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Top PH models’ group vows to address drugs issue

Melani Marquez

Premier Filipino fashion designer Renee Salud has revealed that many fashion models have dealt with drugs as the Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP) has vowed to address the issue.

“It is common knowledge not only in the modelling world, even in show business, that many fashion models take drugs,” said Salud, in an exclusive interview during the casting call for the 2016 Modele Philippines search, sponsored by the PMAP held at the Fort in Taguig City recently.

“This will be one of our subject matters, that we will address this by giving advice to the candidates of Modele Philippines. We will be anti-drug advocates and we will tell them not to use drugs to be famous,” Salud said.

The legendary fashion designer said that many fashion models have taken drugs to have that sense of belonging. “Most of the models did take drugs because they want to belong or they want to fit in. It is a common knowledge.”

But Salud was quick to say that he was not referring to the models of PMAP, the most prestigious modeling association in the country. “Not we. Not in PMAP.”

Modele Philippines
Salud said that Modele Philippines is conducting a nationwide screening process to discover and mentor aspiring or experienced models with immense potential to become the next Filipino model and influence the course of professional modeling in the Philippines.

It is also PMAP’s first foray into modeling contests after 28 years of existence, he added.

“An unknown or inexperienced model needs all the honing, polishing and nurturing on the rudiments of modeling that he or she can get to make it big in the industry,” said Angel Agustin Co, former president of PMAP.

Salud said that the final casting calls will be held at Marco Polo Davao (for the Davao/Mindanao screening), July 31; and Marco Polo Cebu (Cebu/Visayas screening), August 7.

Girls must be at least 5’8 tall with a waistline of 24 inches while the boys must at least be 5’11 tall.

Salud said that the competition will have four preliminary challenges. Each challenge is to be preceded by a master class to be conducted by a fashion luminary such as model, photographer, stylist, director, etc. These challenges are Catwalk Challenge, the Model Look Challenge, the Face Challenge, and the Body Challenge.

The first Modele Philippines winners – a boy and a girl – will receive a high level of exposure in the modeling world, the opportunity to work with the industry’s best, a one-year endorsement contract with Zen Institute, a fashion spread in a top fashion magazine, free trip to Thailand and cash prizes.

Among members of PMAP are reigning Miss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina, Tina Maristela Ocampo, Marina Benipayo, Tweetie de Leon, Apples Aberin, Patty Betita, Phoemela Baranda, Rissa Mananquil and others.

Melanie Marquez
Salud is the legendary fashion designer and mentor of Filipino fashion models, including Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez, 1984 Miss Universe third runner-up Desiree Verdadero and the late 1980 Miss 3rd runner-up Chat Silayan.

Salud recalled the first time he discovered Marquez, now an actress, in an interview for entertainment website PEP.

“Si Melanie, sa kalye pa lamang, naglalakad pa lamang, ‘Ay pootah ka, halika rito!’ Kita mo na agad siya, nangingibabaw;

‘And palibhasa nga I made fashion shows all over the world, dala-dala ko ‘yan;

“Kitang-kita agad siya, kaya si Mrs. Imelda Marcos, enjoy na enjoy siya;

“Kapag may dignitary rito at iniipon lahat ng magaganda, nandoon agad si Melanie,” Salud said.