The 1987

Photography by Ralph Mendoza
Styled by MJ Benitez
Produced by Martin Yambao
Makeup and Hair by Sylvina Lopez
Styling Assistant: Luis Mangubat 

In celebration of Bench’s 30th anniversary, BENCHMARK talks to nine mavericks born in the year 1987 — creatives and entrepreneurs — to ask: what was it like to grow up with Bench?

ISABELLA MONTANO
NEWS CORRESPONDENT, CNN PHILIPPINES / @ISABELLACNNPH

How do you show your love for local?

I love shopping local markets, I love buying quesong puti that comes wrapped in banana leaves rather than the heavily-packaged stuff you buy at supermarkets. As much as possible, I try to eat produce from small farmers, farms that are located the shortest possible distance from where I live. As a rule of thumb, I try to avoid buying too many imported products. This way, you support local farmers and reduce a little of your carbon footprint.

What’s your Bench memory?

I haven’t lived very long in the Philippines to have a fond coming-of-age memory related to a Bench product but I do remember a friend of mine that used to use a Bench set called “Rajo Dos.” I used to steal it from him all the time, he used to hate it because we would always end up smelling the same. Ha!

Turtleneck (P1,599), Vero Moda

GERARD CANCIO
ENTREPRENEUR, TACO VENGO / @GERARDCANCIO

1987 babies are turning 30 this year. What are you looking forward to in the next decade of your life?
Stability in most aspects of my life, but also still looking to embrace some big changes. Innovation never stops and it’s crazy what computers can do now. I’m excited to see how I can adapt with the times.

How do you show your love for local?
Choosing homegrown or local restaurants over the usual chains. So many cool food concepts popping up all over Manila, I don’t even have enough time to try all.

Shirt (P799), Cotton On

DAVID MILAN
CREATIVE DIRECTOR, YSTYLE AND SUPREME / @MRDAVIDMILAN

What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
Surround yourself with people who believe in you, inspire you, and support you. People who dream just as you do.

What’s your Bench memory?
I used to wear Bench Atlantis every day as a kid growing up. And I knew I wasn’t the only one. There was this phase when everyone in my class all smelled the same — we were all using the same thing. That body spray brings back super good memories for me.

Shirt (P399.75), Bench

NIKKI DUQUE
MAKEUP ARTIST / @NIKKI_DUQUE


What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
To spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself and a little less time trying to impress people.

1987 babies are turning 30 this year. What are you looking forward to in the next decade of your life?
I’m looking forward to a totally new chapter in my life: to have a family of my own while still pursuing what I love doing — to empower women through makeup. It’s really all about having a happy
and healthy 30’s!

Sleeveless Turtle Neck (P1,299), Vero Moda; Jeans (P2,499), American Eagle

SAM POTENCIANO
STYLIST AND EDITOR, NEIGHBORHOOD.PH / @SAMPOTENCIANO

What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
I wish I understood the concept of change instead of being stressed out by it. Ultimately everything is fluid — and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’ve had to learn that it’s the natural progression of things.

1987 babies are turning 30 this year. What are you looking forward to in the next decade of your life?
I look forward to the point where I actually feel like a grown up.

Shirt (P799), Cotton On

GIO GAHOL
ACTOR AND CHOREOGRAPHER / @GIOGAHOL

How do you show your love for local?
Being in the local theater industry has allowed me to appreciate and support Filipino culture even more; having worked mostly on original Filipino material. As an actor and choreographer, it is fulfilling to know that I am able to contribute in showing world-class local artistry.

What’s your Bench memory?
I’ve been using Baby Bench Popsicle eau de toilette for more than 10 years now. It’s my fail- safe everyday fresh scent.

Bomber Jacket (P2,999), Cotton On

MIKKO SANTOS
MARKETING DIRECTOR AND BUSINESSMAN, BOWERY / @MIKKOSANTS

What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
I used to think that at this age I’d have things figured out. In reality, there’s still so much more for me to learn and discover. I guess one thing I wish I knew when I was younger is to take chances and that you’re never too young or too old to go out and do something.

How do you show your love for local?
In my line of work, I constantly meet new people and build relationships. So aside from actually buying and supporting local brands, I make it a point to always talk about and promote the work of our local artisans. From clothing brands, to bag makers, to even local music artists — I would like everyone, not only foreigners, to appreciate the quality of our homegrown talent.

Polo Shirt (P549.75), Bench

SAMANTHA LEE
DIRECTOR, BAKA BUKAS / @GIVEMESAM

What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
It’s okay to make mistakes — to make a lot of them and that life will never feel as infinite and full of possibilities as it does in your early twenties.

What’s your Bench memory?
This is a secret that I thought I was going to take with me to my grave but here goes: the reason why I smell really good is because of Bench’s Atlantis Cologne — I’ve been using it since high school! My work and personal life requires me to keep really long hours — whether it be at 3 am after walking out of a club or filming the last sequence of the day, Atlantis has never let me down.

Sweater (P1,599), Cotton On

MAITA BAELLO
STYLIST, QURATOR / @MAITABAELLO

What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. I wish I knew then the importance of finding the right balance between being in control and “to be, and let be”. I used to be very critical of every little thing, but now I’ve managed to relax a bit and I learned to just trust the process.

1987 babies are turning 30 this year. What are you looking forward to in the next decade of your life?
Proving that your 30’s will definitely be better than your 20’s.

Top (P1,999), Vero Moda

BENCH Meets: Raxenne Maniquiz
Turnabout