She doesn’t sell sea shells by the sea shore but Cheryll Ho has quite an affinity for beaches.
She believes a thoroughly good vacation should include sun, sea and surf, and even more sun, sea and surf. You get the drift.
For the music student and part-time model, recent visits to Redang and Sipadan as well as to Manado of northern Sulawesi are recalled with fond memories.
It helps that Cheryll enjoys scuba diving. In fact, the passion for diving runs in the Ho family.
Parents Peter and Ann Ho are doing it; so are Cheryll’s sister and two brothers.
“It started with my dad, then I got interested,” said Cheryll with obvious enthusiasm.
“Pretty soon, it was like: ‘Let’s all dive together!’” said the 19-year-old certified diver.
She counts a trip to Sipadan a year ago as one of the highlights of her experience for the wondrous marine life that were revealed amid the air bubbles and rubber flippers.
“I like Sipadan but it’s expensive...so we stick to Redang, which is not as beautiful. Tioman Island is not a bad choice for a holiday either.”
|Makeup by Jaslyn Ko (Amber Chia Academy)
Hair styled by Mallory Cheong (Amber Chia Academy)
Photos by Art Chen
When she’s not diving, she’s driving herself to music school in her hand-me-down Suzuki Vitara of two years, a car passed to her from her mum, who moves around in a Porsche Cayenne to look after a direct selling business.
From her first modelling gig posing for a batik collection a year ago, Cheryll has since done mostly catwalks for hairshows and apparel for various designers as well as fashion shoots for a number of magazines including Seventeen
The Amber Chia Academy graduate recalled one job where she had to wear five-inch platforms without heels and “this big dress made of plastic”.
“I felt really uncomfortable.”
But then she remembered what Amber, whom she described as a friend and mentor, had told her.
“Amber taught me that you shouldn’t let the dress wear you ... you have to wear the dress. No matter how uncomfortable a dress may be.”
She credited her winning the Roxy Model Search Malaysia 2011 last October as having opened up more opportunities in the modelling field.
She is hoping to break into the acting circle one day but has no regrets about being sidetracked into modelling, which has made her a more confident person.
“Before this, I was really timid and very self-conscious. I couldn’t walk into malls alone and had to have friends come along. My mum did not even want to teman (accompany) me,” said Cheryll.
“If all else fails, music is a fallback plan,” said Cheryll who is taking foundation studies specialising in piano.
She said her dimples and double-eyelids are what she liked most about her physique, apart from her long hair.
As a new model, sometimes she’s remembered by potential clients as “the girl with the long hair.”
“It’s always like, when someone wants to describe me, they will ask, ‘Yeah ... that girl with the long hair. What’s her name?’” she broke into laughter.
Cheryll reveals that she’s one of the fortunate few who doesn’t need to worry about what she eats.
“I’m quite skinny; I can’t gain weight even though I eat a lot,” she said, crediting it to genes.
“My mum is like that, too.”
Thanks to daddy dearest, mobility is never a problem even if her own ride breaks down.
Cheryll’s accountant father just loves cars, so much so that he has populated the family house in Petaling Jaya with seven cars.
The four children get two Vitaras and a Prius c, the wife gets an imposing Cayenne, while the head of the house drives an Audi TT with a Land Rover and a Toyota Vellfire MPV on standby whenever the mood calls for everyone to clamber into one car.
With recent media reports of women being attacked in car parks of shopping centres, Cheryll is only too keenly aware of the need to be sensible about her conduct in public.
She is reminded by her mother “to always be careful and alert when going out, when stepping out of the car, and not go anywhere late at night and on your own.”
So far, her life has been rather peachy. Except for the time three years ago in Ipoh when she lost her Sony Ericsson to a snatch thief as she was too busy on the line to notice a crime about to befall her.
But it was a lesson learnt. She has become more alert to her surroundings and now “I hold my phone tighter”.
She used to be an avid reader during high school, citing True Singapore Ghost Stories
as one of the tales that had her hooked and spooked from the first page.
“Nowadays, the only things I read are music notes,” she quipped.