Some thought Maureen Wroblewitz, a 19-year-old who had little to no modeling experience, lacked what it takes to win "Asia's Next Top Model."
She's too short, it was said, and she lacks skills to compete with the best. It was a clear ploy from her rivals to bring her down, to unearth the insecurities she had since the beginning. They figured Wroblewitz was learning --and fast. Something had to be done.
How swiftly she proved those doubters wrong. Wednesday night's episode revealed that she had beaten Malaysia's Shikin Gomez and Vietnam's Minh Tu Nguyen to become the first Filipina to win the modeling search.
Reflecting on the harsh chatter about her led by Indonesia's Clara Tan, Wroblewitz told ABS-CBN News' MJ Felipe: "They were bullying me and tried to bring me down but that just motivated me. It's so nice to show them that I'm not just a pretty face."
Wroblewitz was pertaining to Tan's particularly harsh assessment of her that she is just a "pretty face with no skill."
No one thinks that anymore now that she can call herself the region's next top model. Turning teary-eyed, Wroblewitz talked to Felipe about how badly she wanted to win.
"It was not just my dream, it was really a win for the Philippines because every year, all of the Filipinos were hoping for a Filipina to win and this year, I made it for them . . . It's like I'm fulfilling their dream and it just makes me really emotional," she said.
According to Wroblewitz, her focus from now on will be on her pursuit of a modeling dream. She did land a contract with London-based Storm Model Management, but she hasn't ruled out acting for local television, saying: "I want to do drama."
Some might scoff at that idea, but, as this season of "Asia's Next Top Model" taught viewers, be careful about who you dismiss.