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November 2, 2015

Why is PMAP an institution in the modelling industry? What is a MODÉLE?

From left to right: Renee Salud, Project Director Angel Agustin-Co, outgoing PMAP President Mary Jane “MJ” Torres, President of Zen Institute Raphael Kiefer, PMAP President.

In response to what they believed were conditions in the fashion-modeling industry that needed to be professionalized, top-caliber models founded the Professional Models Association of the Philippines, or PMAP, in 1987. They sought for reasonable working hours and standardized compensation for model bookings. “As a union we are vocal with our rights. As an association, we have a vision of what we want to become in the future,” says one of the original members, Tina Maristela-Ocampo, who co-founded the organization with co-models Ronnie Asuncion and Robert David.

PMAP is the very first of its kind in Asia, and probably the world. It is the only organization of models run by models themselves, each confident of their own talents, abilities and capabilities to manage and plan their modeling careers. Established on February 11, 1987, the PMAP aims to “uplift, protect and professionalize the modeling industry in the Philippines, and to develop and stabilize, national and international awareness, participation, involvement and competition in the field of modeling.”

The PMAP served as a key force in the development and upgrading of the local modeling industry, with the firm belief that as a united group, models can band and work together for their own protection and progress. Contrary to some beliefs, the PMAP is not an agency but a cross between an association and a union of models. Succeeding members of PMAP have sought to maintain and improve these standards, seeking the professional services of legal and financial consultants.

PMAP male and female models are distinguished for their physical attributes (clear skin, healthy hair, great height and good looks) as well as their overall attitude and disposition. They are well paid, high profile and top of mind among designers and clients.

More often than not, a PMAP model has a prominent place in the industry. Their faces are splashed across top fashion magazine covers, national advertisements, international commercials and fashion shows here and abroad.

They are trailblazers (Tina Maristela, Tetta Ortiz, Suyene Chi, Leo Rabago, JB Abesamis, Annette Coronel); beauty queens (Izza Gonzalez, Desiree Verdadero, Marilen Espino, Abbygala Arenas, Gem Padilla, Mafae Yunon, Valerie Wiegmann); icons (Tweetie de Leon, Patty Bettita, Marina Benipayo, Denden Abesamis, Wilma Doesnt) and a roster of celebrities (Eric Quizon, John Estrada, Ornussa Cadness, Sanya Smith, Phoemela Baranda).


On its 28th year, PMAP is on the hunt to discover and mentor aspiring or experienced models with immense potential to become the next Filipino model archetype and influence the course of professional modeling in the Philippines. Girls must at least be 5’8 tall with a waistline of 24 inches, while the boys must at least be 5’11 tall.

A Modéle Philippines can advance any designer’s vision. He or she possesses fierce catwalk skills, a compelling editorial presence, a memorable screen register and a strong social media following.

This game-changing project employs a tripartite arrangement among the entities of Zen Institute (presenter) and A Concept (producer) and legendary designer/model discover Renee Salud in partnership with PMAP.

Together, their vision is to be “the inspiring trailblazers in the Philippine fashion industry that provide a premiere competition platform and opportunities to individuals who best represent what a professional Filipino model is and what Philippine modeling is in the global arena.”

Their mission is to “discover, develop, and nurture Filipino individuals to become models of influence who represent the Filipino image of excellence through our competitions. We create continuous opportunities for our professional models in order to achieve excellence and secure a great future, thus contribute to our country’s positive image and progress.”

The first Modèle Philippines winner 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 a cash prizes.

Visit or call MODÈLE PHILIPPINES for inquiries at The Zen Institute at 024122528 / 024411712.

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