Ahron Villena thinks that the issue linking him to fellow Survivor Philippines: Celebrity Showdown castaway Ian Batherson is plainly amusing.
This was obvious when PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) met the 23-year-old new image model of Walker underwear last Thursday, September 30, at Annabel's restaurant on Tomas Morato in Quezon City.
"Ganyan naman talaga sa showbiz. Dalawa lang 'yan—either you're gay or may gay benefactor ka," Ahron said candidly, after the press conference for Walker. "Ang importante, alam ko kung ano ako, and alam ni Ian kung ano siya."
"ROMANTIC" BRAND. It all started when an online fan page bearing the combined names of Ahron and Ian surfaced on cyberspace. The fan page branded the two hunky castaways as "RonYan."
Showbiz fans have always been known to incorporate wordplay in branding onscreen pairs. Arguably the most popular moniker was the Guy and Pip (Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III) phenomenon of the '70s.
The habit of combining names has increased over the years in local Tinseltown. Nowadays, we have the likes of Kimerald (Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson), Al-Kris (Aljur Abrenica and Kris Bernal), and Dong-Yan (Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera), among others.
Combining names of celebrities is commonly done to market a conventional love- team partnership, therefore applying the practice on stars of the same gender—like in the case of Ahron and Ian—seemed to connote a romantic angle involving the two men.
"Wala 'yon," Ahron stressed. "Actually, nag-start 'yan nung nagkaroon kami ng feast sa camp namin sa Survivor. Kami kasi 'yong nanalo sa challenge and masaya 'yong araw na 'yon. Kain lang kami nang kain tapos nag-wine kami. E, kami ni Ian magka-tribe kami, 'tapos nag-akbayan kami.
"Nabigyan lang siguro ng kulay ng mga tao na gumawa nung fan site, and siguro natuwa sila sa amin. Natatawa na lang ako."
To further stress that he wasn't offended by the issue, he related: "Sabi ko nga kay Ian, 'Laruin na lang natin.' Wala 'yon. Puwede kami ni Ian as a tandem, 'yong ganun, pero hindi 'yong pair na parang iba 'yong ibig sabihin."
NEW REGAL BABY. Ahron's career is currently experiencing a rebirth. Aside from being part of GMA-7's primetime program Survivor Philippines, the hotel- and-restaurant-administration graduate also inked a four-year contract with Regal Films recently.
The deal reportedly guarantees that Ahron will do a total of 16 movies, to be bankrolled by Mother Lily Monteverde's film production company.
"Masayang-masaya siyempre kasi ito na! Kumbaga, hindi naman lahat nabibigyan ng ganitong pagkakataon," said the Batangueo actor.
Being an endorser of an underwear brand raised the question of whether Ahron was slowly inching his way towards a sexy image in front of the cameras.
"Hindi naman talaga daring," he quickly replied. "Hanggang topless, puwede na 'yon."
Ahron started his career in 2004 with ABS-CBN, after winning a talent search contest of the defunct noontime program MTB: Ang Saya Saya.
He was later seen in the shows Hiram (2004), Gulong ng Palad (2006), Komiks (2006), Boys Nxt Door (2007), Lobo (2008), and Precious Hearts Romances (2009).
One of Ahron's sources of pride was being part of some of Star Cinema's commercially successful films, like You Are The One (2006) and One More Chance (2007).
He made it clear that there was no drama involved behind his sudden decision to transfer, and that his move to a new home network went smoothly.
While some stars prefer to jump ship with the hope of securing bigger roles and projects, Ahron's personal position about the matter seem less complicated.
"Naging masaya naman ako dun sa kabila," he pointed out. "Hindi naman ako nag-expect na mabibigyan ng lead role. Masaya naman ako makasama sa ganitong show, sa ganitong pelikula. Ngayon dito sa GMA, ganun pa din ako. Okay lang kahit anong ibigay, di ba? At least may trabaho ka."