From the humble Cebuano beginnings to owning a ticket to the runway: Josse Miguel Lasala

Many talented Cebuanos joined the race to get a place in Manila to show to everyone that those who are from the Queen City of the South can make it to the spotlight. With the many fields to be challenged about, from the performing arts, business, sports and also modeling. Yes, we are proud to say that there are folks from Cebu who are now successful in a lot of competitive showcases and modeling is one of them.

Disclaimer: This post was originally published on this website last July 21, 2013. The response of our interviewee might not be relevant and current. However, we are hoping that you still enjoy our featured interview with Cebuano model, Josse Miguel Lasala.

Now, we will introduce to you, once a young boy from Carcar, Cebu who has now the ticket to the runway: Josse Miguel Lasala.

From the humble Cebuano beginnings to owning a ticket to the runway: Josse Miguel Lasala | Cebu Finest
Miguel Lasala featured on Philippine Daily Inquirer [Photo credit: Philippine Daily Inquirer]

Josse Miguel Lasala’s Bio

Name: Josse Miguel S. Lasala
Nickname: Miguel / JM
Age: 24
Birthday: March 15, 1989
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Height: 6’2″
Eye Color: Black
Hair Color: Black

Grade School: La Salle Academy – Iligan
High School: La Salle Academy – Iligan
College: The University of San Carlos – Cebu

The Cebuano Miguel

Miguel was born in Sacred Heart Hospital at Villa Aznar Road, Urgello Street, Cebu City. However, the young Miguel grew up in Iligan City because his father worked as a plant supervisor at National Steel Corporation back then.

His mother is from Carcar, Cebu, and his father is from Surigao City. During his childhood and teenage years, he spent them in Iligan City.

During summer time, the Lasala Family always, if not often, comes home to Cebu for a vacation. After he graduated High School, he decided to take up his college degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurship at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City.

Miguel just recently moved to Manila to try a shot at modeling and luckily, it has blossomed and what he prayed for to happen.

Get to know Miguel better

We had known Miguel Lasala for quite a while. He joined to a lot of fashion shows presented in Manila for the Philippine Fashion Week and the Bench Universe 2012. You might have seen him on one of the commercial ads on TV from GSM Blue with the beautiful Anne Curtis.

If you haven’t, go to the 0:16 timestamp and see the guy at the most left of the video.

Still no? Well, he’s topless? Watch again.

Just recently, Miguel joined the Mr. and Ms. Chinatown Philippines 2013 competing with 15 others. He made it to the top finalist. The pageant is a partnership of Miss Chinatown Foundation, Inc., and ABS-CBN Corporation. It is a unique pageant that embodies the achievements of the modern Chinese-Filipino man and woman from the Chinese community of the country, to serve as a unifying event for Chinese-Filipino, to show the diversity of beauty in the Chinese-Filipino culture and to spearhead a new pageant rich in Chinese tradition and modern touches.

From the humble Cebuano beginnings to owning a ticket to the runway: Josse Miguel Lasala | Cebu Finest
Miguel for Mr. Chinatown Philippines 2013 [Photo credit:; photo originally from this website]

We have the chance to personally contact Miguel and asked him questions to be featured here on our website. Fortunately, amidst his hectic schedule at work, he had managed to respond to our questions for you to read and to know him better.

What does Miguel Lasala love about Cebu?

What do I love about Cebu? Simply by being Cebu. Known to have one of the best tourist destinations in the country, that are not too far from the city proper, the fair weather, the good food, particularly LECHON! The city itself where its highly urbanized but still has a touch of a provincial ambiance, and the people, Cebuanos, known to be very accommodating, friendly, and highly empowered individuals who rise to the challenges of the modern world.

How old are you when you started modeling? What was your first major break as a model and how was it?

I started modeling really late, at the age of 18 since I focused more on my studies. My first major break as a model was when I got in for Philippine Fashion Week.

What made you decide to pursue modeling as a career? Do you consider modeling as your main profession? If ever you’re going to choose another career aside from modeling, what is it?

I wanted to try something different. Modeling is something extraordinary cause not all people have the chance and luxury to become a model. It involves discipline, determination, showing different looks, and the pay is really good. Modeling has its limitations, particularly age. And a model’s career peaks at their mid-20′s to late 20′s. At this point, I’ll consider a graceful exit and be in the corporate world so I can also practice what I learned back in college. I would also consider putting up a business but nothing yet in particular.

From the humble Cebuano beginnings to owning a ticket to the runway: Josse Miguel Lasala | Cebu Finest
At the Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2012 [Photo credit: Miguel Lasala on Facebook]

When was the last time you went back here in Cebu? When are you planning to come back?

I went home last holy week and spent it with my family. And I’m planning to go home sometime this year.

