Ian Somerhalder shows his green side

By Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at May 25 2012 06:40 PM | Updated as of May 26 2012 02:42 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Hollywood actor Ian Somerhalder came to the Philippines to endorse a local clothing brand, but he leaves the country with much more than new outfits and pretty pictures of the world-class beaches of El Nido, Palawan.

This after Golden ABC president Bernie Liu announced that they will be teaming up with the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) through Penshoppe, their flagship brand.

Actor Ian Somerhalder during a press conference in Manila

“When I first met this young man, I was expecting to meet a great Hollywood celebrity,” Liu said of Somerhalder. “Okay, I did meet a Hollywood celebrity. But within the first minutes of our first chat, my preconceived notions of what he would be like began to transform to that of admiration.

“I discovered that he is an absolute pleasure to work with – very intelligent, results-oriented and passionate about taking care of the environment,” he added.

Somerhalder, who plays the character of Damon Salvatore on the CW series “The Vampire Diaries,” set up ISF in 2010 to “empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.”

During Penshoppe’s press conference last Wednesday at The Peninsula Manila in Makati City, Somerhalder said he is “looking forward” to the partnership.

“I don’t think this is typically done,” he said. “I’ve never heard of a brand linking up with a foundation to literally promote good, and not just to promote good but to create it, to raise the monetary resources to actually put it in motion.

“We’re all going to see real, concrete progress very soon.”

On El Nido and Pinoy companies

Somerhalder’s photo shoot for his Penshoppe campaign took place at the beaches of El Nido, which he called “probably one of the most beautiful beaches in the face of the planet.”

The “Vampire Diaries” star spent some time “snorkeling over incredible reef and swimming with turtles” during his stay in El Nido, and realized “how real climate change is.”

He also noted how a handful of Philippine corporations “are taking massive strides in protecting and conserving everything, from resources that fall from the sky to resources we can’t create.”

“The Filipino people are leading this charge into this green future, and I think that people should know that. You guys should give yourself a round of applause,” he said.

On ‘Vampire Diaries’

Meanwhile, Somerhalder said the popularity of “The Vampire Diaries” will also be helpful in creating awareness for the ISF and its advocacies, especially among the youth.

“The Vampire Diaries is [for] a younger audience, and what I realize is [we can] use that exposure for the greater good, to actually educate the youth of the world,” he said.

“We are doing ourselves a great disservice if we don’t put the wheels of education in motion, to actually empower people, empower our youth to be smarter consumers, to be aware of conservation and preservation.

“We start doing all that, and I think we’re gonna see major, major change.”