Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Photo by Paul Borromeo | HMUA: Glenn de Guzman
Let's first take it from where I ended my interview 2 years ago with Nikita Pia Ortega McElroy, who at that time was just launched in a controversial clothing ad campaign.  
The Davaoeña model spoke about her hopes and dreams. "I hope for bigger things. Ten years from now, I’d probably have found my courage to take my chances in other fields such as hosting, or join the academe. Who knows? I may end up as a teacher here or abroad. The thought of going international, in terms of modeling, won’t hurt either. After all, nothing is impossible. Everyone has to do their own part to realize their goals. You just really gotta have a brave heart, and I never give up even when challenges try to hinder my path. It helps that I went through an unhappy time earlier in my life, because now I get to appreciate my assets and blessings, and know what it is I really want to do in life. I put my heart and soul in everything I do, no matter how big or small.”
Nikita in 8 pages of Metro Magazine (November 2013 issue)
The story was published in August 2012. Fast forward to year 2013, we saw Nikita in series of fashion editorials. Cosmopolitan magazine even named her as one of the 8 sexiest female models. It was also in this year that she won the title of Miss Resorts World - Manila. To Nikita, everything is coming up roses.
She is listed in Cosmopolitan Magazine as 1 of the 8 sexiest models
Judging from last year's highlights, one can really proudly say that this feisty model of African-Filipino descent will soon be the next BIG thing to happen in the modeling industry.
Nikita on the cover of Circuit Magazine's January issue
I took a chance to see Nikita during her homecoming shoot at LeadFoto Studios last weekend. It was one of those spur of the moment randomness where we didn't have pegs and just played around with available fabric. Between flashes of light, Nikita twirled, laughed, and posed en vogue. She was in her element and, clearly, she enjoyed this so-called downtime at the studio with one of her most trusted photographers, Paul Borromeo (who was also instrumental in Nikita's success during her first few years in modeling). 
Crowned as Miss Resorts World Manila 2013
I wondered if the dog-eat-dog world in the metro ever made a diva out of Nikita. She laughed when the question was popped by our friend. She quipped, "Jusmiyo! Never. Not me." She smiled mischievously, flipped her hair, and danced around the studio like a little girl.
Photo by Paul Borromeo | HMUA: Glenn de Guzman
Looking at the tall and voluptuous Nikita, whose unassuming air and perky mood could easily draw attention from any spectator, I realized that nothing much has changed. Even after she bagged enough bragging rights (the beauty title, magazine features, print ads, etc), Nikita remained down to earth and humble. Her training at PMAP (Professional Models Association of the Philippines) served its purpose in making a vamp out of the innocent Davaoena. By this, I mean her projection in front of the lens, her intuition and maturity.
Photo by Paul Borromeo | HMUA: Glenn de Guzman
Paul and I were just beaming with pride as we watched Nikita doodle and scribble her message on the dressing room wall right after the shoot. The message "Punks not dead" was already running in my head as Nikita started to write. Then again, that would be so "yo-mah-homies" for her. Instead, in her true character, she wrote in local lingo and spelled out her gratitude to Paul for the countless of photo sessions which, she joked, were sometimes "pinakalit at pinaabtik" (unplanned and rushed).
Photo by Paul Borromeo | HMUA: Glenn de Guzman
"This girl will go a long way. A lot can be said about this young lady. She ventured out of her comfort zone to take on the concrete jungle that is Manila.  Through determination and all odds, she is achieving her dreams," Paul beams.
Photo by Paul Borromeo | HMUA: Glenn de Guzman
I have to agree with Paul. Nikita's star will continue to shine, especially with her carefree and fun personality, her attitude of gratitude, and determination. 
Story published on my newspaper column, Metro Mom.


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