Bench is undeniably the leading clothing brand in the country – with a branch in every mall nationwide, a roster of the most famous celebrity endorsers, and even creating the most talked-about billboards in the metro! With all these, the Philippines’ top retail brand definitely has all the reasons to celebrate majestically its Silver Anniversary.
Celebrating its 25th year at the top, Bench ran their much-anticipated bi-annual fashion show in two nights, September 13 & 14 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Bench Universe: The 2012 Denim & Underwear Show, witnessed by thousands of Filipinos, was indeed the hottest and grandest fashion event of the year!
I was lucky enough to be given free VIP passes and witness the show on its 2nd night, along with some friends. We had great seats and we were able to witness every highlight of the show. We also saw a few famous faces in the showbiz industry seated near us such as box-office director, Mac Alejandre, PPL Entertainment head and star-maker, Perry Lansigan, TV and events Host Raymond Gutierrez, model Callum David, professional Poker player Neil Arce, and the lovely couple, Christopher De Leon and Sandy Andolong.
Now without further ado, let me show you how Bench once again nailed it!
The stage was awesome. It had 3 mosh pits occupied by the lucky audience. It was also surrounded by lights that served as curtains, which were eventually lifted up during the 3-minute countdown signaling the start of the show. Then there was total darkness that got the audience more excited – it was time for us to turn our glow sticks on! It was a wonderful sight to have the huge arena to be lighted by thousands of glowing red sticks! Btw, the stage also had a triple-layered screen where graphics were projected during the show, bringing marvelous effects on the runway.
“Rock of Ages” star Migs Ayesa, wearing a cape-like royalty was the first celebrity to come out, and did what he does best. He sang his heart out and gave a wonderful rock number. (Migs is partly Pinoy who grew up in Australia; went to London and joined the Rock Star: INXS competition. He was the crowd favorite and ended up as a 3rd placer.)
Then there was the pretty Kim Chiu, who set the ramp on fire! Sorry my photo of her didn’t capture the flaming wings she had as her background. She was very eye-catching in her corset top, and towards the middle of the stage, she detached her long skirt and revealed her sexiness in shorts.
Joseph Marco came out with a black jacket but immediately removed it even before doing the ramp. This man’s body has improved a lot, a clear reason why he is recently gracing the covers of health magazines. After him, it was Janine Gutierrez’s turn, who looked very mature doing the ramp. Her parents Ramon Christopher and Lotlot De Leon must be very proud of her! (I wasn’t able to get a nice picture of her though. Forgive me.)
Steven Silva and Sam Concepcion came next showing their new hunky figures. Steven gave himself a little mystery as he walked the ramp with a hood and removed it only when he approached the front. After revealing his face, he did bits of naughty acts which intended to please the audience, opening the zipper of his pants and showing his colorful undies. Yes, he really did that! Sam’s evolution was noticeable as he was now ready to do the ramp without his shirt on! He gained muscles and he’s definitely a little-boy-no-more.
Next was Jake Cuenca, who came out of the stage wearing orange briefs. As usual, Jake was a total flirt and he had all the girls and gays screaming. He’s a tease and he generously gave the audience a good view of his front through his poses. Then he was able to get louder shrieks when he removed his briefs and revealed him in black thongs, hence, his redundant butt exposure.
Then everyone else from the first batch came back to the stage. They all wore designs created by Dubai-based designer Ezra Santos.
To start the next segment, a video of Bench’s first ever TV commercial with the first Bench endorser Richard Gomez rowing was shown. After the video, the arena darkened once again and the screen showed blue lights and waters. Suddenly, a makeshift boat appeared from the ceiling with Enchong Dee rowing down. Enchong, in his true athletic approach, threw himself in the air and landed on the stage. Then there were screams as Enchong finally struck a pose showing his sexy and sculptured swimmer’s bod. Enchong’s entrance was one of the best ways in, I must say.
After Enchong left the stage, the screen projected the pretty faces of the countless stars who endorsed Bench from the year it started up to the present, including the international stars such as Liam Hemsworth, Joe Jonas, Lucy Hale, and its newest addition, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine! Bench, without a doubt, soared incredibly high! Can you imagine if these international stars were part of the show?
Then a group of ballerina-like dancers came out of the stage with another fantastic production number, joined of course, by a gorgeous group of models.
Next celebrity to show up onstage was the fit and well-toned Diether Ocampo who came out riding a Ducati. He still has the classic hunk physique all through the years. Being a veteran in Bench fashion shows, Diether certainly knows how to make the girls bawl.
