Entertainment, Pageants
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Anthony John Garcia: Wildcard Contender Triumphs As Runway King

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SINGAPORE — NEITHER BEING FAT nor failing once is never a reason not to achieve one’s runway dream. Being coward might be.

His being obese hindered him from getting into the competition the first time he tried but losing at first shot doesn’t mean losing till the end, at least 25-year old Anthony John Garcia believes.

He may not know it, but ‘guts and determination’ enabled him to winning not only the battle against himself, but the second season of ‘Dream Top Model here as well.

Dream Top Model is an OFW-initiated modeling search that culminated on February 28, 2016 at Shanghai Dolly Theater, Clark Quay in this city state.

This blogger was part of the judging panel to select the winners, a not so easy task, but it gave us a closer look at the contestants, including Anthony, who fought hard to clinching his first modeling victory ever.

Anthony has just proven that indeed, winning is all about trying, and trying all over again whenever you fail.

Anthony John Garcia with co-winner Janina Espinoza (center), and (from left to right) DTM 2015 winner Mark Hermoso, catwalk guru Eddy Rosdi, Morpheus' Maria Anthonete Fadallan, Mister International 2104 Niel Perez, Arthur Jake Villanueva, and Dhave dela Cruz.

Anthony John Garcia with co-winner Janina Espinoza (center), and (from left to right) DTM 2015 winner Mark Hermoso, catwalk guru Eddy Rosdi, Morpheus’ Maria Anthonete Fadallan, Mister International 2104 Niel Perez, Arthur Jake Villanueva, and Dhave dela Cruz.

Our short tete-a-tete with the newly-crowned runway king during our post event meet up earlier in March led us to discovering more about the person behind the pretty face, and the kingly aura.

Humble and courteous, Anthony said he was nothing but a “good looking guy” as what his mom told him when he entered the competition. With a towering height of 5 feet, 8 1/2 inches, he competed against 19 other male finalists vying for the title. His win only proved that more than his mom, the judges also believe that his looks is above the cut. But his win was not without any challenges.

He came to compete here without abs and refined muscles.

He was weighing 174 pounds, and wearing layers of fats on his bellies, enough to call himself obese when he decided to audition five months ago.

So failing to make it wasn’t a surprise.

Back then however, not to be selected as one its 20 male finalists seems fair. There were around 300 more other contenders wanting to belong to the elite circle of 20 male finalists, and 20 females.

Aside from the fact that Anthony was fat, “feel ko din po hindi ako maalam maglakad (I am aware that I don’t know how to walk like a runway model),” Anthony told ElysPlanet.com.

He used the situation for his own benefit though. “I trained harder. For myself. To feel that I can be better than who I was,” says the young lad who works for an IT company here. Never did it come to his thought that he’d be notified for a chance to compete again.

Anthony John Garcia - Transformation

After he failed to take a spot in the first roster of finalists for Dream Top Model 2016 search, Anthony John Garcia trained harder to transform into a better version of himself.

Not new to challenges

For a stiff competition like Dream Top Model 2016 search, and for a newbie like him, challenges are abound, but Anthony finds no greater challenge than being away from home, away from the people who speak his language, and whose love for family is a common thing.

Born in San Pablo, Laguna, Anthony first set foot in Singapore when he was 7 years old, along with his little sister and mom, when they decided to follow his dad working here as OFW, and to finally settle here for good. Years later, his whole family embraced everything Singapore, and became Singaporeans themselves. But it is not without the belief that in his veins runs full Filipino blood.

Anthony graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Computer Science – Digital System Security at the University of Wollongong, Australia – Singapore Institute of Management Campus in 2015. More than the support of his loved ones, he believes education is one best tool to facing life’s challenges ahead.

Looking Back

A single blog post won’t be enough to give our readers a glimpse at life of Anthony but these cute photos he sent us might be enough to say he has all the reasons to miss home. Forgive us for the cuteness.

Anthony Childhood Pic 4

The cute Anthony with his dad.


Becoming a Role Model

More than the sash, and the glamour of being the male grand winner of Dream Top Model 2016, he puts too much value on becoming “a role model to our Kababayans and a leading example on how to dream and achieve their goals.”

“I believe that I can be part of the foundation to strengthen the OFW-SG relations here in Singapore,” says Anthony in a Facebook post.

Anthony John Garcia with Mabel

Anthony’s first shoot for joining Dream Top Model a few months back. The photo shows another Morpheus model, Madel Torre who’d become his girlfriend months later. Madel, one of the prettiest girls in this year’s batch, won 4th runner-up in the competition.

Anthony John Garcia with his family

Anthony was greeted by his family after winning the competition.

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Anthony with Mister International 2014 Niel Perez from the Philippines.

Asked on why he joined the modeling search, he said, “I wanted to try something new, so that when I grow old, I’d know I have lived my life without having to regret that I didn’t take such an opportunity.”

Anthony was glad he tried. For if not, he won’t be living somebody else’s dream now.

Looking back at his bumpy start, Anthony’s win is indeed a victory worthy to be remembered for life.

Photos courtesy of J.Viven Photography, Kajjo Cuadera Photography, Ryan Cabrera, Dennis Goh

This entry was posted in: Entertainment, Pageants


By profession, the author is a Financial Consultant and Certified Estate Planner in the Philippines. An award-winning journalist-blogger, Ely is also passionate about spreading financial literacy among Filipinos and is managing a team of around a hundred financial consultants/advisors. A brand ambassador for known brands in the Philippines, Ely writes about travel and lifestyle when not meeting clients to discuss about solidifying their financial portfolios. Follow him on Twitter & Instagram @elysplanet. Check out https://askelyvalendez.com/ as well.


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