Model Compcards at the deliberation table.

The first day of October for 2016 is the day that will determine the who’s-who on the designers’ list of runway army. They have the responsibility of representing the story of the collection, and ensuring that every moment in the spotlight is translated into footsteps on gold. That is why a crucial casting process is part of the main ingredients that makes up a stellar show. My blog is spilling the beans on what happens within the casting process which is normally secluded to the majority of the industry’s followers in the country.

The Waiting Game

Upon arriving at the Art Personas office, a group of models, looking effortlessly flawless in the midst of the waiting game will welcome your sight. Some would scroll endlessly on their mobile phones, some would engage in small talks with model peers; some would carry a novel with them, and some center and gather their energy for the casting directors.

Welcoming rights

The models would first register on the agency’s lounge. Their measurements are taken by the assigned staff and a number They are quickly snapped for a digitals (soft copy of what we usually call as Model Polaroid) and assigned with a number for their batch line up.

The “Judgement Hour”

They are being called by batch for the eyes of top fashion Director – Jackie Aquino and the designers themselves. They are given few minutes to impress the panel with their presence and walk. Sometime in the middle, Dir. Jackie would take a moment to review the model digitals per batch to see how they look with in natural light without makeup. I was fully amazed and focused how good he indentify those who are runway ready and has that “bookable potential” from the group. He is very specific on the things that he points, showing how experienced he is on doing things like this.

The Casting Team carefully scrutinizing each model. 

On the other side of the table are the designers busy jotting down the names and numbers of the models that they think best embody their collection. Some of them shared their insights on their model criteria:

“ I’m looking for new faces from different races. They must look international.” – Rhett Eala.

“Someone who has a proportionate body. Not pretty, but appealing.” – Arleen Sipat-Sutton of AZUCAR.

“My current collection is about passion, love, woman and flamenco. It’s a celebration of diversity in womanhood.” – Cheetah Rivera.

Final Look Up

Day-end model check to complete their squad. 

As the day reached 6pm, the panel collated all compcards and checked whether they can still dig and find an undiscovered or overlooked potential from the number of model applicants. From the last minute, a few were selected as final addition to the designers’ model crew based on their cards. This is the point where we can really stress the importance of having a professional-looking compcard with strong-edgy images that is worthy of a second glance. Those who will make the cut will be notified accordingly and will be invited for fittings. I have noted some new face favorites that I’m truly dying to see walking the most coveted designer shows. In a few weeks, it will be another round of fresh-from-the cutting room pieces, parading to satisfy the editors and fashion people’s craving. For those who qualified, the runway is your next grilling room.




Image Source: Facebook

They look fierce; they make their flaws perfect; they represent the collections; and they are team #unstoppable. Give your best foot forward this October 1, 2016 to join the runway gang for Manila Fashion Festival NOW casting call. Details are as follows (Source: Facebook):

October 1, 2016
1:00PM – 6:00PM
Art Personas Management‘s MAIN OFFICE
2nd Floor, Legaspi Suites
178 Salcedo Street
Legaspi Village, Makati City

Female : 5’9″
Male : 5’11”

Female : Mini Black Dress & heels.
Male : Black T-shirt & jeans.

So impress the casting team with your strut and get your name listed as one of their living mannequins. Best of luck and don’t forget to practice your walk and update your compcards.

Bless the models!




Manila Fashion Festival NOW promotional. 
Image via

The runway of all runway shows in the Philippines is ready to bring the lights back and present the freshly-tailored collections for the next season. Witness the parade of high fashion ensembles at Edsa Shangri-la (click to see in Google Maps) on October 18 to 21 2016.

As the event was voted as the as Best Fashion Show of 2014 by readers (source: Wikipedia), the people behind Manila Fashion Festival constantly aims to bring the show outside the “fandom mentality” by allowing fashion lovers within and outside the elite circle to watch the show in flesh.

Manila Fashion Festival NOW schedule and show list (click to enlarge)
Images sent via email by after confirmation of registration. 

Go ahead and visit their official website and click Registration->Runway Shows. Complete the needed details and select the preferred date and show block that you wish to attend. By the looks of it, it’s going to be a long day of fahsiongasmic moments as Day two and four have afternoon shows. I can only commit to attend evening shows due to my real job responsibilities. Battling the 6pm traffic going to the venue can be true fashionista challenge, but we know it’s all worth the sweat. You can catch me there snapping models all the time. Hope to see you there.

Bless the models!



Models: Mabelle Corpus and Zarah Padilla-Lim of Art Personas
Photography and styling: Ronnie Cruz
HMUA: Genaly Montalvo-Villamiel
Location: Art Personas Office, Makati.

Watching the BTS (behind-the-scenes) is like watching a basketball game for me. Cheering continuously for the model to give more poses and whenever she hits the perfect angle, I would scream-out-loud as if she hits 3 points. When I was in college, this used to be my stressed reliever. It was the most visually appealing sight that triggers my fashion brain. However, I realized that being in front of the camera is a serious (yet fun) business.

Last June, I was invited by Mr Ronnie Cruz of Art Personas to visit their office to take part of their models’ test shoot to which I have blogged the post experience before. When I got the final photos in my email, I immediately downloaded the set and recalled everything that has happen during that day. It’s an unbelievable and memorable highlight of a model lover’s journey. To be part of their portfolio and the opportunity to work with the girls that you truly love only happens in wildest dream, but hey it just happened when I was wide awake! Browsing the photos made me feel blush (although guys don’t blush right?). I don’t usually get my photos taken professionally and I only imitate the Karlie Kloss stare on my camera phone in private.

