by Quay Evano, ABS-CBN News
A Filipino model in Calgary is trying to make a difference by helping fellow Filipinos achieve their modeling dreams — from house help in the Philippines to fashion week in New York.
It’s been a long journey for Filipino Canadian Limuel Vilela, but with grit and tenacity, his fashion career is now taking off.
“Kahit porket pumunta tayo sa ibang bansa, dito sa canada o sa america, hindi doon natatapos ang mga pangarap natin kasi libre ang pangangarap.”
Vilela was born to a poor family in Quezon Province in the Philippines. After working in different homes as a domestic helper, vilela eventually found the means to sponsor his education.
From then, he went on to work as a fast food chain manager, flight attendant, pageant title holder — and now, fashion model.
Last February, Vilela landed a gig as the only Filipino to walk the runway for ASC fashion week, one of the shows during New York’s Fashion Week.
Now, Vilela is helping younger Filipinos achieve their dreams by establishing a fashion event company in Calgary. International fashion designers, as well as the city’s Filipino community, heavily supported Vilela’s first ever fashion show.
Vilela says he couldn’t have achieved his dreams without the support from his family and his parents who taught him not to give up in life.
“Ang masasabi ko lang sa mga kababayan ko ngayon is, ito lang ang palaging sinasabi ko — saang mang sulok ng mundo, ipakita natin ang jusay ng Pilipino. Iyung pangarap natin sa pilipinas dalhin natin dito at gawin nating possible.”
With his modeling career and fashion company taking off, Vilela hopes that his success will pave the way for other Filipinos to be successful in this field.