|Whether in fashion modelling or in life, Monika Sta. Maria never stands still but always STRUTS ON|
Asia’s Next Top Model (AsNTM) Cycle 3 first runner-up Monika Sta. Maria has always had a life philosophy synonymous with the Lenovo VIBE ON spirit—way before this proud Filipina model heard what the latter is all about. Simple hashtags on her official Facebook page such as #justkeepswimming and #dreamchaser have given us a glimpse of what this young, competitive, sweet beauty is all about.
Unconsciously, she was already echoing Lenovo’s new overarching master brand position based on the belief that life rewards those who never stand still.
Meet Monika Sta. Maria, one of the ambassadors of Lenovo’s new campaign platform for smartphones, VIBE ON.
Making big strides at a young age
At the young age of 23, Monika already has a long list of achievements under her fashionable belt. As a collegiate volleyball varsity player for the team De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers, a BS Psychology degree holder and a TV game show host in TV5's Game 'N Go, Maria’s achievements include being the winner of the 2012 Century Superbod pageant, and the first runner-up in the 2015 AsNTM. This millennial is so full of confidence that one would never have thought she was once someone who was afraid to come out of her shell.
"I used to be such a shy person. I would always be so nervous speaking in front of the class," Monika narrated.
But trying out for her school’s volleyball varsity team changed her on the inside. "Never did I think I could survive collegiate volleyball competitions, but I just dared to go for it," she said.
The center spiker got so much more than court playing time at UAAP Season 71 back in 2012. She shared that it was volleyball that taught her how powerful the mind can be, and how a person can learn to condition one's mind to push oneself through any obstacles and hardships to achieve one's goal. Apparently, it's more powerful than nerves.
"I had to participate in a fashion show representing DLSU's new athletes. I did not feel nervous at all," Monika beamed. And thanks to her sports-toned physique, height, and natural stage presence, talent managers immediately noticed she belonged on the runway.
Her VIBE ON spirit
It was not all smooth sailing at the onset of Monika's modelling career. Hard work, long commutes and even a few rejections were part of the mix. She actually auditioned for the second season of AsNTM but didn't get through. Instead of giving up, however, she accepted it as a challenge and tried her luck again on the third season. "Other people have this mindset that if the first try doesn't work out, then it's not really for them. Me, I just showed up again for the third season's screening," she said.
Her perseverance paid off and the rest, as they say, is history.
It is her never-say-die attitude that makes her the perfect personification of Lenovo's new and vibrant VIBE ON campaign. Targeting predominantly the millennials, the VIBE ON brand aims to empower individuals who never stand still.
"I felt what it was like to be in the bottom (of the competition). I almost got eliminated. It was really tough. But I reminded myself that as long as I wasn’t eliminated yet, I still (had) a chance," she shared. "I keep striving for something better. When sometimes certain situations pull me down, I keep getting back so I can achieve my goals. I keep believing in myself, push through. Never giving up.”
The Lenovo VIBE S1, a unique smartphone with two front cameras and a stylish curved-glass back design, must have been made for the likes of Monika Sta. Maria. "I really love the Vibe S1. I'm really happy about it," she gushed. . “It’s so useful for all my daily activities since I can use it for taking pictures especially selfie and groufie photos, posting on social media, organizing my schedule., and of course, calling, texting and chatting with all my friends!”
The VIBE S1 is the latest addition to Lenovo’s line up of smartphones under the VIBE ON campaign that empowers individuals to go their own way by providing smartphones with the latest technology and features they care about at a price they wouldn’t expect. It’s a smartphone that combines a fashionable exterior with the capability of taking creative selfies thanks to its dual selfie cameras – an 8MP primary front camera that takes the sharpest photos and a 2MP secondary front camera that analyzes depth of field information to replicate human binocular vision. Together, these two cameras allows users to do selfies with a creative twist to it.
"I like it that it's very sleek and stylish. And it's quite affordable, too," said Monika.
Monika especially loves her Lenovo VIBE S1’s capability to record moments clearly as she can take pictures even on low-light conditions all thanks to the BSI sensor that allows users to capture their best self in any lighting condition.
Power to Strut On
Monika believes that millennials like her can also have the power to strut on in life and succeed in whatever endeavor they choose to pursue. All that one needs to embrace is the belief that they can.
“Continue to believe if sometimes you feel you're at your lowest. You'll never know how far you can go unless you try and you're brave enough to take the journey," advises Monika Sta. Maria.