So…You’re an aspiring model, ey?

(Disclaimer : THIS ENTRY WILL INCESSANTLY BE UPDATED. I am writing my part of this entry based on my experiences. I am not a smart-ass, and I am not any better. I am just sharing what I’ve learned, what I know, and observed from the Industry. I am no hotshot, no supermodel. Just one of those who are trying to make it out there. I know a lot of my blog readers have dreams of becoming a model. And with the little that I’ve achieved, I have been blessed to have known people much more bigger than I am. People with much more experience in this. Writing this entry alone won’t give much impact to anyone as I have so much more to go through, so I asked help from some of my model friends and online buddies to write this entry with me by giving tips, sharing stories – something to inspire you to reach for your dream. Because if they can, and in a way, I can, then I don’t see any reason why you can’t. All it takes is to believe that you will, starting right now.)


This is for all of the aspiring models – and this is not just from me.
I know a lot of girls out there have been wanting to be models. I knew I wanted to be one as early as I was 6, and you can blame that on my mother and aunts who loved to dress me up. At 8 I would segregate my clothes into 2 sections in my closet : on the left side were clothes I would NEVER wear, while you can find my favorite dresses on the right. I only had a few that I liked then, but it didn’t matter to me, as long as I felt good wearing the clothes I wanted, it didn’t matter if I would wear 7 of them over and over.

And as for you, whether or not you felt it a decade, or 5 minutes ago - This.Is.For.You.

When Seventeen gave me a chance to fulfill my dream June of 2005, I saw everything unfolding right before my eyes, and before it actually sunk in, I get asked to go to several shoots and appear on a few TV shows. I’ve always told myself how much I loved being in this industry, that I wouldn’t care if I get paid or not, as long as I get to do what I love doing.

Modeling isn’t as easy as it seems. You have to take extra care of yourself. You have to stay fit (not necessarily stick-thin, that’s a no-no), you have to keep your skin flawless, you’ve got to have the right attitude and mindset: rejection is a big part of it, you can’t let it get to you and make your ego shrink to the size of a peanut. You always have to remember that being rejected doesn’t mean you’re not pretty, or not good enough. It only means that they’re after a (specific) look, and not choosing you doesn’t make you any less of a model. And it definitely doesn’t make you any less of a person.

Acting for VTRs, ohmigod. Don’t even get me started on that. I once went to a VTR for this network ad, and I did so bad. SO BAD that the caster couldn’t help but laugh in front of me. I felt like I was an inch tall. I was able to laugh it off after I was done, but it served as a lesson – there is no room for shyness in VTRs, you gotta give it your all, in which I believe I did in all the go-sees and castings I went to after, that I eventually landed final casting for a major softdrink ad to be aired internationally, in fact, at that moment, I ditched my comfort zone and just let the inner feelingerang actress in me act out on the part. And then I was part of the final 3 girls. I had to back out from it though, because I was leaving for the Kingdom, and the shoot dates were moved to the same day I was leaving. Bummer, I say. Bummer. And not to brag or anything but my Agent and I knew I had a huge chance of getting it since the caster kept calling my name and he only made me act the most at the Workshop! (I just read Seventeen’s July Issue and found out Lia Cruz actually bagged the part. I bet she kicked ass!)

During shoots, make sure you come on time. Its always better that you wait for everyone to come in, instead of them waiting on you. I never liked being late in shoots, I'm no superperson to have the right to. If in any case you do get there late, make sure you update whoever you're in contact with at the shoot, so they’d know where you are, and how much time it would take for you to get to the location. Don’t forget to apologize! This one time, Mika booked me for a shoot she was styling, and we were supposed to meet at the Town at 8AM. Imagine how nerve-wracking it was for me getting there at 8:30! And she was with her dad. I felt really embarrassed, it was quite unprofessional of me, deep down I was like “WTH Mika is waiting for ME! Who the hell am I for her to wait for 30 minutes?” *cringe* Even if Mika was an angel and said it was okay, it still wasn’t to me. Never let people wait for you. Especially when you’re just starting as a model.