Then I saw a familiar face joining the group of models, it was Be Bench Model Search female winner, Regine Angeles. I almost missed taking a photo of her because her outfit wasn’t that spectacular. I was actually kinda disappointed with this segment, as the celebrity endorsers weren’t highlighted that much that I missed taking photos of some of them. Their outfits weren’t that fabulous to make them standout among the models onstage. Some celebs I missed were Kris Lawrence (whose photos became a little controversial), the ex-presidential girlfriend, Grace Lee, and former PBB housemate, Paul Jake Castillo.
Highlighted on this segment were Carla Abellana, who looked very pretty in her gown, singer Angeline Quinto who was playful and comfortable parading on the runway, and Bela Padilla, who projected a sweet image on the ramp, even blowing kisses to the audience.
Following the series of white outfits were the very attractive and colorful creations of Rajo Laurel, with Kathryn Bernardo opening the segment. She was indeed very fresh and pretty! She has definitely bloomed into a real Filipina beauty.
Then we spotted someone in bright circles following the female teen star, it was none other than, Rocco Nacino. Rocco wore a colorful pair of printed pants with a glowing accessory, which he remarkably matched with a very lively and vibrant personality on stage. Rocco certainly knows how to entertain the audience and he was able to draw out pretty loud squeals from the crowd! He was absolutely an awesome piece on the ramp!
Enzo Pineda, who was one of the newest additions to Bench Body, came next to Rocco sporting a colorful pair of underwear. Enzo took a really bold move by joining the Bench Body family.
He was followed by the ex-lovers, Melai Cantiveros and Jason Francisco, spearheading the creations of Albert Andrada. They were very fun to watch and obviously enjoyed their part. Had they not broken up, they surely would have been the funniest couple our country would have had.
Following the funny pair were the beefy members of the Philippine Volcanoes Rugby Team, who were showered in glitters, carrying their rugby balls. Their legs were extremely powerful-looking!
Next was my crush, Sarah Lahbati. She’s got one of the most beautiful faces in Philippine showbiz now, I must say. I’ve met her several times already and I can’t blame Richard Gutierrez for treating her special. Anyway, she was radiant that night with her bra-revealing outfit, but I believe she would have outshined other celebrities that night if she showed her long legs.
Kapuso Network’s newest heartthrob, Benjamin Alves, came next in white briefs. His being part of the show just proved how in-demand he is now. I actually find this guy smart during his interviews and found out he’s a cum laude in a US university. With that charming face and personality, I believe his uncle, Piolo Pascual would one day be proud of his showbiz career, too.
Be Bench Model Search male winner Carl Guevarra came next in pink briefs. Just like Regine Angeles, he wasn’t highlighted that much that my camera almost missed him! Then there was Rayver Cruz, whose body was actually disappointing. He shouldn’t have removed his coat. I thought it was only me who found his shape a bit weird but I’ve read same comments about him, too. Sorry for the poor quality photos, btw.
Then came the grand entrance of Bench’s main man, its first endorser, the legendary Richard Gomez. He was almost covered with his coat but he was still able to pull off an intense reaction from the crowd, reminding everyone the “tall, dark and handsome” dream guy of the Pinays.
After Richard’s moment, all the models and celebrity endorsers came out to join him on stage to end their segment.
The stage was once again cleared and LA Dancers came out in fabulous costumes! Some of them were even dancing with a stilt or an extended pair of legs (sorry, I don’t know what to exactly call their props). They were too graceful in those stilts!
The voluptuous Julia Montes suddenly came out opening the futuristic-themed Amato production. She was wearing a metallic-detailed outfit and though her baby-fats were pretty obvious, she still was able to look great on stage.
Karylle came next. She was such a revelation that night as she looked very fit and gorgeous with her white two-piece bikinis. She just oozed with sexiness as she comfortably did the catwalk. I think that was by far, her sexiest public appearance to date.
The Semerad Brothers came following Karylle. They were equally striking with their porcupine-like outfits.
After the stage was emptied, Aljur Abrenica appeared topless. He was so sexy in those pants and his V-shaped body was just one of the reasons for the crowd to get crazy. He’s definitely the ultimate Pinoy hunk! Squeals went too loud and got the hunk too overwhelmed that he treated the audience by pulling down his pants and revealed him in very tight boxers. He’s undeniably the highlight of the futuristic segment.
Pancho Magno came next wearing spikes and very tight boxers. He indeed has a great body to boot and his being bald just added sexiness to his appearance.
