Fierce Filipina Kat Gumabao Talks About Her Modeling Career and How She Stays Confident

Written by: Carla De Guzman/Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 03:40 AM

Plus-size model Katrina Gumabao has had a whirlwind year. From visiting new cities to falling in love, she’s also walked the runway for Pulp Fashion Week Paris, and most stunningly, New York Fashion Week.

Things are looking up for this gorgeous girl, who maintains that her healthy attitude in life comes from the grace of God. “Behind every milestone this year was perseverance, prayer and a lot of tears. It wasn’t smooth sailing from day one… but because of faith and love, it was all made possible by my Lord, Jesus Christ,” she shares on her Facebook page. And we learned that it’s that faith that continues to guide her even on difficult days when she struggles to find self-confidence.



We got to catch up with her to talk about her new journey as a US-based model, her experience competing in a modeling contest, and the things she's grateful for. Keep reading.


Can you tell me about walking at NYFW for Torrid? What made you decide to join? 

Walking for Torrid was an amazing experience. From the casting to the interview to the flights and meeting the other models. [The] photoshoot, makeup, trying on the clothes for the first time...It was surreal! Something I pray I will do again.



It's time to put the #Philippines on the map when it comes to plus size fashion ❤️ World, I'm coming for you. Lord, THIS IS ALL FOR YOU. @torridfashion I'm gonna say it again and again and again, THANK YOU for choosing me to be part of the #TORRIDMODELTOP10 it was an honor to be included in such a selection that truly embraces diversity. Thank you for empowering women around the world. THANK YOU TO @flypal for getting me to the other side of the world safe and sound. Thank you to @mic and @frazerkh for this awesome photo. Read the full article 👉🏼 #TorridModelTopTen #TheseCurves #NeverGiveUpOnYourDreams #CurveModel #BeautyAtAnySize #PlusSizeModel #SexyIsNotASize #BeautyBeyondSize #PlusModel #EmpoweredWomenEmpowerPeople #FirstTimeForEverything #InspiredToInspire #FlyPAL #PinoyPride #NYFW #NewYorkFashionWeek #FashionWeek #PusongPinoy #EverythingHappensForAReason #KatGTravels #KatGGoesInternational

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I honestly decided to just go for it. I had my doubts. I was auditioning through their online process, and they had physical auditions that I couldn't attend. So I thought to myself that this was a long shot, [but] when I got the email that they wanted to do a face-to-face Skype interview, I was speechless.


What was the biggest lesson you learned from the experience? 

I learned that when the courage to chase your dreams is accompanied with audacious faith and prayer, miracles happen.


What drew you to modeling? Was it something that you felt passionate about since the beginning? 

I think every little girl has this desire to have being all made up and dressed up as a profession when she grows older. I had that desire too, but of course growing up to be big in a country that doesn't celebrate diversity, I shook [off] that thought early on. 


I took my chance in 2016 and auditioned for Melbourne Fashion Week Plus, and the rest is history. I decided to really pursue it because I saw that FINALLY, the Philippines was ready. I saw the positive effect it had on others, and I saw the good it can bring to people. I also felt that people needed a reminder of how valuable it is to love themselves first, to stop conforming to society and its ideals of beauty for both men and women. 


I think it's refreshing that you've got such a healthy mindset about your body. Where does your self-confidence come from? 

It comes from knowing that God loves me no matter who I am, what I weigh and how I look.  I didn’t always have a healthy mindset about myself. There are days when I still struggle with it, but knowing that I am loved for who I am always gets me [back] on track.


I haven’t seen myself clearly for the past couple of months. I’ve been lost in my own busyness that I failed to see where my life was taking me. I forgot about my health and my body while chasing my dreams.... And now I look in the mirror and don’t recognise who that girl is anymore.... She’s tired, stressed, living unhealthy habits, making poor decisions when it comes to nutrition and letting her PCOS get the very best of her.... but NOT ANYMORE. Today, I looked in the mirror and saw exactly who and what I wanted to see. I saw a woman with passion, determination and perseverance for all things good, healthy and happy. ❤️ Two weeks pf rest has given me fresh eyes and a refuelled heart. I realised that my dreams won’t matter if I’m not healthy enough to live it to the fullest. So here’s to a fresh start, a new vision, a new life. God has done it to me before, He can do it again. I just have to do my part. Thank you Jesus for the gift of life and wisdom, and understanding and love. May I live in accordance to all that You stand for. May I be the truth in this world of lies and a light in the darkest hour.🙏🏼 #AtPeaceWithMyself #UnapologeticallyMe #CurveModel #BeautyAtAnySize #ILoveMyBody #PlusSizeModel #SexyIsNotASize #EffYourBeautyStandards #BeautyBeyondSize #Love #PlusModel #HealthyIsTheNewSkinny #FitModel #NeverGiveUpOnYourDreams #ThankYouLord #MondayRealness #myPCOSbattle

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It's clear that spirituality is very much at the center of your life. Have you always felt close to God, or was there a tougher journey behind that? 

I was raised in a Catholic house, [and I] attended an all-girl Catholic school. I have always believed in God, but my journey to Christianity--knowing Jesus and His love for me was not a walk in the park! My father became a pastor after continuous study of the gospel. He gave us new rules at home which included [going to] church and Bible studies, and I rebelled against him. I disobeyed him--I did my best to get away from his new rules and his new "religion." But my father was patient with me, and so was my mother. They prayed for me all the time, and what started as me being forced to do what they asked turned into actually doing it because I wanted to. I began to really participate in church and listen to teachings. I attended Bible studies and even went to Bible school. And until this day, I keep learning everyday about the greatness of Jesus in my life.


In your list of "answered prayers," you listed turning thirty. Was there any worry or fear on your part about turning the big 3-0? What wisdom can you pass on to those about to make that milestone? 

I was worried and afraid about turning 30 when I was 24/25 years old, but when I actually turned 30, I wasn’t afraid at all. Age is really just a number,and pressure is only there because you allow it to exist. Live your life at your own pace--it’s not a race nor is it a competition.


What are three things you were most grateful for in 2017? 

  • My Lord and Savior, Jesus, who makes everything possible.
  • Love and support from my family, significant other, and friends.
  • Courage to chase my dreams.


Three things you're looking forward to in 2018? 

  • More answered prayers and miracles.
  • More learnings and new beginnings.
  • More love, for everyone.


Last question! Any particular fashion advice you want to give for a plus size girl? 

Be yourself and express it in every way!


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About Carla De Guzman
Carla de Guzman is the author of self-published books Cities, Marry Me Charlotte B! and We Go Together. She loves to travel, coming home to her dog Kimchi and spending her weekends having dinner with her crazy family by day. By night, she’s writer and an artist, spending her midnights at her desk. Follow her on Instagram (@somemidnights) for more!
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