Okay, so here I am saying all this and you’re sitting there wondering “How do I get there and make it happen?” Easy. First, you pray. You pray really hard for it. You pray for it everyday.
When I saw the ad on Seventeen’s April issue, announcing the First Seventeen Favorite Model Search, I knew it was about time I took a leap of faith.

Two years before that I joined several competitions in school – pageants, fashion shows of which I have never won a single one. But guess what? I didn’t care. I mean sure, in a way I felt bad about it, it was my first taste of rejection. But always think about the experience that you gained from it. The rush and gush of the blood and adrenalin in your system when you’re out there, when you’re meeting new people, when you expose yourself to the world with all your flaws. Doesn’t it feel great? Nothing will ever beat that. Always think : winning will always just be a bonus. Nothing else. Win or lose, being a part of it already means something. Use it as a training ground, to gain more confidence, to realize what you’re doing wrong and to be able to push yourself to do better next time. Don’t aim to win, don’t expect anything. Just always do your best. No matter how much you want this, never take anything too seriously.

Watch Fashion Shows or Fashion Channels like FTV. You can already learn a lot by watching and trying to copy gestures, poses, hand movements that models make. But try to make it your own – that’s the challenge. Do a lot of practicing, or try enrolling in summer workshops if you can.

Lastly, if you do get there, never ever let it get to your head ‘cos that’s the key to your downfall. Seriously. Most of the people I was blessed to get to work with do not have their heads stuck up in the air after everything they’ve accomplished in the industry. Keep yourself grounded. Always remember, that no matter how successful you become, you still are human and that anytime, whatever you have at the moment can be taken away from you. So enjoy it while it lasts and make sure you learn and share your knowledge while you’re at it.

Always remember that you are never too old to make your dream come true. So if I were you, if you know in your heart that it’s what you want to do, then DO NOT LET ANYTHING STOP YOU.

Abbie Almasco

Now, here are people who have been blessed- very, very blessed to have everything they deserve. They are the ones you really should hear from. It took a lot of guts for me to ask help from them, to help me write this blog entry. And I cannot be thankful enough that they have given time to say something for and to you, to help you reach and be what you want to be.

Even though I’ve been modeling for years now.. I still feel like I’m new to the game. Sometimes I wonder why I’m doing this, and what the end purpose of this is? And you know what? Those are the best questions I ask myself.

Because modeling isn’t about just looking good and being photographed. The one thing I learned is that what you feel inside reflects outside. You can be told to act sexy, be beautiful, but if you’re just not feeling it inside, your picture will never work. It’s just going to look like your trying too hard. Its going to look like a picture that’s "trying hard to look sexy/beautiful" You have to feel it and be it FIRST INSIDE. That’s when I learned that who you are inside first and foremost should be your main priority. I don’t want this to sound cliché, but I honestly feel that you should work on yourself constantly. Know yourself, be secure with yourself, and you will feel more confident. Because at the end of the day, your personality and character will separate you from the pack.

With modeling, know that there is a price of entry. Working out, taking care of your health (not starving), taking care of your skin, these may seem daunting to do everyday, but you just never know when you'll be called to do a casting or shoot. Don’t feel like your becoming vain, in fact you should never be vain, think of it as just a part of the job to be the best you can be. So be prepared constantly.

Also, be your own CEO. Organize your own test shoots, network with industry people, and market yourself as if you are the CEO of your own company and that company's product is YOU. I told you right? Modeling isn’t just about looks, you need to be smart too. You need to be smart about your finances, smart about your decisions, smart about your contracts, smart about picking the right people to influence you (so be very wary of haters or negative people. It comes with the game, but don’t let it stop you).

Also, don’t feel bad if you get rejected. I’ve been on COUNTLESS castings wherein I didn’t get the job. It’s not personal, sometimes it’s a numbers game. It’s like buying a million lottery tickets, you won’t win everytime, okay? But when you do you'll still feel like a millionaire =) Stay focused and have faith.

