I’m half-German, half-Filipina and I was born and I raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. After 12 years my family moved to Germany, and when I finished high school, I moved to the Philippines. I was here for 2 months when I joined Asia’s Next Top Model.
When I was younger I actually watched Germany’s Next Top Model and always wanted to join—but I never grew talI enough. I kind of gave up on my GNTM dream because their height requirement is 5’8” and I’m only 5’6”. I didn’t give up on my dream of being a model, though.
I’ve always thought of modeling as creating art. I like that it lets you express yourself through poses—kind of like acting. You get a specific set-up and clothes, and then you have to portray someone through it. When you wear darker clothes and are put in a more serious set-up, you have to be fiercer. It’s kind of like changing characters with each shoot. I like that you can express yourself and the character that you’re supposed to embody. That’s art to me.
It’s funny because I never thought about joining ASNTM. When my manager asked me if I wanted to attend the casting, I wasn’t sure. I didn’t want to go because I didn’t think that they would choose me anyway. When they told me that they were considering me, I was really shocked. That freaked me out, and for a time I didn’t want to join because growing up I was really shy. I had also just moved to the Philippines, so I was just starting to build my confidence. But then I realized that maybe joining was the perfect way to get out of my comfort zone.
On the show, I would always shower the night before because I really value sleep, and I’m not a morning person! When I got up, I would rinse my face and body to feel fresh, and then I’d do my usual skincare routine—cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and eye cream. I always start by washing my face with Neutrogena’s Deep Clean Cleanser. I got it from ASNTM because Neutrogena sponsored us, but I continued using it because I really like it! After that, I use Lush’s Tea Tree Water as a toner—it’s my favorite. Then I moisturize with Philosophy’s Take A Deep Breath Gel Cream, then put on eye cream. If I have pimples, I use something with tea tree oil, like Human Nature’s Acne Defense Solution Gel.
After getting ready, I would put on a little bit of makeup for the day. After that, I would make breakfast—if I had time to eat! We didn’t always have time to sit down because of our early call times, but if we did, the girls would usually eat something that I actually started—a grilled cheese sandwich, omelet, and toast. With lots of cheese! Then we’d be off to shoot.
Sometimes we would have challenges in the house, so those were my favorite mornings because those were very casual and we didn’t have to rush. They would have to set up so we had more time to get ready and just relax. And then whenever we had breaks, we could just go to our rooms and lie down on our beds. Those were my favorite mornings—the lazy mornings!
Now that I’m home, if I have no photoshoots, the first thing I do when I wake up is check my phone and social media. I try to reply to messages in the morning because I’m not a really good texter (laughs). Then I wash my face with just water, brush my teeth, and work out. Before ASNTM, I didn’t really work out, and it’s only since I’ve come back after filming that I realized how important it is. Now, when I wake up, I do a couple of sets at home. I don’t go to the gym, but I have a yoga mat and a couple of weights. I do push-ups, sit-ups, lift weights, and skip rope for cardio. I try to do that every morning because I only like working out at that time, never at night. Then I take a bath, do my skincare, and then lastly, eat breakfast. My go-to is an omelet or oatmeal and honey with bananas!
ASNTM was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was definitely challenging because, during the competition, I would get these feelings of not belonging and wanting to leave. It was only after that I realized how great it was to get to meet these new people who became my family, and to become so much more confident in myself. I would say that I was extremely careful and scared to do things before. Now, I don’t find reasons to stop myself anymore. I was always afraid to do new things, but now I feel so free. I just want to live life to the fullest. Being on the show made me realize all the things that I can do.