It is the very first of its kind in Asia, and probably the world. The Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP) is the only organization of models run by models themselves, each confident of their own talents, abilities and capabilities to manage and plan their modeling careers. Established on February 11, 1987 PMAP aims to “uplift, protect and professionalize the modeling industry in the Philippines, and to develop and stabilize, national and international awareness, participation, involvement and competition in the field of modeling.” PMAP serves as a key force in the development and upgrading of the local modeling industry, with the firm belief that as a united group, models can band and work together for their own protection and progress.
Contrary to some beliefs, PMAP is not an agency but a cross between an association and a union of models. “As a union we are vocal with our rights, as an association, we have a vision of what we want to become in the future,” says one of the original members Tina Maristela-Ocampo, who co-founded the organization with co-models Ronnie Asuncion and Robert David in 1987 in response to what they believed were conditions that should be professionalized. They sought for reasonable working hours and standardized compensation for model bookings. Succeeding members of PMAP have sought to maintain and improve these standards, seeking the professional services of legal and financial consultants.
The organization’s first project, a successful fashion gala in 1988 called “PMAP and Friends,” harnessed its members’ production talents in bringing together and fostering unity among all sectors of the fashion industry at the time. In 1990, PMAP co-produced another gala called “Halo-Halo, Sari-Sari” with the Sari-Sari Store and PRO Masters, Inc. For its tenth year anniversary PMAP produced Rajo Laurel’s first gala show at the GSIS podium on February 1997. In June 24, 1998, the association staged a benefit fashion show to help raise funds when one of its members, Lucia Santiago, met a car accident from which she fully recovered. In July 19, 1999 PMAP presented its 12th Anniversary Gala at the Grand Ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental, Manila.
Aside from keeping up to its aim, PMAP is also busy in special projects and events. One of PMAP’s mission is to do annual charities. This is the association’s way of giving back to society and to the less fortunate. In the past years, the association has organized annual outreach programs with various beneficiaries such as Tahanan Sta. Luisa, home for sexually abused girls; Jesus Loves the Little orphanage; Hospicio de San Jose, home for the elderly; and Habitat for Humanity, to name a few. PMAP has likewise participated in several fund raising projects for the World Wildlife Foundation of the Philippines (WWF), Bantay Kalikasan, and Make-a-Wish Foundation. In line with our mission, PMAP is dedicated to do charitable works and is open to any possible partnerships, tie-ups and/or fundraising which benefits the association and its charities.