2018 is looking bright with the Benchsetters

Favorite moments of 2017, 2018 predictions, and self-advice.

To say that 2017 was crazy is an understatement. It was wild. Definitely a lot of ups and downs, but that’s another topic for another time. 2017 saw the rise and rise of our very own Benchsetters, and with new additions to the family this year, things are even more exciting for 2018. The OGs Emil Khodaverdi, Neil Dy, and Mathew Custodio welcomed new blood Juliana Gomez, Leila Alcasid, Michelle Dee, LA Aguinaldo, and Rhys Miguel Eugenio. We caught up with the Benchsetters for a quick Manila minute and asked them what their 2017 highlight was, and what they’re looking forward to the most in the year to come.

Emil Khodaverdi, @emilkhodaverdi

What was your favorite moment of 2017?
Watching Coldplay live.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2018?
I’m looking forward to getting more projects as well as doing more projects with Bench.

Any New Year’s resolutions?
Walking my dog more often, and start deadlifting and squatting [Laughs].

Give us your wildest 2018 prediction.
The Benchsetters will blow up, and Zac Efron—my idol—visits the Philippines and I get to meet him [Laughs].

What advice would you give your 2018 self?
Be more patient with how things work. As well as learning how to forgive and leaving the past behind.

Where do you wanna be this time next year?
I would wanna be in Japan since its close and there’s snow, or New York.

Juliana Gomez, @gomezjuliana

What was your favorite moment of 2017?
I think that it would be an injustice to reduce what was one of the best years of my life to just one single moment. So many good things have happened in 2017, like becoming a #Benchsetter!

What are you looking forward to the most in 2018?
I’m looking forward to where all my hard work will lead me in terms of school, sports, and fitness.

Any New Year’s resolutions?
To be more disciplined with myself, definitely.

Give us your wildest 2018 prediction.
I only have hopes, not predictions.

What advice would you give your 2018 self?
I’d tell my 2018 self that there is power in persistence, so I better put in the time and the work because great things can come out of that.

Where do you wanna be this time next year?
By that time, I’d like to streamline the many things I want to be doing, but prioritize the things I should be focusing on first.

Neil Dy, @niggydy

What was your favorite moment of 2017?
My favorite moment of 2017 was when I graduated from College last May.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2018?
Studying abroad! I’m going to Beijing with my brother.

Any New Year’s resolutions?
I’m gonna try to be a morning person.

Give us your wildest 2018 prediction.
Ateneo will be Champions of the UAAP again!

What advice would you give your 2018 self?
Keep learning and working hard—it never stops.

Where do you wanna be this time next year?
I can be anywhere as long as I’m with my family.

Leila Alcasid, @leilalcasid

What was your favorite moment of 2017?
Moving to Manila!

What are you looking forward to the most next year?
Working more and traveling more!

Any New Year’s resolutions?
Spend more time with family, work a lot harder, and focus on my health.

Give us your wildest 2018 prediction.
Leila Alcasid’s maybe gonna have some music out. Oooh.

What advice would you give your 2018 self?
Try not to doubt yourself too much.

Where do you wanna be this time next year?
Happy and working!

Mathew Custodio, @mathewcustodio

What was your favorite moment of 2017?
My favorite moment of 2017 happened in the early morning of Jan. 1, the midnight of New Year’s Eve. That was, so far, the best celebration I’ve had. It was the craziest and all my friends and family were reunited. Moments you can’t forget.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2018?
I’m looking forward to the coming UAAP season. We have no other choice but to win.

Any New Year’s resolutions?
My new year’s resolution is to simply be better.

Give us your wildest 2018 prediction.
My wildest 2018 prediction? England’s gonna win the World Cup.

What advice would you give your 2018 self?
You gotta keep on going.

Where do you wanna be this time next year?
In the same place. Just here, celebrating with the people I love the most.

Michelle Dee, @michelledee

What was your favorite moment of 2017?
2017 was such a roller coaster ride. My favorite moment would probably be over the summer though, when I went to Japan for a day. Despite not booking a room or having any concrete plans, it was really one for the books and something I believe everyone should try. I also went to Hong Kong for a night as well—that was amazing.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2018?
There’s a lot lined up for me this coming year and I’m really excited to see everything through 100 percent.

Any New Year’s resolutions?
Like any year that’s passed, I only wish to end a year as a better version of myself.

Give us your wildest 2018 prediction.
Tough one. I guess 2018 will be the year I attempt to try something career changing. Look out for it na lang! [Laughs].

What advice would you give your 2018 self?
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. If everything was easy then everybody would be doing it. So don’t hold back just because things might get hard.

Where do you wanna be this time next year?
Hawaii. For sure.

LA Aguinaldo, @la

What was your favorite moment of 2017?
Being part of the Bench family.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2018?
I’m looking forward to creating more stuff!

Any New Year’s resolutions?
More vlogs.

Give us your wildest 2018 prediction.
We’ll all be using cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.

What advice would you give your 2018 self?
Do more!

Where do you wanna be this time next year?
Under the stars.

Rhys Miguel Eugenio, @iamrhysmiguel


What was your favorite moment of 2017?

Being able to go back to the Philippines, since my last visit was when I was 7 years old.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2018?
Being able to speak fluent Tagalog so I can talk to my Lolo and Lola better.

Give us your wildest 2018 prediction.
I think there will be more users of Bitcoin than any other form of stock.

What advice would you give your 2018 self?

I would say always be nice to everyone and stay humble. And always family first.

Where do you wanna be this time next year?
Working hard and accepting any opportunities that come my way in the Bench modeling family, acting, commercials or other endorsements.

Starting the year right
Merry Christmas to Hue: a BENCH/ gift guide by the color