I can’t tell you guys everything because I feel like I am a beginner still. I still don’t look at myself and think "Oh I’ve made it." (sounds so cocky huh!) I treat everyday like I’m still rising because I don’t want to stop my own growth. I want to continue growing constantly, and I’m sure if you talk to me one year from now I’ll tell you a whole new set of lessons. But right now, in this point in time, I want to share what I’ve took a couple years learning...

I hope I helped you guys out. =) Good luck on your careers!

Vicky Herrera

I've always thought about being a model before. The thing is I never even saw that it was possible. But whenever opportunities knock at your door, it would be a shame to ignore it.

I joined the Seventeen Model Search not only because I wanted to see how I'd fair out of the number of readers who would probably join the search, but it was so convenient to submit an entry, dropping it off at the basement of Robinsons Galleria. I never usually do things like that but curiosity and convenience came together in such a perfect timing.

Trying pays off when you least expect it. Being chosen was an elating moment, the photo shoots made me feel like a kid entering Disney Land for the first time. Winning was an exhilarating experience.

After that, I tried out for commercial modeling with VTRs that take forever just for you to say your name age and height in front of a camera. It takes a lot of time and effort from you especially if you live very far from Makati. But perseverance pays off. With the numerous castings and VTRs the almost-got-the-part-but-didn't moments, I still tried, I learned, and I was able to get in to a few roles.

You learn from what you see and how others to it, you learn from the stories you hear while waiting for you turn. You get to learn from others you meet along the way who have done this before and are still doing it now. You become observant, and you take it in you to make yourself better. That's what I did.

And it all started with trying.

Ena De Guzman

I've been inspired by some people during interviews and auditions. Of course not all were ok. I have encountered some rejections as well. Hope my advices will help you, its all I can give.

Winning isn't everything to me, but it's a close second. Losing isn't something that I can just brush off and fake a smile to hide my frustration. It's that will and determination that I hope will get me where I want to go.

“We plan our lives according to a dream that came to us in our childhood, and we find that life alters our plans. And yet, at the end, from a rare height, we also see that our dream was our fate. It's just that providence had other ideas as to how we would get there. Destiny plans a different route, or turns the dream around, as if it were a riddle, and fulfills the dream in ways we couldn't have expected.”

“Only those who truly love and who are truly strong can sustain their lives as a dream. You dwell in your own enchantment. Life throws stones at you, but your love and your dream change those stones into the flowers of discovery. Even if you lose, or are defeated by things, your triumph will always be exemplary. And if no one knows it, then there are places that do. People like you enrich the dreams of the worlds, and it is dreams that create history. People like you are unknowing transformers of things, protected by your own fairy-tale, by love.”

Alex Godinez

They say my story is "From Rags To Riches".
I was discovered when I was 16 years old at the Mall (Robinsons Sta. Rosa to be exact).
Since then I worked hard and tried numerous casting and various model competitions like "Fashionista 2004", I also joined one of the breeding grounds of talents and artists in Channel 7 which is Starstruck but met disappointing results, but that didn't stop me to become what I wanted to be...

I joined the SUPERMODEL OF THE WORLD PHILIPPINES 2005 SEARCH... and that changed my life.

I got the title and went to represent the country in the World’s finals in NEW YORK CITY, I landed the top 3 spot with a $100,000 modeling contract with FORD MODELS INC. NYC.

No words can explain how happy I am and thankful to GOD... I believe that I was in the right place and at the right time, GOD gave all this to me, this is what I dreamt of... and now that I'm successfully working internationally I have nothing to ask for, I’m happy and fulfilled.


For all aspiring models out there!!! If you think God is calling you to be a model then go for it, believe in yourself, do what you gotta do, don't be afraid, everything takes courage and you have to be brave and face all circumstances and then, when you reach your goal you will feel the significance of being YOURSELF.


