By Ana Sideco and Hye Won Jang
It is indeed a privilege and an honor to be a member of the Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP). Since we are an association and not a modeling agency, the association is being run by the models themselves. It takes great sacrifice and passion for one to be elected as an officer of the PMAP board. You must have infinite love and concern for the association as being a board member requires you to attend endless board and client meetings, to brainstorm PMAP activities and fundraising activities, and to manage the entire well-being of the models—all these and we do not even get paid a single centavo. This is really all for the love of PMAP. Thus, we would like to honor the current PMAP board and to acknowledge the great devotion they have for our association:
RAPHAEL KIEFER, President (Instagram: @raphakiefer)
Prior to joining PMAP in 2006, Rapha won Best Model of the World Philippines and represented the country in the international competition in Turkey in 2004. After modeling for more than a decade, he aspires to be a mentor to the new breed of models. It inspires him to be an even better role “model” and gives him a different kind of satisfaction. Nowadays, he manages a textile company, organizes festivals, and writes for different publications in Manila.
GIRLIE BENITEZ, Vice President (Instagram: @girlie_benitez)
Girlie has always been known as the “PR Queen” especially within the board. Just ask her to lock a client deal and she usually gets it done. She is the epitome of sophistication, charm, and glamour. Her love for style and jewelry led her to design her own line, Benitez Jewelry, which launched its new campaign just this year. Traveling and her learnings from her Buddhist religion inspire her.
AYA ABESAMIS, Secretary (Instagram: @ayabesamis)
Aya started modeling pretty young—nine years old to be exact, and she pursued modeling professionally at the age of eighteen. Aya’s parents are the founders of PMAP, and she feels a great honor whenever she models for the designers of her parents’ generation. Aside from modeling, she helps her mother in their small baking business. She plays the drums and is learning to play the ukulele. She is a hip eclectic artist who's into painting, bohemian rock statements, and pizza.
ANA SIDECO, Treasurer (Instagram: @ana_sideco)
Ana is definitely no stranger to the fashion industry. She’s been rocking the pages of several magazines and print ads since 2006. One of her achievements in modeling was when she got signed to an agency in New York City back in 2009. What you may not know about her, though, are her skills in the field of tech and finance. She is the creator of the PMAP website and is a self-proclaimed “geek” who is currently working as a financial advisor and a web developer, and a soon-to-be-mom (she's almost ready to pop!).
Paulette Quinto, Disciplinary Officer (Instagram: @paulette_gq)
Paulette is an in-demand runway model during her prime. She has been in the industry for quite some time, 1998 to be exact. Her almost two decades of experience has equipped her with the know-how on the nitty-gritty details of the modeling industry, both the good and the ugly. This runway chick is an active gal. She is part of a women’s basketball team, rides big bikes (1000 cc), has basic pole dancing skills, and loves surfing. She ignores stereotypes that models are shallow and stupid. For her, PMAP models are living proof that not all models are all beauty, they have brains, too.
NATASHA BAUTISTA, Public Relations Officer (Instagram: @natashabautista)
Natasha’s first day in professional modeling was actually the very day she got recruited for PMAP in 2008. After modeling full-time for a year, she brought GrabTaxi to the Philippines and acted as their head for three years. She believes that her experience with modeling taught her to carry herself well in front of people, handle and manage media, and close deals like how she would nail go-sees. Even though she is known as the “alpha” and the Girl Boss, there’s no need to be intimidated! Natasha admits that she actually enjoys when someone else can take over, too.
JAIRUS FERRER, Special Projects Officer (Instagram: @jaiferrer)
Jairus got invited to PMAP in 2011 after being seen walking for a show in Cagayan de Oro. From then on he’s been involving himself in the Agriculture industry to now co-own a company called Pronic Foods, a food logistics service. Being the business-minded man he is, he recently started a new venture called iFarms, Inc. which is a company that integrates IT to agriculture. Jai continues to uplift the young generation’s spirits by embodying the #StartYoungPinoy movement, and being passionate with his endeavors.
HYE WON JANG, Junior Board Officer (Instagram: @noweyh)
Hye Won is a full-time fashion model who has walked for catwalks in Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong. This busy model joined PMAP in 2011 and credits the association to her modeling success. She believes that PMAP is a family that has a great support system and modeling foundation. Don’t assume that she can’t understand Tagalog because contrary to popular belief, this Korean mannequin actually claims that she’s more fluent in Tagalog than in Korean.
PMAP Talks is the official Lifestyle column of the Professional Models Association of the Philippines. Visit their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
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