Mercator, headed by Jonas Antonio Gaffud, is by far the country’s premier talent agency today with an A-list of more than 50 gorgeous clients that include beauty queens, models and actors both homegrown and “imported” (the Boys from Brazil among them).
“I can tell if a person has ‘it’ with just one look,” said Jonas who is a geographer (from UP Diliman), that’s why his company is so named. From Mr. Webster: Mercator: of, relating to, or drawn on the Mercator projection which is a conformal map projection of which the meridians are usually drawn parallel to each other and the parallels of latitude are straight lines whose distance from each other increases with their distance from the equator.)
One of his new finds that Jonas is proud of is Mikael Daez, 22, who graduated with a Business Administration degree from Ateneo (“True Blue,” he said, “I studied at Ateneo from grade school to college”) last March and who has appeared in a few commercials (for Jollibee Champ, Yogurt, Dole Juice, SM, etc.).
Mikael formally took a bow in the fashion world at the Philippine Fashion Week in October last year and in commercials last June. Already, he’s turning heads. A Funfare source said that two big networks are racing against each other to pin him down to a contract (may the faster one win, good luck!).
“I’m taking one step at a time,” said Mikael who is pure Filipino, the second of eight siblings (six guys and two girls). He’s a Lola’s Boy, no wonder he stays with his grandmother in Makati. More of an athlete in school than anything, Mikael was a member of the Eaglets (Ateneo High’s basketball team and the collegiate Team B). A fast learner, he can learn how to act if and when (just look what ex-model Derek Ramsay has shown).
“It’s fun growing up in a big family,” added Mikael whose father (a businessman) died six years ago and whose mom works as a consultant of two companies.
How was he discovered?
“Oh, I needed cash and my friend said, ‘Hey, it’s Fashion Week.’ I said, ‘What is that?’ He said, ‘It’s a fashion show; you can join and earn money.’ So I tried. That’s where somebody from Mercator saw me.”
A Capricornian (Jan. 6), Mikael is a six-footer who wears medium-sized shirt and briefs, and size-11 shoes.
How do you take care of your (model’s) body?
“I come from a family that’s very active, always on the go, a lover of sports. Being active is natural with me. It helps me maintain this kind of body. I work out at the gym three times a week. Sometimes, I run but I’d rather play basketball.”
What part of your body needs improvement?
“No part in particular. I just keep on improving my whole body.”
What part is most vulnerable?
And what part is your favorite?
“My jaw. It’s prominent. They say that it’s an asset in modeling.”
What part of a girl’s body do you look at first?
“The legs. If the legs are sexy, you can be sure that the rest of the body also is. Generally, I like girls who know how to take care of their body, one who doesn’t slouch and who is active.”
What else turns you on in a girl?
“She must be spontaneous and a good talker.”
And what turns you off?
“Girls who are indecisive.”
What kind of diet do you follow?
“Well, I’ve been going to a gym in Glorietta and right beside it is Subway which has a 100-bucks promo. I love the roast-chicken sandwich. I eat it before working out and eat it again after working out. That’s usually my breakfast because I go to the gym early in the morning.”
Is that all for breakfast?
“At home, spam and egg with rice. My whole family grew up on spam and egg. Kung may garlic fried rice, bonus na ‘yon.”
“Japanese food preferably. Chicken Teriyake.”
“Nowadays, I keep my dinner light. Maybe just a sandwich. If I do a lot of work during the day, sometimes a little rice with ulam.”
“Just fruit shakes.”
How much water do you take per day?
“More than eight big glasses.”
“Only when I eat pizza.”
What vitamins do you take?
“I should take some but I always forget.”
Do you take hard drinks?
“Very rarely, only on certain occasions. Ordinarily, only beer.”
Do you smoke?
“No, I don’t.”
How do you cope with stress?
“I hang out with friends.”
What about massage?
“Too expensive. I would love to have it if I had the money.”
Outlook in life?
“I’m an optimist. Life is good and I look at things from a bright side. Life isn’t measured by the number of breaths you take but by the number of moments that take your breath away.”
How much sleep do you get per night?
“Six hours but I try to get more. I take naps between shoots or shows.”
“Basketball shorts and a comfy shirt.”
How many pillows do you sleep with?
“Four. One under my side, two on either side and one I hug.”
Do you snore?
“No, I hope not.”
Do you talk in your sleep?
“I don’t think so. Ask my friends.”
Do you sleepwalk?
“I really hope not!”
Last thing that you do before you go to sleep?
First thing that you do when you wake up?
“Try to get more sleep.”
How’s your love life?
“No girlfriend at the moment. I take my time looking for the right person. I enjoy meeting new people. I’m in a new industry, you know.”
How’s your sex life?
“I’d rather keep it a secret. Hahahahaha!”
“If I told you, it would cease to be a secret. My friends know where it is — a resto in Salcedo Village in Makati.”
Name three women you think have nice bodies.
“Jessica Alba. Miranda Kerr (Victoria’s Secret model). Alessandra Ambrosio (a Brazilian Supermodel).”
And three guys you think have nice bodies.
“Brad Pitt. Hugh Jackman. Kobe Bryant.”
Using only body language, how would you make a woman know that you admire her?
“I follow her.”
article by Ricky Lo
September 24, 2010