"If you can see it, then you can be it, If you can visualize it in your heart and mind, seeing it through the screen of God's Word with your 'spiritual eyes', it can become a reality in your life."

Charo Ronquillo

Becoming a model usually starts from a dream, and it is not so hard to make it into a reality. All you have to do is focus, take care of yourself and do not stop believing.
The modeling industry is really tough and the pool of models that agents, casters and editors is really big. But you should never compare yourself to other models and feel insecure that they are better than you. There will always be someone prettier than you, thinner than you, whiter or taller than you but you should never let this stop you from fulfilling your dream. You are beautiful in your own way. You should always remember that in every project there is a certain look that casters are looking for. The mestiza model next to you may not be the one that fits the role in the commercial so never be insecure with anyone, this insecurity will only show in your VTR and that's what you do not want to happen. Confidence is the key!

I myself have been rejected so many times, I have attended countless VTRs. I was about to give up because I thought to myself, the modeling industry is not really for me. But instead of giving up, I took this as a challenge. Never be afraid of rejection. If you are rejected, do not take it against yourself and say that you are not beautiful enough. This is just not the right project for you and you are not the perfect model for that particular role. Think of ways on how to improve how you perform in the VTRs, practice in front of the mirror, Practice in front of your friends or your Mom and ask them what you need to improve on. Be yourself and do not try to be anyone else. You may be the one that they are searching for!

Grace Remulla

You know, I find it strange being called a Model not because I don't love what I used to do, but because being called one feels like you have a lot to live up to. And that’s one thing you have to remove from your system : thinking you have to be Little Miss Perfect. Modeling isn’t supposed to be just about how you look.

When I started doing shoots back when I was 14 years old, I hardly understood any of what I did. I thought that it was merely a fix me up-take my photo-print it for the world to see type of thing. I looked up to some people because of the superficial things, a perfect nose, white teeth, flawless skin. I thought that in order for me to be one of them, I had to be just like them. And I admit that it made me so insecure about myself that somewhere along the way I lost myself.

I slowly started to see the reality. It didn't feel good to be an inspiration just because they thought I was "pretty" or because my photos were in glossy magazines. I wanted to be a real model to them, a ROLE MODEL. I had to understand what the word really meant, in order for me to try to help them understand what I was beginning to see.

So I took a step back to see the bigger picture. I decided to stop attending VTR's and just do small shoots for Candy (how can I refuse Mimi? hee hee..) so I could find myself. I focused on school, became a paralegal volunteer, looked for a real job (in short, other ways to earn money), and have a family.

It's been 3 or 4 years since my last project and now I'm proud to say that although I would still love to continue doing modeling work, I now have bigger responsibilities. And I want to be a good example to my daughter so when she grows up, her perspective in life will not be superficial like mine were. I want her to be able to embrace her imperfections, so she can carry herself humbly, and I want her to be as secure with herself as a person, so she can carry herself with pride, no matter what she decides to do with her life.

And so, should you.

Carissa Francisco - Cardona

I was asked to contribute this write-up by a friend who has taken the time to inspire young girls in anything that they dream of doing and becoming.

There’s no particular story I have in mind…all I have are bits and pieces of things I’ve learned in the modeling industry.
I started modeling at 15, not really knowing that I entered into something that would actually end up as a career.
I was shy. I was not exactly what you would call slim, I mean I had my baby fat still, I even smiled crookedly (a one-sided smile, which later on I had to constantly correct using a mirror. Hehehe). Modeling wasn’t even something I considered- simply because I really didn’t think I was “model material”.

But,it happened. I was discovered at a teen magazine anniversary party. One of the fashion editors approached me to do a shoot. So I said “Why not”, thinking that this would be my first and last time…until I met the photographer who referred me to my agent now, ELAN models. On that same afternoon I went for a VTR, and in a few days I was called back and found out that I landed the lead role! And from that time on, projects just came in one after the other, ‘till I eventually started doing regional campaigns- flying to Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia several times.

