MANILA, Philippines- Two Filipinas are representing the Philippines in the second season of “Asia’s Next Top Model.”
Jodilly Pendra and Katarina Rodriguez are the two Pinays who were lucky to be included among the show's 16 contestants.
In a presscon held Tuesday afternoon, January 14, the entertainment press got to know them better.
Jodilly, 20 years old, took up and finished an Information System course at the University of Santo Tomas. Still, she says, she is not a "computer nerd", but someone who "sometimes loves to program.”
Prior to joining the modeling contest, Jodilly or Jody to those close to her, has been in the modeling industry for four years already and has helped her pay for school.
She was given a partial scholarship at the UST, but she says that her family could not afford to pay the rest of her tuition.
“I was forced to model, to go into the modeling industry because I needed to pursue my studies,” she relates. “I really, really wanted to finish my studies because my father died before I graduated from college.”
With her perseverance and dedication, Jody was able to finish her studies and now finally decided to pursue her dream of joining “Asia’s Next Top Model.”
“Gusto ko talaga sumali ng Asia’s Next Top Model pero ayaw ko na habang nag-aaral ako kasi mapipilitan ako mag-stop. So nang nakita ko ulit ‘yon, nag-audition ako.”
Meanwhile, the other Filipina who made it to the competition is the 21-year-old Katarina or Kat as she’s fondly called.
Unlike Jody, Kat didn’t have any experience in modeling, since she’s very focused with her studies as she’s currently taking a double major in philosophy and business management at the De La Salle University, and also a member of the university's track and field varsity team.
“I joined the show because I always wanted to try and go for it,” she said. And thanks to her friends who encouraged her, she finally had the guts to give modeling a shot.
“My barkada really believed in me, they pushed me to at least audition,” she recalled, which she said happened during her 21st birthday. “They were saying, ‘you’re 21, you’re getting old.’ So I auditioned and actually got in.”
But then, her grandfather whom she describes as “conservative” at first didn’t approve of her plans.
So with the help of her relatives, “he allowed it and I think he saw that I had my time of my life there.”
The two Filipinas are “excited” and “proud” to represent the Philippines in the competition.
“The pressure is on!” Kat says with a laugh. “My mentality during the show, I’m not only representing the Philippines, but I’m also representing all the younger girls.”
While on the other hand, Jody says, “Sobra lakas ng fighting spirit ko. Kaya sabi ko sa sarili ko, I won’t be pressured pag ando’n na ko sa model house.
“I’m here, I will focus, I’m here to win and I’m here to give pride to Filipinos. So more on excitement ang naramdaman ko kaysa pressure kasi I really enjoyed being there.”
The two are not yet allowed to reveal who won the competition, though they’re already done taping the whole second season.
Yet they admit that the experience in joining “Asia’s Next Top Model” has changed their lives a lot.
“It is a process,” Kat replies. “It is a big change especially I’m balancing school, and track [and field] and this. And I want to promote myself and this show as much as I can. So you know it’s really time management, so I’m really busier than I was before.”
For Jody, who says joining the competition is a dream come true, relates that “I learned how to present myself. I learned how to manage my emotions when you’re with other types of people. You know, when you’re with the other girls [and] they have different culture, so it’s really hard for me.”
Will one of Jody and Kat take home the title this season? Catch the season 2 of “Asia’s Next Top Model” on TV5 starting Thursday, January 16, after “For Love or Money.”