History’s Asian travel series features CebuBy Oliver M. Pulumbarit
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Although naturally athletic, Simon Yin had “zero training” as host of the new History show “Hidden Cities: Extreme.”
Yin said he neither practiced nor received lessons for the different tasks he had to complete in several Asian locations.
“I think the training comes with my own life experiences,” he said during an interview at New World Hotel, a day before he flew to Cebu for the first episode.
A spin-off of the successful History series “Hidden Cities,” the new show aims to further explore Asian territories and cultures. One of the finalists in the search for the original show’s presenter, Yin was later asked to host “Extreme.”
He said: “When they called me back, they asked me all these things: ‘Have you ever ridden a horse, shot a gun, driven a race car, rock-climbed?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’ve done all those things!’ I wasn’t an expert in any of those activities, but apparently I was a good match for the show.”
Yin, 35, born and raised in Michigan, lived for several years in Atlanta, Georgia.
He related: “I was a Business major out of college. I became an investment banker for a year. It’s the worst job ever! I spent so many hours in front of a computer. I thought there was more to life that that. One day, I saw a small advertisement for comedy classes. I went and I just loved it!”
Yin pursued a full-time career in entertainment, eventually landing a hosting job on MTV for nearly three years. He later started his own production company and directed music videos, corporate videos, documentaries and the feature film “Super Capitalist,” a “financial thriller” shot in New York and Hong Kong.
Yin has been living in Hong Kong for four years, and is excited to experience other cultures through the six-part History series.
“What’s ironic these days is that my mom, who’s from Taiwan, tried so hard to get out of Asia to bring us to the States so that we can have a great upbringing, to be doctors and whatever,” he said. “And now we’re flocking back to Asia, because this is where the opportunity, the energy is!”
“I’m going to be customizing my own jeepney. I’ll be driving it and picking up people,” he said before he left for Cebu. “We’re also going to make coconut wine. I have to climb a tree and learn how to make it. I’ll be spear-fishing. And I’m trying out balut (fertilized duck embryo)!”
Seems he got to do all those things—or at least the jeepney part (see above photo).
The new History host, who considers himself a “sexy, funny man,” is now looking forward to scheduled visits to Malaysia, Indonesia and China. He also hopes to get acquainted with other countries’ customs in future seasons.
“Asia is so huge that I don’t think we’ll ever run out of hidden treasures and cultures,” he enthused. “I think it’s so vast and magical that it will never run out of secrets!”
(“Hidden Cities: Extreme” will start airing in October. For schedule announcements, visit facebook.com/hiddencities.)
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