Movember Reign

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Shirts, sweatshirts, and jackets by BENCH
Photography by Patrick Diokno
Grooming by Omar Ermita
Produced by Paolo Lorenzana

At first, the beard boom seemed like just another pissing contest among guys. With every soul patch, ‘stache, or full-on Hagrid were men showing off how much testosterone they were packing—not to mention their lazy embrace of a rugged, razor-free existence.

            Movember, the month men get a free pass to grow their facial hair, is more than manly exhibition or an escape from shaving. Letting stubble or sideburns sprout is less a reason to let oneself go than a reminder of the health issues every man needs to get a move on, be it checking oneself for prostate cancer or addressing the depression that’s often dismissed among males.

            With another Movember rolling in, BENCH BLOG rounded up a pack of gloriously scruffy gentlemen to ask about what other to-dos they’re trying to check off for the year, and what every guy, five o’ clock shadow or not, needs to face before time’s up.

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MARK LIM

30, Geeky Nights Co-host & Videographer 

Before the year ends, what would you like to get a move on?

One thing I’ve put off the entire year is creating a personal online webseries. Hopefully I’m able to get it up and running before the year ends.

What do guys your age need to deal with before it’s too late?

Overthinking can become a hindrance more than anything. It’s good to be well prepared, but sometimes you just have to go for it. You’ll never be completely ready for anything, anyway. And don’t be afraid of failure. You can always learn something from it.

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RAPHAEL BANAL

23, On Hiatus

Before the year ends, what would you like to get a move on?

After graduating and moving back to the Philippines a couple of months ago, I just want to fully adjust to the way of living here. Hopefully this sets a certain pace and tone for me for the next couple of years.

What do guys your age need to deal with before it’s too late?

I think men my age often focus on the career aspect of things, being hungry and aggressive for what is next. Which is good. But I guess what I have to actually consider is what matters most—setting my eyes not only on the next big thing but on what the biggest thing for me is. It’s one thing to be full of drive and desire but it’s another thing to actually know what you’re passionate about.

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LUIS SANTOS

30, Artist

Before the year ends, what would you like to get a move on?

I’m just trying to finish works for my solo show this January at Finale Art File.

What do guys your age need to deal with before it’s too late?  

Health insurance.

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RYAN MACASERO  

27, Balikbayan Editor at Rappler

Before the year ends, what would you like to get a move on?  

I’ve made plans to do budget trips to see different parts of the country and Asia, but I always put it off. I think I need to get a move on it because it’s harder to do those kinds of crazy adventures once you’re older.

What do guys your age need to deal with before it’s too late?

I think as young men, we think we’re invincible and take our health for granted. It sounds like a typical answer, but while we might not feel the effects of the unhealthy choices we make now, we could pay for it 20 years from now. While I enjoy a drink, indulge in junk food, and stay up all night once in a while, it’s important to be aware of how often you do it. Enjoy life, but enjoy it in moderation.

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COSTANTINO ZICARELLI

31, Artist

Before the year ends, what would you like to get a move on?

I want to try to focus on my new exhibition deadline, doing this installation exhibit here at home, so it’s kind of stressful. And to read all the graphic novels I bought.

What do guys your age need to deal with before it’s too late?

To finally accomplish those ambitions they always thought of from back in the day.

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EVAN TAN

30, Freelancer.com’s Regional Director for Southeast Asia

Before the year ends, what would you like to get a move on?

Restarting my personal writing project, plus an art project I’ve been meaning to begin since last year. I’ve been doing a lot of work with Freelancer.com and my organization The Red Whistle, and that meant that my personal projects have to take a backseat. There’s also a business brewing in my head which I need to dedicate more time on—my friends and I are in the planning stages, so I’m hoping that would pan out before 2016 comes! 

What do guys your age need to deal with before it’s too late?  

Speaking for myself, I’d like to improve the facets that define me as a person. I don’t want to speak in behalf of all the men in their thirties, but I think my biggest realization is that I’ve somehow figured out who I really am, and I want to work on those areas which I think will make me better.

It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where and what you’re starting with. My twenties have been all about searching for myself, as cliché as that sounds, and while I wouldn’t say that I’m done trying to make sense of my life, I’d like to at least know that I’m progressing according to my terms.

I feel that once you’ve figured out who you are, you know which areas you’d be more or less willing to compromise, and what sorts of people you’d want to be around. We can’t be everything for everyone. Surround yourself with people who understand you while still leaving room for dissenting opinions. After all, balance is a good goal that all of us should strive for, at whatever point of our lives.

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