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10 Things You Need to Know About Tola Orendain

This rising model was constantly bullied growing up.
10 Things You Need to Know About Tola Orendain
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/tolaaa
This rising model was constantly bullied growing up.

Tola Orendain is a self-confessed geek. The 23-year-old BS Marketing graduate from De La Salle University and rising model from Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP) persistently kills it on the runway and on fashion editorials, but did you know that she was bullied and made fun of when she was younger? She has an artsy side that not a lot of people know of—she’s into books, typography, and Japanese anime—and one look at her expertly curated Instagram feed will tell you just how visually creative she is.

Below are 10 fun facts you need to know about this model to watch—as told by Tola herself!

1. "I started experimenting with typography back in 2011 as some sort of outlet. Tumblr was my safe haven and I never thought people would notice or even appreciate the notes I’d write, but I started publicly admitting I was the author of the notes with a looped T or TKO when my friends told me Khloe Kardashian posted one of my typographies on her Instagram."

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IMAGE INSTAGRAM/tolaaa

2. "I’m guilty of spending most of my money on books and art materials. I could go on for hours not checking my phone because I tend to zone out whenever I get hooked on a book!"

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3. "I live for comfortable, simple clothes. Sneakers, skinny jeans, and plain t-shirts are so me. I don’t remember a time I was into anything girly. If it weren’t for modeling, I don’t think you’d ever see me in heels or a dress!"

IMAGE INSTAGRAM/tolaaa

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4. "I used to watch a lot of anime back when I was a kid to the point where I sort of understood the basics of Japanese language more than Chinese, which my mom laughs at because I grew up listening to her speak Hokkien! LOL. I still enjoy watching Japanese dramas until today."

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5. "I was a lazy and uninspired student. I didn’t mind getting by school with mediocre grades as long as I passed, but that all changed when I started on my thesis. I never thought I would graduate with any accomplishment, but I did. My thesis group and I left DLSU with the Best Thesis in Marketing award. That’s when I realized that grades don’t define you; it’s what you do to achieve what you want that does."

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6. "My family and I have always been tight, but what brought us even closer was when my dad passed away from colon cancer back in April 2006, a month before I turned 13. It was a struggle growing up without him knowing that I would never be able to experience those father-daughter moments again, but having my mom and my brother made it easier to accept the reality."

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7. "Speaking of family, my younger brother, Betto, is my best friend. He’s the one constant I probably could not live without (sorry mom! You know I love you). It means the world to me knowing how Betto and my boyfriend, Greggy, have gotten close over the past few years, because I don’t think I could ever have a relationship with someone who doesn’t get along with my family."

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8. "I cannot survive without my planner! Call me old-school but I feel so disorganized without it. I got my first planner from Starbucks in 2005 and it’s extra special to me because it was the first and last planner I collected with my dad. I’ve kept all my planners since then."

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9. "I don’t have a model-size body. A photographer once told me I had to lose weight, and it hurt to hear that, but that particular incident forced me to focus on my assets and make do with what I have. I’m aware that I have broad shoulders and a heavy top, so I had to learn how to eat healthy and work out when I can. (It doesn’t help that I love sweets.) Through trial and error, I’ve learned what clothes complement my figure and which ones to steer clear off. It’s all about embracing what you have and making the most out of it!"

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10. "I officially started modeling in 2011, but before that, I never thought I’d actually end up in this industry! Growing up, I was bullied, called ugly, and made fun of because of my name—they call me Patola, Tinola, etc. I laugh about it now, but imagine being taunted because of your own name. Ironically, people used to say I'm not model material. However, if it weren’t for all of them, I probably wouldn’t have been as driven to succeed."

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