Meet Samantha Gomez Supermodel Philippines 2011!
***Scroll down to see a SLIDESHOW of Samantha Gomez…
Here I was, walking into the Starbucks coffee shop where I was scheduled to meet the Philippines’ newest Supermodel, Samantha Gomez. As I lined up to grab a fresh O.J. I wondered if she was already in the place. When I rounded the corner to look for a seat, there she was sans make-up, in a white tank top and button-up blue jean shorts… but not alone. To my pleasure, Mrs. Ma. Theresa Gomez – Sam’s Mom – was there too! They drove in from Pamapanga to meet me. I just love Moms who get involved in the lives of their kids and God knows Mrs. Gomez needs to guard Sam like a K-9 unit considering she’s only 14 years old!
If you’re shocked at that, dig this: Samantha Gomez started her career when she was only 12. She was already a svelte 5’9″ at the time when Pampanga fashion designer Philip Torres, a friend of her Mom’s, asked her to model in one of his shows.
The next big connection for Samantha was meeting Direk Kata Figueroa who is one of the key people in Fashion Week Manila. The first thing Direk Kata said when he saw Samantha Gomez in the shop of Philip Torres was, “Ang tangkad mo! Me potential ka.” (You’re so tall! You have potential.) Finally, in March 2010 at age 13, Samantha made her Manila debut in a fashion show at Trinoma Mall for the clothing line Kashieca. Since then, she has modeled for Inno Sotto, Randy Ortiz, Michael Cinco, Marlon Rivera, Furne One and others.
Talking to this child-woman brought back so many memories. I, too, was very tall as a child and started modelling at age 13. And I, too, had a Mom who chaperoned me to rehearsals and shows. And just like Samantha, I was absent from school a lot so I could model. Most parents might be shocked at that and may not understand how we could compromise our education for a career in modeling but in my case, I have no regrets. My beauty queen title and experience on the catwalk has opened so many doors that a diploma would never have. I knew school would always be there to return to, but the opportunities I had came only once or twice in a lifetime. And in Samantha Gomez’ case, becoming Supermodel Philippines 2011 was a major, major dream come true.
She was age 11 when she first fell in love with modeling thanks to Fashion TV. All she would do was walk around her house in heels copying the catwalk styles of the mannequins she saw on the channel. And she would pretend that she was a top fashion model in Manila not knowing that the dream was just a couple years away.
Hmmmm… but what about her childhood? Isn’t she missing out on that??! Mrs. Gomez laughs and says she gives Sam the room she needs to be a child, specially when they are at home in Pampanga. Mom glances at daughter and teasingly adds that Sam still watches cartoons and hangs out a lot with her high school friends doing the kikay things young teeners love to do.
Currently, Samantha is a student at Don Antonio Lee Chiuan Integrated School in Xevera, Pampanga where she also happens to be the tallest student. When not busy with homework and Fashion TV, Samantha Gomez says she likes to draw and hopes to eventually use that talent as a fashion designer. She plans to study fashion in New York if she proves to be successful in the international competition of Ford Supermodel of the World in July 2011.
Doesn’t she feel pressured because Filipina Danica Magpantay won the international Supermodel title last year? Those are tough steps to follow. In her little-girl voice Samantha admitted, “parang lahat ng pressure napunta sa akin. Iniisip ko nalang na gagawin ko ang best ko. Saka yung ibang contestants mas nagiging successful dun sa nananalo.” (It’s like all the pressure is on me now. I just think of doing my best. And some contestants end up more successful than the ones who win.)
Now that she is getting ready for Ford Supermodel of the World 2011 in July, Samantha Gomez has put regular school on hold opting to do homestudy like previous successful Filipina Supermodels Danica Magpantay, Chat Almarvez and Charo Ronquillo. She will go into full-blast training next month at the Masters School for Models after she whittles down her waistline from 24 inches to 23. Currently she is 110 lbs and 5’10” but according to Sam weight is not so much a factor as waistline size. Thankfully, Samantha Gomez is naturally skinny even if she eats like a horse so it won’t be too difficult for her to cut back on carbs and get that trimmer waistline she needs for the competition. Her choice of exercise – jogging and lifting weights.
So there I was looking into Samantha Gomez’ pixie face thinking how amazingly gifted she was. She’s like a child-genius, except that she has what I like to call physical intelligence – the ability to look smashing even when wearing a sackcloth. It’s a rare gift and sadly, not appreciated by many people who value academic intelligence above all other types of intelligences. Thankfully, Sam has a Mom who seems to understand that each of her four children are different and that her role in life is to help them all achieve their dreams. Just in case you’re wondering, only Samantha is pursuing a career like this – her other siblings are chasing their own dreams in other areas of life.
I was going to ask Samantha to stand up for a photo but my big-boned, 5’9″ self, felt short next to her (LOL) so we just sat and smiled for the camera and then suddenly I found myself wishing that I had brought some Jackstones or a Chinese Garter to teach this kid a thing or two about how we used to play…
Found the Homage photo on The Style Narratives Blog of Luis Espiritu Jr.
Some of the photos here are from Samantha Gomez’ personal collection of clippings