THE COOL KIDS OF SUMMER II – A Bench Meets Special

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Photos by Patrick Diokno
Styled by Carla Villanueva
Interviews by Marga Buenaventura

Like all good things, summer has come to an end. As we near the season’s close, we get to know the kids who warmed us up to some awesome new ideas, be it in music, film, or fashion.

B/BLOG gathered our second batch of “cool kids” for an end-of-summer picnic, where they dish on what made their break memorable and how to keep the high alive despite school and work getting in the way. Decked out in their favorite warm weather digs, these inspiring young folk show B/BLOG that even with summer gone, there’s plenty enough reason to keep the creative fire alive.

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ERIC TRONO
24, DJ & Producer, @erictrono

Hey, Eric! Were you always into music?

I’d like to think I was. I used write grade [in] school palang eh. We hit it off in high school with my friends, and we started a band ’cause of that. But it was just a pastime. I remember back then, I was really thinking of careers and stuff, this is what I enjoyed doing and it’s what I knew to do.

Were you ever into EDM?

Wala, laos na rin siya eh. I used to be a big fan. I was still in the band scene, then I started getting into electronic music, then house, and ta’s naging EDM. At some point, it became so repetitive that I couldn’t take it anymore. So I had to explore other types of music.

Do you think that DJs are more in-demand now than a live band?

You could say that… I think kasi with DJs there’s a social factor eh. It’s easier, ’cause people just enjoy going out, seeing friends, and listening to music. Pero I wouldn’t say na the band side is gone. I have friends rin who are there, like BP Valenzuela, She’s Only Sixteen, they’re still doing well. I think the scene is still alive.

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Joggers, shirt, cap, and bag by BENCH

What have you been busy with this summer?

We were busy making events all throughout summer. We had a bar tour that started three months ago. We went to Black Market, we went to Cebu, we went to Vyne… we also went to Pampanga, we had a curated event there. A lot of people came, so that was good. (Laughs) It was just us, with the Logiclub Music Collective and friends. That was every week of the month. Other than that, I was making music for myself. I’m coming out with an EP or an album, hopefully next year. It’s hard to be a producer, ’cause you have to prioritize other things, I guess. Pero masaya naman.

As someone who goes out a lot at night, are there any places that you think people can still enjoy hanging out at?

The places I like going to are Bowery, it’s really chill there. I’m kind of biased, ’cause I spin there once a month. The owners just get artists from different places with nice taste in music, in my opinion. And there’s Black Market—it’s still good. The artists are still legit. I remember the people who started the movement there, I think they’re pretty cool. It’s more like culture and music more than clubbing talaga.

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FRANCINE GACRAMA
22, YSTYLE Editorial Assistant, @francinegacrama

Hey, Francine. What have you been up to this summer?

After a hectic semester — my last one! — I promised to reward myself with an entire month of traveling. One thing I’d really like to do before the rainy season starts is to go to the beach.

Did you wind up anywhere exciting?

I went on a family trip along with my friend, Bettina, to Europe. We got on a cruise which sailed across the Mediterranean so I got to cross out a lot on my bucket list. I got to see the ruins of Pompeii, the picturesque Positano, the famous blue domes of Santorini, and the different temples in Istanbul. We also stopped over Rome and Paris to see all the archaeological sites. It was definitely a trip to remember, one for the books!

Now that summer is ending but the weather’s still warm, what should people go and wear?

I have been into wearing a lot of shift dresses lately. It’s easy to wear, doesn’t stick to your body and it’s perfect for the humidity. You can easily dress it down and dress it up as well.

Is it still okay to show off a little bit of skin?

Yeah, of course! We live in a country that has the sun blazing pretty much all year round so shouldn’t we all be used to “a little bit of skin” already? Well, at least I am. (Laughs)

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Dress by HerBench


ADDI DE LA CRUZ
23, Account Manager, @additur

I hear you take a lot of photos of food on your Instagram. What got you into that?

I don’t cook, but I love eating out. And even before I started writing for Pepper.ph, I got into taking photos of my food. When the foodstagram thing got big, I felt like I just rode the wave.

Do you call yourself a foodie?

