BENCH MEETS Carlos Laurel

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Denim jacket & t-shirt by BENCH
Photography by Gabby Cantero
Produced by Paolo Lorenzana

Philippine baseball may not attract crowds as large or zealous as, say, basketball, but a player like Carlos Laurel may just give the sport the upswing it needs. It certainly helps that the guy is a homerun in the looks department. With a deep tan and a mane reminiscent of ‘80s teen idols, bleachers shouldn’t be hard to fill up, especially as he’s smoldered from the pages of Chalk’s 50 Hottest (twice) or this year’s list of Cosmo Bachelors.

Despite such frills and the DLSU student’s love for the occasional Taft Avenue bender, Carlos still manages to keep his eye on the ball. B/BLOG talks to the Development Studies major about training to make the national team and what’s in the ballpark of his plans after college.

Graduation isn’t too far. What are you looking to use your Development Studies degree for?

It’s kind of general ‘cause I really don’t know what I want to do when I graduate. But I like that [the course] had an Econ background and that it deals with developing rural and urban areas. I guess it’s good ‘cause if I get into business in the future, I can help in developing cities also.

What business do you see yourself putting up if ever?

Probably a restaurant. I’ve always been into food. I actually wanted to go to Enderun or CSB for culinary but then I got a scholarship for baseball so sayang naman if I didn’t accept the scholarship.

Do you travel to eat?  

Not a lot but when my family travels, that’s the first thing we do. We always look for street food. On our last trip, we went to Bangkok and all we did was eat. I remember thinking, shit, this tastes better than most restaurants at home. The shrimps are bigger and you get it right there.

Did you get to try any weird snacks?

I wanted to. Like the cockroaches pero I don’t think I have it in me.

Tell me about baseball. Have you always played? 

Yeah. Well, my brothers started playing it. I have a cousin who came from the States and told us, ‘In the States, everyone plays baseball.’ My brothers and I liked it and never stopped playing it.

Any strong feelings about local baseball? IMG_3153BW

No naman but Filipinos are naturally good at the sport ‘cause we’re fast, have good endurance, and actually enjoy playing it. Like if you go to provinces like Tanauan or Cebu, there are really good players there but there’s not enough coaches. And the exposure isn’t really there unlike when you’re in UAAP, you get championships and it’s televised.

But it’s a growing sport. The head of MLB Asia has been conducting camps here. I think it happens once or twice every few years. They had a camp just last week and they invited 400-plus kids of random ages. So at least there’s some exposure. But the word’s not spreading. There’s no news.

Well maybe they’d know more about it through your own exposure. How did you get into modeling anyhow?

I don’t really model. My brother’s girlfriend was taking up LIA-COM. Her friends contacted her to ask me if I could do a shoot or whatever. So my answer was, ‘I don’t really model so why would they want to get me?’ But I did a shoot for Philip Abadicio years ago. And I was part of Chalk’s 50 Hottest twice and Cosmo 69 Bachelors this year. But I only do shoots when I’m free—like if someone contacts me and if I’m not doing anything this weekend, might as well do it.

You seem like a natural, though.

Well, my mom used to model in the ‘70s or ‘80s. I know that when she gave birth to my eldest brother, she stopped na. She used to be a Camay girl, whatever.

Summer break’s coming up. Does baseball training allow a little fun?  

We can actually do whatever we want as long as we don’t miss training and we go to the gym. In Taft, they have this thing called Happy Thursdays where everyone just gets basag. But then we have practice Friday.

And you can still make practice with a hangover?

Yeah naman. I started drinking early, like 13, 14. So my first game, I went there drunk as shit. Like it was a 7 a.m. game and I got home at four. Worst experience ever. My coach was like, ‘You know, I used to do that but as long as you play well, no problem with me. But if you complain about anything, like you can’t play ‘cause your head hurts, then don’t do it.’

So what are your plans for the break then?

I haven’t really planned out my summer but my mom was telling me that if people get me for projects, instead of bumming at home, might as well make time for it. I was hoping to make the national team for the Asian Games. Tryouts are going on now so if I make the team, I’ll probably go to Taipei? Taichung?

Anything you’re sacrificing to get to that?

Alcohol. A lot of alcohol (laughs). My whole team’s going to Boracay this summer but I’m planning to stay home and work on whatever I need to for baseball.

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Short-sleeve shirt & pants by BENCH

 

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  • Cristina

    Such a hottie