Updated: Jun 27, 2019
Faye Bordeos cuts a powerful, sensuous figure in robes by Epitome of Eve, with her hair curled into gentle waves and her face beat for the gods by the amazing Erielyn Estrada. She is at home in her skin—you can see it in her smile, the way she drapes her hand, the way she angles her neck. She knows her body, and loves what she sees.
As a model, anyone can easily defend the ease by which Faye carries herself as a mere demand of her career. Modelling is a difficult profession: it requires conditioning your body into achieving and maintaining the best shape it can be, all the while ensuring that it complements the product or the story of the brand being endorsed. It requires familiarising yourself with your body. It requires training yourself to be comfortable in the gaze of a camera. Professional modelling requires change and dedication that takes up most of a model’s early life. But already Faye’s origin story presents an interesting outlier to this supposed requirement. I had the opportunity to speak with her after this particular exclusive Power Firm photo shoot. With the consistent looks she serves on the social media platforms she’s active in, I genuinely thought she started as a child, that modelling was something she grew up in. She reveals, however, that modelling was less of something she up grew up in, but more of something she grew into.
“I was working at a clothing brand company at that time,” she shares about how she began. “They were having an audio-visual presentation show. One of the models backed out [at] the last minute. My boss-slash-designer asked me to participate. From there, I met a lot of models and colleagues in the industry…. That's where it all started.”
“It” would refer to her lucrative and relatively long-standing modelling career. Philstar hailed her as one of “Manila’s soon-to-be top mannequins”, and crowned her as a STAR Dream Girl .
FHM labelled her as the “May Online Babe” in one of their interviews with her. And while the majority of her pictures may have disappeared from digital versions of the print magazines that used to feature her, you can still find them on her official Facebook page, or her official Instagram account. She’s modelled for magazines (FHM, Gadgets Magazine, DDG Magazine, Popsicle), calendars (Tombo Shovels, Private Ice), and even for a photographers’ exhibit (Doc Erikk Cruz).
She was even kind enough to label industries and products that I missed out on when I tried Googling her: “[I’ve also done] some social media endorsements (as a brand ambassador/influencer) for a shoe brand, sports brand, swimwear, salon, eyelashes …, waterproof gadget cases, [a] beach resort…” A beach resort!
The years have been kind to her, and her familiarity with her body has blessed her with the sort of beauty that could be considered timeless. I saw this most when she asserted how integral fitness was in her everyday life in our current interview—“I really start feeling incomplete if I don’t workout after a few days”—when in the same Philstar article I cited earlier, she claimed the exact opposite: “I only go to the gym when I’m depressed.”
As humorous as this before-and-after comparison is, it only proves just how much she’s grown in between the two interviews. In the years that have passed in between her interview and my interview with her, she has changed: she has grown into herself and has come to embrace her status as a public figure. Now, she chooses to use her platform to encourage self-love and self-care.
“I love to take care of myself,” she powerfully asserts now.
"I want to be an inspiration to other women and men when it comes to fitness and health.” - Faye Bordeos
And I don’t believe that this gradual positive change in her disposition is superficial either, or that it’s a mere result of pressure from the beauty industry. Allow me to lay down another before-and-after scenario comparison to prove this claim: Recently, she debuted her appearance on the billboard endorsing Skeen. I asked her how she felt about that, and she was only too happy to respond:
“It feels great, to be honest, to see myself on billboards, ads, TV, etc. It always puts a smile on my face to see what I’ve accomplished … but the best part is the fact that these companies believed in me.”
This touching response reveals her down-to-earth nature, and is an answer that resonates with one she gave in the Philstar interview where she stated: “I can live without a boyfriend, but I can’t go on without friends.” At this time, Jerni May Camposano, the interviewer and writer of this article, mentioned that upon asking Faye’s friends, all of them had cited Faye’s humble demeanour and down-to-earth attitude, mentioning that “[Faye’s] modelling stint didn’t get to her head.”
It is surprisingly refreshing to see that a woman with the sort of range and experience under her belt such as Faye has maintained this down-to-earth attitude, intuitively valuing the interpersonal connections she makes with her employers and with everyone else around her.But as much as seeing herself on a billboard overjoyed her, her ambitions don’t stop there. Upon asking her what her plans are for the future, she details her plans to move to Dubai after she was offered a job to work there full-time.Her previous trip to Dubai had been for work purposes: she's now endorsing a salon called Polish Hair and Beauty, she had been deployed there by a real estate company in Manila to look for buyers, investors, and marketing partners to present her company’s projects to. (There was also the added benefit of being able to participate in a fashion week that was hosted by Moroccan designers.) But it was during this trip that she realized that working in real estate wasn’t for her. The job offer couldn’t have come at a better time. But although she plans to pursue a full-time job there, she promises that she’ll continue modelling on the side: “…a jewelry and swimsuit company is waiting for me to return there for an ad campaign shoot.”
The working woman never really stops, and this particular working woman has blessed herself with a career path that affords her some semblance of control over the trajectory her life would take her.
“I’m a little nervous [about moving],” she confessed. “But at the same time, excited that I’m going to be moving to another country.”
Her attitude towards growth and her down-to-earth mentality has been a blessing for her career and for the people around her.
“Right now, I really want a major change in my life: a new environment, a new work place, and to meet new people and to see what’s in store for me.”
Her character as a woman with an attitude that seeks out change is something I’m sure both men and women everywhere resonate with.
She may be more widely known as a professional model, but after a little bit of digging and a conversation with her, she becomes more than that: she becomes a woman of change, An epitome of elegance. So we wish her all the best in her future endeavours.
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Photography by: Marriah Corpus