Issa started as a commercial model. It not only
helped pave the way with her hosting but it also
opened opportunities for her to work behind the
camera. During one of her commercial shoots, the
director noticed she was giving instructions to the
crowd to get a particularly difficult scene done.
He told her she had the makings of an assistant
director and so she apprenticed under respected
director Marilou Diaz-Abaya and her husband
Bossing Abaya for feature films and commercials.
She has then partnered up with director Marie
Jamora in award-winning music videos, short
films, commercials and even the Philippine version
of "Project Runway" as the assistant director.
But being a host and assistant director would not have been as fruitful if it were not for her
acting background and discipline. Her initial training was theater from institutions like
Repertory Philippines and Tanghalang Ateneo. She acted in stage plays and short films.
"Darkest Night" is her first feature film and she is thrilled to have landed the role of Michelle
Making the film was an adventure and the cast was truly a family. Crowded bedrooms,
blackouts and shooting from sunset to sunrise were spent with great company and generous
talents. Onscreen, Issa enjoyed making Ken's (DJ Perry) first visit to the Espino family home a
night to live for. Offscreen, she treasured the cozy talks and bonding over meals and impromptu
"Working with DJ was a breeze and truly a
fun ride since day 1. He instantly puts you in
a relaxed state with his warmth and
easy-going vibe. Moreso, was the voice of
calm during especially tiring and long nights.
But it's his intensity and instinct with people
that make him unique and that translates
into the different characters he plays. I
consider myself lucky to have had this chance
to work with not only a talented actor, but a
sincerely giving and great person."
When asked for a job description, Issa's usual reply is a TV and Events Host or Emcee. She's
had several lifestyle TV shows in the Philippines: news updates for the Philippine Basketball
Association, Formula 3 Racing, a travel show called "Road Trip," enjoying life's many
pleasures in "Living It Up," being served with the best cuisine by the country's Master Chefs in
"Secrets of the Masters," and her ongoing daily magazine show "She Ka" where she serves up
hearty and informative chatter to morning viewers.