MANILA - Her fellow contestants described her as a "pretty face with no skills," but "Asia's Next Top Model" winner Maureen Wroblewitz clung to the memory of her mother to power through the competition.
"Whenever I felt like giving up in the competition, I would always tell myself, 'you're doing this for mom, and you're doing this to make her proud,'" she said in an interview on ANC's "Headstart" on Friday.
The Filipina-German beauty admitted that she suffered from depression when she lost her mom to breast cancer at age 11.
"It was really tough because I was really close to her and I didn't really take it that well. So I had, like, depression, and it really got to me," she said.
"But at the same time, it made me a stronger person. And now, I have extra motivation."
Apart from surrounding herself with the people she loves, she found hope in one thing that she had always loved: modelling.
"When I got scouted by my manager, it actually made me a happier person because there was hope and I was like, 'I can really fulfill my dream and I can prove to other people that I can.' That gave me more confidence," she said.
It was also through her manager's urging that she auditioned for the international modelling competition.
She recalled that while the competition was fierce among the contestants, living in the house with 14 girls who were all eyeing the prize taught her some valuable lessons about herself.
"I will always tell people, 'you're capable of doing anything if you just believe in yourself,' but I never really believed it. When I got into the house, that's when I started believing it and I started to realize that I really am a strong person and I never give up," she said.
"I learned that for people to believe in you, you have to believe in yourself first, and you have to be confident. I was told that I have to stick to my instincts and I just have to believe in what I'm doing, and other people will start believing in you," she added.