Su­per­model STA­TUS

Top Filip­ina model Gren­del Al­varado shares about her Ba­colod roots a her fond mem­o­ries of her home­town, and how her life changed af­ter win­ning a m and mod­el­ing con­test

Cebu Living - - Travel - By Dianne Pineda Pho­to­graph by Dookie Du­cay

Af­ter win­ning The Philip­pines' Next Top Model (PNTM) con­test back in 2007, Ba­colod-born beauty Gren­del Al­varado has been un­stop­pable ever since. Af­ter all, PNTM is the lo­cal spinoff of the widely pop­u­lar Amer­ica's Next Top Model, a show pro­duced and hosted by su­per­model Tyra Banks, where as­pir­ing mod­els from all over the US are trained and made over as they com­pete for a pres­ti­gious spot in the fash­ion in­dus­try. And when one's name is put un­der the "Next Top," cat­e­gory, the pres­sure of the spot­light will be in­evitable as peo­ple ex­pect noth­ing but great things from that per­son. But for Gren­del, be­ing on the watch­list of ris­ing mod­els is only the be­gin­ning as she's set to con­quer big­ger and bet­ter projects in the world of fash­ion. She chats with Ur­ban Liv­ing about grow­ing up in Ba­colod, the chal­lenges she's faced in mod­el­ing, and the lessons she's learned along the way.

Can you tell us about your roots in Ba­colod?

I'm from Ba­colod city; the city of smiles, the land of the sugar cane, and the land of sweets. My fam­ily stays in Ba­colod. I'm the only one that lives in Manila, in­de­pen­dently for six or seven years now. We're known for the best Chicken Inasal. And we're also known for the sweet­est and yummiest desserts, so we're re­ally known for our desserts. When I'm in Ba­colod, there are a lot of things to do there. You're very near the beach, it's just an hour away. You can go to Si­palay, which is a white beach re­sort and there are also lots of dive spots there. For me, it's like a mini Bo­ra­cay. It's just a small stretch of white sand beach, but there are so many re­sorts there and a lot of the peo­ple that go there are mostly for­eign­ers be­cause it's very re­lax­ing, very quiet, there's not a lot of peo­ple. If you want to have a pri­vate get­away you can take a boat to the nearby is­land and then go snor­kel­ing or div­ing. There are a lot of dive spots there like ship wrecks that you can go and see. There's also Laka­won, it's smaller than Si­palay. I have friends that go there for wind­surf­ing be­cause of how con­stant the wind is, it doesn't fluc­tu­ate. There are lots of places to go, like restau­rants and bars. There's this place called Art Dis­trict and when I'm in Ba­colod, I'm al­ways there be­cause I have friends who own bars and restos. Art Dis­trict is like one big de­vel­op­ment that has bars and restau­rants, it's the go-to place at night. There's a place where you can just lis­ten to live mu­sic, and go to a place where you can have dif­fer­ent types of cuisines like Span­ish, Ital­ian, and Asian fu­sion. It's a re­ally nice place; it has dif­fer­ent art de­signs on the walls from lo­cal artists. Very artsy-fartsy!

What do you miss about your home­town?

I miss the laid-back vibe. It's very re­lax­ing. The time moves slowly com­pared to when you're here in the city. You're wait­ing for the time to move, it's very laid-back. There's so much free time, you can do what­ever you like—go to the beach, rent a bike, eat, etc. I miss bik­ing up the moun­tain.

How did you start as a model?

I moved to Manila in 2006 and started do­ing a few shows here and there, noth­ing ma­jor yet. But I was in­tro­duced by [model] Ria [Bo­li­var] to run­way di­rec­tor Robby Car­mona. So I was able to join some of the ma­jor shows be­fore I joined Philip­pines' Next Top Model in 2007. The kick­start of my ca­reer was re­ally be­cause of PNTM, and I won it. So af­ter that I was able to meet more peo­ple and I was in­cluded in ev­ery sin­gle show that was led by ma­jor di­rec­tors like Jackie Aquino, Joey Espino, Ariel Lozada… and that was the start of it.

What were the chal­lenges did you ex­pe­ri­ence while you were in PNTM?

I guess the chal­lenge was be­ing able to stand out amongst 15 other girls be­cause ev­ery­one is dif­fer­ent and unique. The other girls had their own spe­cial qual­i­ties, like some of the girls were re­ally good at photo shoots and some of the girls were good at do­ing com­mer­cials. Dur­ing the first few episodes I wasn't re­ally no­ticed. So I had to show progress as the show went on. And it was dif­fi­cult, in a way, be­cause you're friends with [the other girls] and at the same time you're com­pet­ing with them. That was the ob­sta­cle, I guess.

What did you learn from the show?

Well I've learned to be very com­pet­i­tive, though not with other peo­ple but rather with my­self. Be­cause if I com­pete with oth­ers I'm al­ways go­ing to be at the risk of fail­ure, but if I com­pete with my­self I'm

al­ways go­ing to put my­self at a higher stan­dard.

Aside from be­ing part of a lot of ma­jor shows, how has your life changed af­ter win­ning?

Af­ter win­ning, I made a lot of friends and peo­ple no­tice me [in pub­lic], in a way. Also I was able to get a lot of projects and I was able to travel abroad with­out hav­ing to pay a sin­gle penny. Most of my trav­els from the time I won up to to­day were mainly for mod­el­ing. It re­ally has opened me to dif­fer­ent op­por­tu­ni­ties in terms of mod­el­ing and other fields of this in­dus­try. What projects are you do­ing at the mo­ment? Right now, I'm work­ing for a real es­tate com­pany— mar­ket­ing Trump Tower Manila. Aside from that I'm also mod­el­ing— I've been do­ing a lot of shoots and run­ways. I'm ac­tu­ally wait­ing for this one pro­ject; it's one of the big­gest, I think, for this year. I'm go­ing to be on the cover shoot of an in­ter­na­tional mag­a­zine. Al­though it's a men's mag­a­zine, I, of course, don't plan to go nude though. It's not go­ing to be [ pub­lished] here in the Philip­pines, but in Europe.

Can you tell us about your beauty and fit­ness reg­i­men?

Mainly I do cir­cuit train­ing so I do dif­fer­ent rou­tines as much as I can in a cer­tain time. Con­sid­er­ing my work sched­ule is a bit hec­tic at the mo­ment, I still squeeze in thirty min­utes to an hour a day. I also main­tain a ve­gan and veg­e­tar­ian diet. I used to be strictly ve­gan but now I am ex­per­i­ment­ing on the things I've been eat­ing and see­ing on how it af­fects my body. I'm very par­tic­u­lar with the things that I eat. I eat or­ganic and a lot of fruits and veg­eta­bles. I'm a be­liever of the or­ganic life­style.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.