This article first appeared in the Mar/Apr 2015 issue of WGM.
It’s with great pride that we welcome our Model Search competition winner Kooky Dela Cruz as WGM’s Ambassador for 2015. As we announced in our Jan/Feb 2015 issue, Kooky proved a popular pick among the judges at our Model Search final at Bellini in December where she topped the field of seven finalists to be selected WGM 2015 Ambassador.
She also won MOP$10,000 cash courtesy of WGM and MOP$15,000 worth of professional management services including a professional portfolio courtesy of AsBella Models.
Throughout the year you’ll see Kooky regularly featured in the pages of WGM and at various events around Macau. But let’s get to know her a little bit first and what better way than a casual chat and a photo shoot around Macau!
Images: Wilson Li
Hair styling: Genebelle Raagas
Locations: Cheoc Van Beach and Taipa Houses Museum
WGM: First of all Kooky, congratulations! How does it feel to be WGM’s very first Model Search winner and of course our 2015 ambassador?
Kooky: It’s exciting! I’m looking forward to representing WGM and I can’t wait to see what kind of events and activities are in store for 2015!
WGM: A number of beautiful girls took part in our Model Search competition and were there at our party in December where we announced you as our winner. How did it feel the moment you heard your name called out?
Kooky: Honestly, I was surprised! I knew I had a lot of supporters in the crowd, but so did some of the other girls. I’m very grateful to everyone that supported me. When my name was announced, I just tried to let my excitement show through because I knew that I would be the face of WGM starting that very moment!
WGM: Our readers are going to be seeing a lot more of you throughout 2015 and no doubt they’d love to know a bit more about you. You’re originally from the Philippines – how did you come to be living in Macau?
Kooky: I had some great friends who invited me to Macau. The pageant community is a very tight knit group in the Philippines and many of my friends had already started to work for Starworld and Galaxy. When the call went out for new talent, I was lucky enough to pick up the phone! I originally signed on for three months … that was four years ago!
WGM: Can you tell us a bit about your early life growing up in the Philippines?
Kooky: I grew up in a remote province, a very rural area, and for the most part I was a farm girl! I have great memories of my grandpa teaching me to fish and ride a bike. He would also take me to the farm to ride a caribou. I remember fishing with my cousins every afternoon after school.
WGM: Do you come from a big family?
Kooky: My family is big by most standards but average in size by Filipino standards! I have nine aunts and uncles and four siblings of my own. I’m also an aunt myself! I couldn’t count the cousins if you paid me! I’m very close to my younger sisters because we spent a lot of time together as kids. I was the oldest, which made me the babysitter of course!
WGM: How often do you go back to the Philippines to visit?
Kooky: I take a few short trips to the Philippines each year. It’s so easy from Macau as long as the flights leave on time.
WGM: Can you tell us a bit about what jobs or work you have done over the past few years?
Kooky: Well, Macau has been my home for four years. Before that I spent two years in Doha, Qatar working in the front office for a leading hotel brand.
WGM: How did you first get into modelling? Was it something you had always been interested in?
Kooky: No, modelling wasn’t something I learned about on the farm! I was fortunate to move to Manila in my late teens and a family friend talked me into auditioning as a model for a fashion show. That led to a few magazine shoots and lucky for me, Macau came a few years later.
WGM: Tell us a little bit about your fashion sense. What type of clothes do you love to wear when you go out?
Kooky: I would classify my style as classic and I would say I’m quite conservative. My wardrobe has mostly neutral colours like grey, black, beige and navy blue. When I go out on the town I like to wear something sexy but classy, whether it be a dress or tight jeans. I’ll match it with high heels and accessories and of course my favorite part, getting creative with hair and make-up!
WGM: Speaking of going out, where in Macau do you like to go to have fun?
Kooky: I’ve been known to have a girls’ night out now and again! If it’s a big night out we enjoy China Rouge or Club Cubic, but lately we’ve been relaxing and catching up with each other at The Macallan Bar at Galaxy. The cocktails are amazing!
WGM: What do you love most about Macau?
Kooky: I really love the sense of community in Macau. Since the casino business is the largest employer, I’m always seeing people I know from the StarWorld/Galaxy family as well as all the other hotels. I like that – it makes living away from family not so difficult.
WGM: Do you have any other hobbies or pastimes you can tell us about?
Kooky: Fashion and make-up! I’m obsessed with learning about the newest make-up trends and I enjoy volunteering as a make-up artist for my friends and local photographers in my spare time.
WGM: Finally Kooky, we recently celebrated our fifth anniversary after launching in Macau in late 2009. What do you love most about WGM?
Kooky: I love the broad range of topics that WGM covers. Aside from a little Texas Hold’em I’m not much of a gambler, but I like to read WGM to keep up to date on the changing landscape of Macau. I’m also a huge fan of the restaurant suggestions and reviews because I love to eat out!