Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Weng Butalid: Bohol's Very First SuperModel

 Weng during her Cebu modeling days
BOHOLANA SUPERMODEL In 1988, Louella "Weng" Yap Butalid, my Divine Word College Grade School batchmate paved the way for Boholanas in the competitive Cebu modeling scene where she was a favorite among designers & fashion show choreographers.

It was the 2nd year for the Ford SuperModel of the World- Philippine Search organized by Jojo Zabarte & Louie Kierulf. During the Visayas- wide regional finals held at the then Cebu Plaza Hotel now Marco Polo- Cebu, she stood out for her looks, her stage presence and graceful catwalk


Before the night ended, Louella was selected together with Michelle del Rosario, Emmylou Rama, Neilbonn Po and AJ Almagro to represent the Visayas.

Her innate elegance & luminous stage presence didn't go unnoticed. She was also selected as Best in Cocktail Wear and Best in Evening Gown.


  Class & elegance on the catwalk
With her fabulous cheekbones, alabaster skin and lithe frame, she was an instant favorite among the fashion & entertainment news editors when the national finalists were presented to the press.

But alas & to the shock & disbelief of many who witnessed the event, her name was nowhere in the list of girls who made the first cut during the finals night.

That year, the judges picked the tallest girls as winners partly because the first official Philippine SuperModel winner Tweetie de Leon who despite her very photogenic features & globally appealing look didn't make the 1987 international finals.

Ms. de Leon stood at 5' 7" (petite by international modeling standards)

The following year, Weng's exclusion from the 1988 Philippine SuperModel of the World circle of winners was vindicated by Adele Go of Ozamis City in faraway Mindanao.

Adele who had the same height as Weng and had the same slender frame and with the same chic cheekbones was selected as the Philippines' candidate for the 1989 international modeling search where she made it as a Top Six Semi-Finalist


After Adele's semifinal placement in the international finals, modeling agencies in Manila and Cebu speculated that had Weng been sent as Philippine representative in 1988, we would have placed and who knows, might have been selected as one of the Top Three for 1988

 Still a smoldering & scorching supermodel

 L.A.- based Weng & daughter Kiks flank cousin RD Alba

All that is water under the bridge now.

Weng is now based in L.A., The City of Angels, where she is a doting mom to a pretty daughter and a handsome son
 Weng & kids
Right now, all eyes are on her teenage daughter who just might be coming home from the United States to try her luck in the modeling scene

And if that would finally happen, Weng's Ford SuperModel journey would by then, go full circle

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