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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Charo Ronquillo-Supermodel

Charo Ronquillo is a Filipina who placed second runner up in the prestigious search for Supermodel.

The interviewer prepared an inrerview form that was meant for a FILAM.

Here is the news:

MANILA -- The piece of paper with all the questions—prepared and emailed a day before the interview—had become nothing more than a table ornament. It lay there untouched mostly because the questions were all wrong.

The interview subject was expected to be FilAm. But Charo Ronquillo, second runner-up in the Ford Models' Supermodel of the World Search 2006 was not FilAm. The first ever Asian to land in the top 3 of the most prestigious modeling event in the world is, in fact, pure Filipino.

Apart from Charo's gorgeous complexion and raven-colored tresses, she proved this with the first words that came out of her mouth, when asked why she believes she won.

"Because I prayed to God, and He gave this to me," she declared in Tagalog—her eyes soft, her tone simple.

Her second statement, on how her parents reacted to her remarkable victory, was the only other confirmation needed. "They didn't believe me. When I texted them that I won, their answer was, 'Nagsisinungaling ka, ano?'"

There you have it. The dusky 18-year old from Cabuyao, Laguna was everything her stunning photographs evoked and nothing your archetypal beliefs about models assumed.

Anna Bayle is acknowledged to be the first Filipino Supermodel. She rose to fame in the 1970s alongside the likes of Christie Brinkley, Janice Dickinson, and Cheryl Tiegs.

Standing at an unbelievable 5'9, Charo hardly fits your description of 'typical '. But amid a conversation filled with witty self-banter and numerous fits of giggles, you are soon left amazed at how this perfectly structured goddess really just is. She is playful and quiet, soft-spoken and strong, focused and actually very funny.

On the subject of men, she is every inch the reluctant teenager—one part shy, the other simply disinterested. It took her all of five minutes to come up with a vague description of her ideal male. "Gusto ko yung mukhang mayabang -- pero sa totoo mabait." She finally shared after much prodding. By way of explanation, all her booker could offer from the other end of the room was an amused, "Baby pa yan, eh!"

You then wonder how such a child---for sitting there, lovely and fragile at a 110 pounds, you can't help but perceive her as one -- survives the frenzy, the fervor, the all-out cattiness of the catwalk industry that she is now at the very core of.

Charo was discovered shooting hoops at an arcade in her local mall, a good one foot above everyone else. Before entering high school she ticked off, "short hair, ugly teeth, tomboyish and always picking a fight," as her main traits. Only when she started paying attention to her looks was the modeling seed lodged. "Mahaba na nu'n ang hair ko," Charo joked in local gayspeak, meaning she was by then feeling beautiful.

She auditioned and landed in the top 60 of Starstruck Batch 2 before she was eliminated, a fact that she jokingly brings up during interviews now with GMA 7.

But the seed had found fertile ground. In 2005, Charo trained herself and joined the Philippine Ford Supermodel Search. The Business Management freshman at the University of Perpetual Help ruled the runway. She won practically every award—including the grand prize: to represent the Philippines for the Ford Models' Supermodel of the World competition in New York. It was her first time out of the country and upon seeing all the other contestants, she remembered being overwhelmed, "Parang lahat sila mas matangkad, tapos mga mukhang Barbie!" She said laughingly. Charo and the finalists from Singapore and India were the only Asians in the whole competition.

Incredibly though, the morena admitted already feeling an unshakeable sense of favor all throughout. It wasn't a case of superiority or conceit, but a succession of signs---more spiritual than superstitious, that relaxed her. She told of one particularly moving incident inside the church she visited daily while in New York. An American man she didn't know suddenly approached her, she recalled. "He looked at me and said very simply, 'You are so beautiful. You have Jesus in your heart.' I couldn't help crying after that."

By faith or by fate, it was our graceful stunner who sashayed home with a hundred thousand dollar modeling contract from the world's most prestigious fashion agency.

Charo will soon be based in New York, a move the independent youngster is more excited than anxious of. She's had to stop schooling for now, but she adamantly vowed that even at 35 years old she will continue her studies and graduate.

Already dubbed the Asian Kate Moss, it seems the bounty for this maiden is only just beginning. But she is secure in yet another promise, that no matter how far her career takes her, she will remain humble.

And with God obviously for and the standard model's archetype against Charo Ronquillo, this is almost unquestionable--- both success and humility is certain for this beautiful, 100 percent Filipino girl.

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