But it didn’t mean that I got approved every time I went for VTR’s. There were so many times I was rejected. But that didn’t keep me from trying. I always thought, maybe there’s something better- and really, there always was something better.

The thing is, it takes a lot of effort to make it in the industry- I mean, I’m not even where I dream of being yet. But you know, slowly, you make it.
There is just so much competition- it’s not just based on looks, it’s how you project, how you work with other people, and sometimes even the chemistry you have with the other talents and the camera. Sometimes your competition can be the most beautiful girl in the planet, and yet there’s something she lacks. So, no need to worry about who’s prettier, who’s sexier or taller. Who cares right? If you’ve got it, you’ve got it! ;)

But you have to take care of your body- eat healthily so you maintain that glow, don’t go and starve yourself. Work out if you have to. Invest in monthly hair treatments, and regular manicures and pedicures. Take care of your face and skin by moisturizing and cleansing. Those are the little things—but really, you need to pray, keep God involved with what you do and also making sure that this is the right industry for you. You need to remain humble at all times, You must learn when to say yes or no to certain projects. Always be on time, complain less, work well with others, follow instructions carefully and be patient. If at the first few times you don’t get the part, nothing to worry about, it just means you weren’t what they were looking for- but later on you’ll see. Just keep on trying and in the right time, you’ll get to where you wanna be. ☺

I hope I helped in even a small way, with the little things that I’ve learned along the way. My life isn’t perfect, neither am I. But I work with what I have, and I thank God for every single thing that comes my way. I know I’ve lasted 8 yrs now in the industry because it’s all in God’s hands. I know I REALLY wouldn’t have made it this far if I didn’t have Jesus in my life. He’s my success and He can be yours too ☺

Mikaela Lagdameo - Martinez

It was another one of those summer afternoons when I had nothing to do but read my new stash of magazines. As an aspiring model, you’re usually on the look-out for potential opportunities, such as go-sees by publishing companies. As I flipped the cover of the second magazine, I immediately saw this ad: “Be the Face of VAIO!” Sony was looking for five faces to represent its five laptop colors… I visited the official website of the contest and took down the requirements.

Unlike the other models who have submitted their success stories, I never found myself successful as a model. I have a hard time getting commercials since a friend told me I look in-between – I look too young for a few roles and too old for, of course, high school girl roles. I would get as far as final castings sometimes, but it would always be another girl who’d bag the role. Nonetheless, I try, thinking each VTR would be the one looking for my look. I also joined cover girl searches but I would always end up a finalist, never the cover girl.

Before submitting my entry, I thought really hard about pushing through. If I didn’t win, that’d be another one to add to my list of “always the finalist, never the winner” moments. I prayed for a sign if I should go for it. And God helped me – He made ways for me to submit my entry online even if my hometown had no electricity after the typhoon. On my birthday, I received a text message inviting me to a go-see for the I Am VAIO semi-finals.
That go-see is a story of its own. We were interviewed in a big room by a small panel, who asked questions related to our essay. I realized how tough the competition was since they didn’t base everything on looks; they were also looking for spunk and personality. I think I had a good interview then since I made the panel laugh a couple of times. After that, I said to myself, Di na bale (if I make it or not), at least napatawa ko sila. A couple of days later, when I thought I didn’t make it to the finals, I got called!

The I Am VAIO Night changed my life. Sony didn’t reveal the winners until that night all 25 finalists (five per color) were to be launched to the press. I didn’t keep my hopes up since I knew the four other girls were equally worthy of winning. It was such a pleasant surprise when they called my name as the new face of VAIO C Pink.

You see, if I didn’t try, I would by now be wondering how things could have been if I had joined. If you know it’s going to make you happy and grow as a person, it’s really worth a try. Don’t let your inhibitions stop you from being the person you want to be. Don’t let your insecurities bring you down. Being confident about yourself does wonders too. If you get rejected, aim for something higher. You need to know what it’s like being rejected to experience the ecstasy of finally making it, so don’t take things too seriously. Besides, each opportunity is a learning experience. You would also get to meet a lot of great people in the process. I’ve known this saying ever since, but it took only now to sink in and I hope you girls realize this too: God does not give you what you want; He gives you what you need.

