Who is Jodie Tarasek?
Initially known as Paulo Avelino's girlfriend, the 22-year-old model is now stepping into the limelight, starting off as a host for MTV Philippines.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) learned more about Jodie in an exclusive interview last Friday, April 6, on the set of MTV Fuel in Mandaluyong City.
1. She's always been proud of her Filipino roots.
Jodie grew up in Sydney, Australia, and was born to a Polish-Australian father and a Filipina mom.
She told PEP.ph, "So I grew up there, but we'd constantly travel back and forth to the Philippines. I've always loved coming to the Philippines then I decided to pack up my stuff and move here."
Jodie added, "I've always loved my Filipino side, and I think that probably the biggest influence that kept me here is that, I've traveled around Asia, and I'm not just saying this because I'm half-Filipino, but the people, the friendliness, the hospitality, all of that attributed to why I stayed here.
"I made such a great group of friends, like my life is here now."
2. She started modeling at the age of 16.
"I had people, my family and friends, always telling me to do modeling. I didn't really have the confidence for it at first, to be honest. So I would just do projects here and there, for Australian swimwear brands, Mizuno Australia, just more independent labels."
3. She moved to the Philippines two years ago.
"Actually I wasn't meant to come to the Philippines. I was meant to go to Hong Kong, Thailand, and travel around Asia. My plan was to stay here for one month but one month turned into two."
Jodie is part of Reco Modeling Agency.
She continued, "My agent, Richard Yu, who sadly passed away early this year, he's the one who brought me here, and he saw a lot of opportunity for me here.
"And I guess, from there, I just said I'd give it a go, and things just started progressing from there."
4. She worked as a sales associate before becoming a model.
Jodie told PEP.ph, "I studied Psychology, and I was working and modeling all at the same time."
She went to Australian Catholic University.
5. She's never bored with her present life in Manila.
Jodi said, "My life changed for the better. I'm so much happy doing this, and I wake up every day, not really knowing what I'm doing because everything is so unplanned a bit. Like one day, I'm at a casting, the next day, I'm filming.
"It's all different and that excites me, and that's how my life changed the most than studying nine-to-five or working doing something that I wasn't completely in love with."
6. She admitted to experiencing culture shock when she decided to stay and live here.
Jodie revealed, "There were many cultural differences, or like cultural shocks that I had to like step back and say like, 'Okay, things are done differently here.'
"There were things that I wasn't used to like the crazy traffic and how people would drive 'skillfully,' if that's one way to describe it."
She added, "I don't know how to describe, but I know poverty exists, I'm not blind to that.
"But I think it was more seeing poverty up close and personal. And that really gave me a slap in the face that, 'Hey, you should be grateful that you have a roof above your head, food to eat...' You know, the basic things. So seeing poverty, and how real it is, probably that."
7. Her goal is to have a successful career and her own family in five years.
"I wanna be married, I wanna be married with a family. I would like to be married with a family, but I don't know what could happen.
"Hopefully by then, I really wanna look back in my 20s and say I did whatever I wanted and really enjoyed it.
"Same thing with modeling, I feel like I've really exhausted all my opportunity in there, and I think I wanna do that in all platforms, whether it's acting or hosting or whatever may come.
"I really wanna exhaust it as much as I can, but if that happens in five years then cool."
But it's not like every thing is cast in stone.
"I try not to think about the future too much, 'cause I think life is too short, and you should just play it day by day."
She ended, "We'll see, it could change."