Daniel Matsunaga is the June 2013 cover of Men’s Health-Philippines and he considers it a dream come true.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) had the privilege to go behind the scenes of the cover shoot which took place at the Emperador Stadium in McKinley Hill, Taguig.
The awfully good-looking Brazilian-Japanese model showed a side of himself that many are unfamiliar with— the football player.
But he also showed something that will have ladies giggling: his ripped upper body and eight-pack abs.
He said about the shoot, “It feels great! Finally, I've been waiting for this moment for a long time. I've been doing a lot of preparations for this shoot.
“And I just wanted to show a little bit of what I do every day. These are lifestyle for me, I do exercise since I was 14, so it's been 10 years.
“I've been very healthy, very conscious of what I eat and everything regarding exercise, you know. I just wanted to show a little bit of, part of my sporty lifestyle for people.”
Many are unaware that Daniel is a professional football player who plays in the first division of the local United Football League.
“I play for a team called Stallions, Sta. Lucia FC and, first division yun, e. Siguro for the UFL League, we are right now on the third place, if not second [ranked].”
Daniel plays a midstriker. He describes his team, “We have a lot of ano, we have a lot of foreigners on the team.
“We have Koreans, Brazilians, Spanish, a lot of Filipinos and luckily, everybody gets really well playing together.
The 24-year-old is grateful for the opportunity to be playing football in the country.
He recalls, “I played in Hong Kong pero here it’s ano...I had the biggest opportunity to play football here.
“Philippines is amazing because of that. My career here, my showbiz career, football is going well, everything is going well, it's really God doing everything in my life.”
Daniel describes his first cover shoot as an “amazing experience.” He relates, “Eto yung first time ko and I've been waiting for this for so long, you guys have no idea talaga.
“And since I got here, I always ask my manager to try to talk to the management of Men's Health if ever they can feature me. And finally, you know, finally it's done.”
HEALTHY LIFESTYLE. He shares what being healthy means to him: “Since I was young, I've been doing this for my lifestyle.
“I do this every day, I watch what I eat. It's always important to, even to feel more confident siguro, you know, being healthy.”
The actor-model says he varies his diet depending on the requirements of his job.
“Kasi for modeling, if they request you ano, next week you have a shoot that you need to be bigger, you need to be more cut, or you need to get skinnier.
“So alam ko yung katawan ko, what do I have to do or what kind of diet.”
He adds, “Kasi there is a lot of types of diet: no carbs diet or puro protein, ganun.
“You can do that for a longer time, mga ano, siguro for two months, you don't have to restrict yourself too much for a short time.
“So you can do different types of diet. And I know my body, so depending [on] what I need, I do.”
Daniel admits he does indulge on sweets and not-so-healthy foods. “There is always that cheat day, di ba. I do it a lot kasi I need, because I do a lot of cardio, you know.
“For my football we have training every day, from Mondays to Sundays, 6-8:30 a.m. under the sun so kailangan talaga kumain ako ng mga carbs. So, otherwise, I wouldn't have energy.”
ALL-AROUND SPORTY GUY. As if being good-looking, a model, an actor, and a football player aren’t enough; Daniel is into many other sports: “I do football, I do futsal, I do tennis, I do boxing.
“I do two hours gym every day, I swim, what else? I play basketball sometimes, I do biking, I do running, everything.”
Apart from all that, he has many other interests, “I love watching movies, I love music, I love wakeboarding…
“I love to go to the beach, have some live music, enjoy the beach, di ba, flying fish or parasailing, diving!
“Diving, it's amazing. I just came back from Batangas for Holy Week and we brought Jet Ski, we brought dogs.”
When asked whether he does extra workouts during summer, Daniel says he tries to maintain his physique the whole-year round.
“Yeah, I always try to be like this forever. I do a lot of exercise... kasi one of my biggest reasons why I like to keep myself fit is also because of my work.”
SINGLE AND LOOKING. After his much-talked about breakup with Heart Evangelista, Daniel has remained single up to the time of the interview.
He says about his status, “Single, single for one year already.
Is he looking? “Well, I really leave [it] up to God, you know. There’s always going to be a right one. So I wait for that moment, can’t wait.”
What does he consider an ideal girl? “I wouldn’t say kasi ano, really depends, really depends on the person, e.
“I really love to meet them first, to see the inside person muna. First, siguro, I need to talk to them, see kung matalino sila, ganun. Hahah, joke lang.
“Siguro mas mahaba yung buhok. I’m not choosy, e, I’m not choosy. So for me, it really depends.”
As for his preference in women, “No, I don’t have preference, e.
“I had girlfriends from Brazil, already, I had a girlfriend from Europe, and I had a Filipino girlfriend, alam mo siguro yung susunod gusto ko, Filipina, dapat.”
BRAZILIAN-JAPANESE-PINOY. Daniel is half-Brazilian, half-Japanese by blood. But in terms of character, how Brazilian is he?
“I am 90 percent Brazilian. I’ve been in Japan a few times, three times lang in my life. I love Japanese food! Hahah. Yun na [ang] Japanese ko.”
What does it mean to be Brazilian? “I grew up in Brazil, everything about me is Brazilian, e. I love meat. Pero yung Japanese part is yung pagkain.
“My father is Japanese, my mom is Brazilian. My father was born in Brazil already. And I grew up there, I always lived with Brazilians.”
Do you also have a Filipino side? “Meron, actually, I have Filipino blood already…from Makati Med," he chuckles.
“I am Filipino already, I can consider myself Filipino. I’ve been here for four years, I live here now. I have plans to bring my whole family here.
“My sister got married to a Filipino. I have a Filipino family. I love the culture here, I love the people here, I love everything here. So Filipino ako.
“I’m learning the language, di ba. Marunong akong mag-Tagalog. So lahat. Kailangan ko talaga, e. Pag showbiz ako, kailangan.”
Daniel is currently working on a sexy-drama series with TV5 titled, Misibis Bay.
He is one of Ritz Azul's four leading men in the show, aside from Christopher de Leon, Vin Abrenica, and Victor Silayan.