The Mesmerizing Mara Lopez
Written by Robert Soriano / Photography by Raymond Saldaña
Whoever you are, whatever you do, there exists this universal challenge: To set one’s self apart. For Mara Lopez, 22, growing up under the shadows of her beauty queen mom, Maria Isabel Lopez, and making a name for herself was her version of this trial.
“There was a time when I was known only as ‘the daughter of Maria Isabel Lopez’. I wanted to establish my identity. It has its challenges. I think that’s where the reality show, Survivor Philippines, helped me a lot. It gave me an avenue to express myself and gave the audience an idea of who I am and how different I am from my mom, who was also in the show. There, they saw how [much of] a caveman I am and how I’m not the typical girly kind of girl. I’m a crazy caveman, I’m telling you. I am an athlete. I can surf. I am one of the boys. After the show, and the projects and exposures I got after it, people went from, ‘Di ba anak ni Maria Isabel yan?’ to ‘Di ba si Maria Isabel, nanay ni Mara Yokohama?’ Let’s face it; I can never erase the fact that I am my mom’s daughter. I am a Lopez and I am a Yokohama, I am very proud of that, but I also want to establish who I am as an actress,” she explained.
True to her word, this charming lady has been making waves in the independent film circuit. Making a name for herself, Mara has been part of several notable indie flicks during these past few years. In fact, her 2012 performance in Palitan won her a Best Actress Award in the CinemaOne Originals Festival, not a small feat for an actress her age. Just last year, she worked with the legendary Nora Aunor in the film, Ang Kwento ni Mabuti. Her latest flick, Debosyon, was an official entry to the Cinemalaya Film Festival last year. These days, she is immersed in her work on the upcoming Philippine adaptation of the hit series Pretty Little Liars where she plays the role of a sultry lipstick lesbian. Aside from that, she’s also going to host a series that would delve into the lives of the rich and famous in Asia.
Whenever she finds a respite from her hectic celebrity career and obligations, Mara takes to the water and surfs. A lifestyle she shares with her dad, surfing is this lady’s first, and for now, only love. “When I’m not working, I surf. I want to ride the biggest waves and that probably scares my mom. I’m not afraid to take risks. I feel that taking risks actually represents this profound passion for life,” she shared.
As you can probably see in this saucy shoot, Mara’s beautiful, sun-kissed skin and gorgeous tan lines complements her mixed Filipina-Japanese beauty. Lithe and exotic, this woman’s beauty is also rooted with her warm predisposition. “I’m such a happy person. What probably sets me apart from other people, my distinct asset, is that I love a lot. I’m very passionate when it comes to love,” she disclosed.
What qualities does she look for in men? Mara shared that she wants a man who can hold an intellectual discussion with her. “When I enter [into] a relationship, I want it to be a serious and a long term one. It’s hard to find a guy who shares the same values and beliefs. I’ve been so career-focused na, and most of the people I do get to meet become close friends. Another fun fact, I have so many close guy friends. I’m one of the boys. One thing I’m sure of though, one day I’ll find the right one. I know that I’ll just have to wait, but he’ll come along,” she imparted.
You see, we had been on the look-out for a muse. One who best represents ferocious sensuality without overstepping the lines of class and sophistication. One who, like this alluring bunny, represents the wit and playfulness of this iconic brand. This lady, like PLAYBOY Philippines, comes from a sultry pedigree of history and repute. With this seductive encounter with Mara, we might have just met our muse and our match.
Get to the boundlessly sexy pictorial of Mara Lopez by downloading the May-June 2014 issue of Playboy Philippines on Buqo now.