Last year, Miguel was invited to escort the contestants of the Queen of Cebu 2012 which was held last November 9, 2012, at the Grand Pacific Ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. He was also here in the city last July 20, 2013, for the Inquirer Lifestyle’s 2013 Face-Off Fashion show at the Santa Maria Grand Ballroom, Radisson Blu Hotel with other fashion models like Georgina Wilson and Sam Ajdani.

What made you decide to join Mr. and Ms. Chinatown Philippines 2013 pageant? What preparation did you make to join the contest? What is your advocacy to promote the Filipino-Chinese culture in our country?

I wanted to discover and to know the rich Chinese-Filipino culture and tradition. And it was also a great exposure and experience that opened a lot of doors for me for my modeling career and probably my showbiz career.

We’ve read from online reports that aside from making it as one of the top finalists, you’ve won Mr. Congeniality award.

Yes, I am happy and proud that my colleagues voted me for that award and they find me friendly and accommodating.

What is the one thing about Filipino-Chinese that you consider very funny to talk about or not true?

[That] they are stingy or in layman’s term, “kuripot”; most of them love to shop, travel and eat in expensive restaurants.

From the humble Cebuano beginnings to owning a ticket to the runway: Josse Miguel Lasala | Cebu Finest
Miguel at the Mr. Chinatown Philippines 2013 Pageant Photo shoot [Photo credit: Asian Dragon Magazine]

Miguel’s List of Favorites

Food: Mediterranean Cuisine
Color: Earth tones (Brown, Green, Blue)
Pastime: Hitting the gym
Perfume/Scent: Bulgari Acqua
Book: “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne
Movie: Nothing in particular as long as the storyline is nice
Actor: Brad Pitt
Actress: Angelina Jolie
Travel Destination in Cebu: Malapascua, Cebu
Travel Destination outside Cebu: El Nido, Palawan
Travel Destination Abroad: Europe
Chinese Food: Siomai
Filipino Food: Adobo

What makes you more Filipino?

My being hospitable and accommodating… Mr. Congeniality, remember? (Hahaha)

What makes you more Chinese?

My being prudent and the value for family

We saw your short clip on Instagram, that one you had a language training where you make faces. You made it feel that Chinese/Mandarin is difficult. Is it really difficult?

Surprisingly, I got a good grade during the Mandarin Proficiency Exam. At first, it was really difficult like any other who doesn’t know how to speak the language but slowly I am learning.

Since you’re in Manila now, what do Manilenos think about Cebuanos?

Cebuanos are competitive and that they can have equal or not high chances of making it big in the metro. Gone are the days where we are branded as promdi* and naive.

*Adjective or Noun; Filipino modern word for people or a person who grew up in the province then goes to the city (usually in Manila)

As a Cebuano, do you feel pressured or are you challenged to compete with other models who are from Manila? What’s your edge as a Cebuano model who is now staying in Manila?

I think in every field of work or profession there will always be pressure and challenges. The locality of a person does not put you ahead of anyone. It’s actually your will, discipline, and determination that gives you at par with the top models here in Manila.

Getting personal with Miguel

Dating someone?

No one as of now, someone to recommend? (Hahaha)

Ideal woman?

Understanding, smart, affectionate, sensible, empowered, knows how to cook

Age to get married?

Probably at 30 years old when I’m more mature, wiser, financially stable and ready to settle down

How many kids?

3 kids would be enough for an ideal family

From the humble Cebuano beginnings to owning a ticket to the runway: Josse Miguel Lasala | Cebu Finest
Active and Formal wear, Mr. Chinatown Philippines 2013 Pageant [Photo credit: Miguel Lasala on Facebook]

What keeps you going to be even better with your present career as a fashion model? Who are your idol fashion models?

The determination to be included in the group of elite models in the country. My fashion model icons are Tyson Beckford and Keanu Reeves.

If someone wants to become a fashion model and asks advice from you, what would that be?

First, make sure you have a good body physique, the height and has the love for fashion. Then you should have the discipline to maintain that physique by engaging oneself to a proper diet, effective body exercises and have that healthy lifestyle, proper mindset, be patient in terms of having that “big break” and when it’s all be said and done, always and always be grounded.

A message to all readers and to all your fellow Cebuanos who wish to grab the opportunities to become soon-to-be fashion models and be competitive in this industry.

Looks, determination and discipline count a lot. This is your ticket to the runway. Once you get into the mainstream, never settle for anything less. You have to continue to be better by developing new looks, new character and be diverse. Also, learn to appreciate and acknowledge those people who have helped you in your growth, and be humbled and remain grounded given you be successful in the industry.

We really appreciate the time and effort you have given Cebu Finest, Miguel. Even though you are busy with your new projects and events, you still updated us with your responses. And we appreciate you communicating with us in Bisaya on Twitter and Facebook; it only tells that you still are on the grounds and on your Cebuano roots.

Thank you very much, Miguel Lasala, and hoping to see you soon in Cebu. For your success!

To get more of Miguel Lasala’s future events and shows, follow him on Twitter (@miguel_lasala16).

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