(Laughs) My friends call me that, but I don’t wanna call myself a foodie. I feel like if you’re a foodie, you’ve experienced a lot of different cuisines from around the world. Everyone calls themselves a foodie, but I’ve met people who are foodies and I don’t I measure up to them. I don’t want to call myself a foodie. I think I’m more of a food enthusiast, but I don’t want to call myself that either.

Now that it’s hot, what’s the best summer drink you’ve had lately?

This is so basic, but since the start of summer, I’ve been craving for Razon’s halo halo. But an actual drink, nothing really. Recently, sobrang addict ko mag-red wine. I know it’s weird and pa-burgis, but have a picnic and drink red wine.

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Polo by BENCH

What about food?

I’ve been really loving Mexican food so much. I really love Rita’s soft-serve ice cream, too. Locavore is really good. Oh! I don’t know if you’ve tried the taco place near Rockwell, it’s called Tacos Chingones along Algier Street, beside Som’s Noodle House.

What’s the best filter to use when taking a food shot?

I use A6 of VSCO Cam. No Instagram filters, not really. But the new filters are pretty nice.

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INNA VALERA
21, Makeup Artist, @innavalera

What have you been doing this summer?

This summer I did a lot of shoots, a lot of makeup gigs, and when I had time, I read books. I worked out and went to the gym. I really like doing stuff and doing nothing.

You’re also a student—did you find that you had more time to get into makeup this summer?

I think I still had time, ’cause I also had summer classes. (Laughs) I think I managed my time well, ’cause I get to attend my gigs, and I’m employed in a tutorial center that teaches Chinese kids English. I also taught doctors and engineers from China.

Where did you usually hang out this summer?

I was usually in Starbucks, in Katipunan, just reading books. I usually go there after school, and I order a macchiato. I’m not really a coffee drinker, so I make sure there’s no caffeine.

As a makeup artist, what’s a look that goes well with the weather that anyone can still wear as we transition?

During the summer, your makeup should be bright. Your lips should be more peachy pink or more hot pink. The cheeks shouldn’t be dark. I think posh pink (Laughs), that kind of color. For the eyes, I don’t recommend putting on eyeshadow. Maybe you can just do lashes. Like, fake lashes. And my favorite part are the eyebrows. Just light eyebrows.

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Shirt and shorts by HerBench


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PETERSEN VARGAS
22, Filmmaker, @awarewolves

You’ve got a film in Cinemalaya! Can you tell us a bit about it?

It’s actually my thesis film that I made last year. It’s been screened in a lot of places. I’m a Kapampangan filmmaker and it’s a Kapampangan film, and the title translates to Geography Lessons. The long and short of it is about my first love and my first heartbreak. The film starts years after two best friends graduate, and one of them finds a map made by the other friend. It’s competing as one of Cinemalaya’s shorts this year. t’s been screened in Cinema One Originals last year, even in Thailand. I’ve been trying to get audiences for it ’cause short film siya and it’s hard to market it to bigger audiences.

That’s pretty cool, man.

Yeah, it is. Especially now ’cause Cinemalaya doesn’t have the full-length competition—they’re moving it next year. So the focus this year are the shorts. So I’m really happy that we’re in the biggest independent festival in the country.

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Sweater and shorts by BENCH

You called yourself a Kapampangan filmmaker. Do you want to make films in Kapampangan exclusively?

Not exclusively, but I identify as Kapampangan. In the past two or three years, there’s been a surge of Kapampangan filmmakers, so we’re building this community. And I’m actually one of the first few ones to really get it out there. I really want to push that kind of cinema in the country.

Is there anything about filmmakers and the film culture in Pampanga that makes you distinct?

For me, it’s just this really vibrant energy. The people there are really talkative. Sometimes we’re branded as the pinaka-mayabang na people. And in a good way. ‘Cause we’re really proud; we’re proud of a lot of things. Like yung food culture there…that’s where sisig came from. So we’re really known for our food.

What’s a summer film this year that people shouldn’t miss?

Well, the festivals come in later in the year. Not a lot of independent films are being churned out in the first half. I’m really excited for Jurassic World. What’s fun right now about summer films is that they’re getting a lot independent directors, even in America. So that’s something to look forward to.

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