This month’s MUSE is Vianca Soleil, interior designer and founder of UNNA, an eco-resort built on Puro Island. Vianca has always been a frequent traveler and found herself drawn to remote places - inspired by time by the sea and the simple, slow living island life has brought her.
Outside of sourcing materials on the island and building the small resort she calls home, Vianca spends her time hiking, swimming, and fulfilling her creative passions, like photography.
I am inspired by her creativity and eye for design — UNNA is already on my travel wishlist. I hope you enjoy reading Vianca’s interview as much as I did.
To you, MARYSIA is...
A vacation mood! I also really appreciate the beautiful craftsmanship of the pieces.
Tell us about the island where you live and how you came to choose to live there.
It’s been almost three years now since I moved from the city to Puro, a small and secluded island in Romblon. Apart from its untouched beauty, its also rich in marble deposits. I’ve always dreamt of living closer to nature and I imagined it in a wooden beach hut filled with marble pieces. We’re currently in the building stage. So far, it’s been challenging yet fulfilling.
What is a typical day on Puro Island?
Most of my time is spent overseeing the build and upkeep of the property. In between, I go for a swim or hike and find time for other creative projects like photography. Days on the island are simple and unrushed. The residents are self-sustaining and most of them rely on the ocean for their livelihood. There’s so much to be learnt from their way of life.
Do you have a wellness or skin care routine that is special? Any favorite beauty brands of sunscreens?
Tell us about your decision to share Unna as an eco-resort.
Unna is firstly our home, an attempt to live that island life and to do it with respect for nature. I think we’re doing just that in this special place we found. A lot of people long for the same thing but could be based in the city. So the idea of growing into a small eco-resort came naturally. We’d like to share the experience to other travellers.
What was your favorite part of the process when designing Unna?
There are so many! One is the challenge of designing a structure using natural materials sourced within Romblon Islands. Also observing how the landscape is framed by the openings and how the huts are filled with sunlight throughout the day.
Your photography is gorgeous. Do you have any tips for setting the scene to take a great photo? What do you look for in terms of light?
I enjoy playing around with compositions and try to capture moments instead of meticulously planning shots. Technicality doesn’t always make a great image. I think it’s one’s openness in creativity that creates authentic beauty. In terms of light, sunrise and sunset light always!
You’ve traveled all over the world. What are your packing tips? What is one thing you never travel without?
I used to be an overpacker but over time, I’ve improved. There’s great value in knowing you saved time and energy with some practical choices. Wrinkle free fabrics especially during long flights, repeating some pieces and styling it differently and wearing favorite accessories so it makes traveling even more special. I love going on solo trips and one thing I probably would never travel without is music.