Chesca Sumilang

I learned many things throughout years of modeling and I hope what I can share helps you out. :)

1. Practice your smile. When you model you need to learn how to smile for long periods of time and when your smile starts to get tired it's really obvious it really comes across.
2. Open your eyes! I know it sounds silly but learn how to smile without your eyes getting smaller. (this was my one struggle when I was doing my first shoot, my eyes got really small because I didn't know how to smile properly then!)
3. Always, always, always be on time. As a model you should NEVER be late. There's always going to be someone who's running late but you should never let that person be you!
4. Do not complain. There is nothing more irritating to Photographers, Make-up artists or Stylists than someone complaining. (It also kills the mood)
5. Be Confident! You were chosen for this project for a reason and you shouldn't feel nervous because you bring something unique to the table.
6. Don't take rejection personally. Never think that it's because you aren't pretty enough or because you don't know what you're doing. Yes, there will be prettier people out there but don't get insecure about it. You have your own beauty, your own charm and you are unique in your own way. Casters are looking for one specific look and sometimes you just aren't what they're looking for or need for that project. (I can't tell you how many parts I didn't get because I looked too Mestiza.)
7. You need beauty sleep. Seriously. :)
8. Remember you're beautiful and have fun!

I've heard so many dumb model jokes and people always say "you're so lucky, modeling is so easy! All you do is stand there and look pretty". I no longer correct them, I don't say that not all models are dumb and I don't tell them that it really is hard work. Instead, I smile to myself. These people have their own opinions and that's fine but I feel sorry for them because they'll never know the rush you get when you step in front of that camera. :)

Sometimes I still feel like that thirteen year old stepping in front of the camera for her first shoot but I take that as a good sign, it means I have more to learn and more to experience. I got sucked into the modeling world faster than I could have ever imagined and I love it! I've had so much fun and met so many great people that have become really good friends of mine. I've been so blessed to be able to have experienced all that I have.

If this is something you really see yourself doing then go for it! Fight for it. Always remember that you have something special, work hard, learn a lot and have fun! :) Good luck!:)

Arianna Colamonici

(*photo credits : Abbie Almasco [Sara Black] / Grace Remulla [Bon Villanueva] / Mika Lagdameo-Martinez [Raymund Isaac] )

(Because Modeling IS serious business. I'm winking at you right now, Jay Aggabao)

TIP NUMBER ONE : Do your research on modeling agencies you’ve heard about. Do a walk-in on each one that you fancy being a “part of”. You’ll have to sign non-exclusive contracts / fill out information sheets. They’ll be taking your VTRs and Folio pics for their file to show to their clients, so you have to look your best! And be ready ‘cause they’re gonna start texting you about go-sees and castings, And with that being said…

TIP NUMBER TWO: For walk-in VTRs, make sure you wear light make-up and minimal accessories. The key look is simplicity (always). You’ve got to look fresh, like you just got out of the shower and you’ve made yourself up in 5 minutes. You always have to bring your own make-up just in case, and don’t forget the strapless bra, and extra white tops (especially the VTR staple : a white tube top). But for go-sees, your agent will be telling you the “look” you’ll need to have. Like, the role you’ll audition for is a “successful businesswoman” so you have to look and play the part – so internalize!

TIP NUMBER THREE: Just like what Vicky said, you should learn how to market yourself as well. Don’t just rely on agencies to do all the work. Do a lot of pro-bono shoots by agreeing to do the photo shoots amateur photogs ask you to do for them. You’ll need all the exposure you can get. If you have photographer friends, the better! Make your own setcard, post it on your homepage, send it to Fashion Magazine EICs, anything that can get them to notice your potential, just make sure that you don’t do it to the extent where you look like you’re trying too hard.

So, model. In the words of Gwen Stefani ;