repeatedly awarded the Most Outstanding Magazine for Men and Best Men’s Magazine by national award-giving bodies as Philippine Marketing Excellence Awards Institute and National Product Quality Excellence Awards.

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