No For An Answer?

NOTE: The first part of this article was featured in the online version of the Otago Daily Times on 26 September 2011. It was written by Ellie Constantine. The photo which accompanied the article was taken by Peter McIntosh. It shows in more graphic terms that models do not have to be tall as in the case of Janna Cachola (centre), of Palmerston, together with Nellie (left) and Elza Jenkins (rigt), all of AliMcD Agency, at the Dunedin Railway Station. Now, the curious thing about this post is that Janna lives in Palmerston, she was featured in an Otago newspaper and now her story ap pears in a website about Filipinos in Christchurch. That’s the power of the World Wide Web for you.




Janna Cachola (a Filipina-Kiwi), of Palmerston – all 155cm of her, is out to prove there is more to modelling than height. The aspiring model, singer and actress took up modelling classes, in secret, earlier this year.


Ms. Cachola is 20-cm shorter than Naomi Campbell and Heidi Klum and 22cm shorter than her Dunedin-based tutors Nellie and Elza Jenkins.


After moving to Palmerston from Auckland in 2009, she turned to modelling out of boredom.


“Moving to Palmerston, it’s a change from the social life of Auckland, and I felt like I wanted to get out there and try something new,” she said.


The 22-year-old did not want to tell anyone about the classes, at AliMcD Agency, because she thought no-one would believe her because she was short.


However, after being bullied for her small stature all her life, she was ready to use it to make a point and has gained more self-confidence.


“I don’t care how short I am. Modelling is not about the height, it’s about what you can bring to the table. I think everyone has something different to give to the camera and runway.”


That attitude and, of course, her looks, recently resulted in her being named Petite Model of the Week on U.S.-based blogger Isobella Jade’s Petite Modelling Tips.


“I was really stoked. I feel I’m doing something good and increasing people’s self-esteem,” she said.


She did not expect all petite people to take up modelling, but did want to change the perception of shorter people. “I want them to be confident about themselves and not be short-minded about their goals.”


Despite not being booked for a job as yet, Ms. Cachola said she would not give up. She said she was the shortest model on AliMcD’s books.


“Everything about the entertainment industry really fascinates me and I just love being in front of crowds.” Together with Nellie and Elza, they are amazing people to be coached by, and it’s not just looks that brought them to where they are – they are strong-willed.”




Janna (pronounced as ‘Yanna’) Cachola was born in the Philippines. Actively performing since the age of 16 (she’s now 22), she was brought up in South Auckland before moving to Palmerston.


In describing her list of talents, Janna styles herself as an actress, singer, dancer, petite model, aspiring fashion stylist, amateur photographer and soon-to-be make-up artist. She’s on Twitter, Tumbler, Facebook, has her very own video channel page on YouTube and even her own record label called Cachola Enter tainment. How’s that for an ambitious and enterprising young person?


Of her pet peeves, Janna relates that she, “gets so frustrated when people dislike me because I do modelling and I’m not tall.


Well, the truth is … modelling is not always about how tall or beautiful you are. It’s about what you bring and how you bring it! Height, looks, & size are just bonus tools. For our dreams, Rules are meant to be bro ken.”


Now that says a lot about this young Filipina-Kiwi which happens to pretty much reflects the ‘I’ll-take-no-for-an-answer’ and ‘can-do’ outlook of much of the younger generation of Filipino-Kiwis making their own way through life in New Zealand.




Which brings us to this story we’ve heard about the ‘chutzpah’ of Filipinos and one which we’d like to relate on this post. And even if it’s probably not entirely true (being a joke) it certainly adds humour to the subject at hand. Here goes:


An office manager at a Bunnings Warehouse somewhere in Christchurch was given the task of hiring an individual to fill up a job opening. After sorting through a stack of resumes, he finds four people, all recent migrants who are equally qualified – a South African, an Englishman, an Australian and a Filipino.


He decides to call the four in the same morning the following day to ask them only one question. Their answer would determine who of them would get the job.


The morning comes and as the four sit around the conference room table he says, “Now think very carefully, what is the fastest thing you know?”


Piet, the South African, replies, “I’ll take that one first if you don’t mind. My answer is a ‘thought’. It just pops into your head. There is no warning that it’s on the way; it’s just there. A thought is the fastest thing I know of.”


“That’s very good!” replied the interviewer.


“And now you sir?” the manager asks Andrew, the Englishman.


“Hmm…. I say ‘ol chap, that’s an odd question for sure if there was one. But let me have a go at that. Oh yes, a ‘blink’. You see my dear fellow, it comes and goes and you don’t know that it ever happened. A blink is the fastest thing I know.”


“Excellent!” said the manager. “The blink of an eye. Yes, that’s a very popular cliché, isn’t it … like in a blink of an eye? For speed.”


He then turns to Steve, the Australian who was contemplating his reply. “Well crikey mate, out at my dad’s ranch, you step out of the house and on the wall there’s a light switch. When you flip that switch, way out across the pasture the light in the barn comes on. I’d say that turning on the light is the fastest thing I can think of.”


The interviewer was very impressed with the third answer and thought he had found his man. “It’s hard to beat the speed of light,” he said.


Finally, turning to Eleuterio, the Filipino, the fourth and final man on his short list, the manager repeats the same question.


Eleuterio quickly replies, “Sir, you ask me what is the fastest thing I know, right? Well, after hearing all three previous answers sir, it should be very obvious that the fastest thing is Diarrhea!”


“Whaaat?” said the manager, stunned by the response. The others were already giggling in their seats confident that their own answers were much better.


“Ok, ok. That’s easy, sir. My answer is in context to what the others have just told you. So, let me explain it to you this way.” says Eleuterio very seriously.


“You said the ‘fastest’ right? Well you see, sir, the other day my tummy was feeling bad. So I ran as fast as I could to the nearest loo, but before I could THINK, BLINK, or even TURN ON THE LIGHT, sannamagan sir, I had already pooed in my pants!”


The manager’s jaw dropped. Eleuterio got the job.



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Filed under Arts and Culture, Community News, Featured Profiles, Filipinos in Christchurch, Filipinos in New Zealand, Special Feature

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