As I was accustomed to being a fan my whole life, it was a whole different story when you are in front of the camera. All the poses that I have known for those years seem to suddenly pop like a bubble. Believe me, I was catching all of them when the camera was clicking. On my left and right corner are two of the strongest models from the Art Personas board – Mabelle and Zarah, who are totally killing it from their eyes down to their fingertips. Sir Ronnie Cruz juggled his duties as a photographer, stylist and an art director all at once.

The shoot taught me that models are beyond mannequins with painted faces. They are much more different from the way you see them on an agency board. They are just like us the rest of us, with funny stories from their college life and their existence outside the camera is something that makes them more likable. Same with the people behind the harsh lights during the shoot (Sir Ronnie and Ms. Genaly Montalvo-Villamiel), you will be impress on how creative they are and how much effort they put just to make an excellent image.

The photos may have end up amazing, but it’s the friendship that I will treasure the most. Spending a day with the Art Personas team is superb! See you in the upcoming runway shows and I hope to work with you again in the future.

Note: Images on this post are copyright to its owners

Bless the models!



Logo of Art Personas on their guest area. 

After my long vacation, I was invited by Art Personas people to do a shoot with two of my favorite models from their board. This is like out of my wildest dreams, because I’m only use to doing fashion reviews and model interviews. I took the opportunity since I can only understand the finish product of an editorial shoot and behind-the-scenes stories from stylist friends. However, what is happening in front of the camera is something I am unaware of.

Inside the Art Personas makeup room. 

Ms Genaly doing our makeup for the shoot. 

Model Zarah Padilla Lim and this model obsessed-blogger (moi).

Yours truly has spent most of his time talking to Sir Ronnie (CEO / head photographer of Art Personas) for a short interview and chat. My eyes went big went I saw my model sidekicks Mabelle and Zarah entered the room. They were really young and totally the opposite of their editorial image. We giggled like crazy and got our hair and faces done with the agency’s resident HMUA Ms. Genaly. Sir Ronnie shot the 3 of us in 4 layouts with outfit changes. While a song from The Paper Kites is on the background, we played with marshmallows and give it our faces for the camera. I wish I could have taken a photo with Sir Ronnie, but he told me that behind the camera is his forte 🙂

Preview of the photo taken by Sir Ronnie through the editing room.

Thanks also to top model mom Sara Kae Cruz for bringing the best merienda ever. At the end of the day, I earned the biggest respect to the models and the hard work they put in front of the camera. I am truly grateful to Sir Ronnie and Ms Sara Kae for this adventure that I will always remember! May God bless you and the agency a thousand folds.

Photos and interview with Sir Ronnie will be posted soon. To God be the glory!

That’s a wrap! The blogger in an after shoot moment with Mabelle and Zarah.

Note: All photos are taken by me otherwise indicated. Kindly credit me and my blog whenever you wish to use the images.

Bless the models!



Photographed by Ronnie Cruz of Art Personas Management
Image Source: Art Personas Management Facebook page

His name is Karl”, yielded by a female model with her camera phone ready. As the backstage people started to clear the room, this model came close in his blue tee showing a lean physique that describes “The Boys of Summer”. During our Q&A, he cheerfully introduced himself while he brushes off his nerves. By the looks of him, we know that there is something more beneath his pair of glasses. As he clicks his shoes on the runway, his achievement outside the modelling world is something that can make our pearly whites grind. He is a Dentist by profession and enjoys the runway as much as he enjoys his nine-to-five job.

With his entourage watching and listening closely to his answers, he just gave a sigh of confident smile saying “The Dentist is in”.

How did you start modelling?

I started way back November 2013. I was discovered by Tito (Uncle) Junel Quinones of Art Personas Management.

Is modelling really a dream of yours?

Yes. During grade school they would like, “Oh Karl you should go model because you’re tall”. I was one of the tallest back then, so I said let’s give it a try.

Did you ever think of being a model when you were a kid?

Like what I’ve said, it’s because my friends who pushed me. “So Karl, go try modelling” like that.

Who is your inspiration when it comes to being a model?

Right now, maybe Tyson Beckford cause he’s one of the top models in the business.

What other hobbies do you engage in?

I’m actually a dentist. That’s kind of my full-time job. It’s also my passion.

What made you decide to take up dentistry as a course?

Actually, we are a family of dentists, both sides. My great grandparents, up to me and up to my younger cousins right now.

Whenever you’re on the runway, what goes into your head?

(Laughs) Actually, every time I go to the runway my mind becomes blank. It’s kind of nerve wrecking, but it’s very fun.

Is it really hard to be in the catwalk, with the spotlight and people looking at you?

I’m very thankful for Mr Ronnie Cruz, Ms. Sara Kae and Art Personas team because they trained us. Before, I walked like a zombie and they trained me every week for Sundays. Every little detail changes every week, so I became better and better.

What are the perks of being a model?

You experience something new. Like me, I like to meet people. Different kinds of people from top models to the starting ones. I think I started late and kinda’ late learning from the young ones and the top models.

How about the disadvantages?

It’s kind of time consuming but super fun. It’s worth the time. Because you have to wait 12 hours, 14 hours. The call time is 8 in the morning, but the show is 8 in the evening. So it’s just fun. Really fun.

What is your plan after this exhausting day?

I’m gonna’ eat a lot and chill out with my friends.

Lastly, what can you say about the current trend of modelling in the Philippines?

Right now, Art Personas is changing the game.

Bless the models!