Then a perfectly fit John Spainhour came next in sexy and daring white briefs. His abs was truly envy-magnet. (He was the winner of the Century Tuna Superbod 2012 contest, btw.)
Lovi Poe graced the stage gorgeously with a grand entrance! She was riding a giant coral – very creative! She’s definitely one of the sexiest Filipinas now and sexiness comes out of her naturally. Her walk is impressive and did an amazing job on the runway. She even drew a heart and blew a lovely kiss to everyone. Very sweet… and sexy! Definitely a highlight!
Then they went up the stage again and did a final walk for the segment.
After that was a let-down, a musical number from an unknown artist (heard she was a Star Magic talent). Yes, she was sexy but it could have been a better idea if she just strut her stuff on the catwalk. My bad, but I’m sure everyone in the Arena would agree with me.
Then it was time for the collection of the renowned Michael Cinco, opened by a group of male models in skimpy black briefs. Then a hunk in a very daring white thong came out, silencing the crowd – it was Tierry Vilson! I didn’t recognize him as a celebrity so I almost missed taking a photo of him.
|This is Tierry Vilson's butt.|
Following Tierry Vilson was Shaina Magdayao, who looked very fine on stage. Looks like she’s already moved on from her controversial break-up.
Mike Tan came next in black briefs with a wing-like costume. He didn’t do much gimmick though but seeing him in sexy underwear was already a good reason for the girls and gays to give him a warm applause.
Then there was the pretty Jessy Mendiola who looked very angelic in her sexy black outfit. She was a vamp and effortlessly looked well in her outfit.
Arron Villaflor came next in tight black boxers and even did some push-ups on stage. His physique improved a lot. Guess he’s preparing for more mature roles already.
Wearing an open coat that revealed flashy black briefs, Borgy Manotoc came out in his popular confident image.
Then ANTM Cycle 12’s Allison Harvard came next in sexy two-piece. She was like a doll parading on the stage!
The forever-gorgeous, Georgina Wilson was next on stage for the finale of Michael Cinco’s segment. She was scorching hot in her black outfit! With those long legs, sexy body and perfect face, I couldn’t blame any guy who wishes to dream about her.
To open the final segment, another performance was given by the imported dancers from Los Angeles. These dancers were truly amazing; they were like models, too! Afterwards, three ladies in fabulously pink outfits came out singing on stage. Now I wonder where I was during this time that I wasn’t able to take a picture of two ANTM models, Allison Harvard and Sophie Sumner when they came out on this segment.
After them was another marvelous attraction who was really glowing while doing her walk, Bench’s latest endorser, the hot momma, Jennylyn Mercado. Though her flamboyant costume covered her sexy curves, we still cannot deny that she is one of the country’s sexiest women today. Btw, she’s also got one of the most beautiful faces I’ve seen. She was a great opening for the Cary Santiago segment.
Then there was municipal councilor-turned-singer, Alex Castro. He wore sexy white briefs that revealed his sexy appeal. I wonder what his constituents have in mind whenever they’re talking to him.
The timeless beauty came next wearing a pink-detailed outfit. Isabelle Daza was effortlessly sexy and her curves are impressive. She’s a natural when it comes to nailing it on the runway. She doesn’t need to join any pageant to show her beauty queen-self.
Then a real beauty queen appeared in an eye-catching costume. Bianca Manalo looked so fresh and blooming in her new hairstyle and she once again proved on the runway why she was deserving of her crown.
Loud screams filled the venue when the next celebrity came out in tight blue briefs – it was Paulo Avelino. There’s no doubt that Paulo has elevated his celebrity status when he joined the Kapamilya Network and decided to be daring. From his prominent quiet image, he was a bit naughty during his turn on the catwalk and this made the crowd scream louder. I didn’t like how he walked though, he was a little stiff.
Then the Finale! Who else deserves the Finale but the country’s most admired actor now, the incredibly famous Coco Martin! Though some were disappointed that he emerged fully-clothed in black sando and denims, he was still able to burn down the house getting the loudest screams and shrieks from the audience. Obviously, Coco didn’t have to show skin to make everyone cheer for him. The loud shrieks while he was on stage were also the longest! Screams only faded when he left the stage.
After everyone from the last segment came back on and off the stage, it was time for Bench to treat everyone to a party! Yes, the international group Far East Movement took care of the party mood. And just like how other fashion shows end, all the models came back on stage for their final walks, too. The designers also presented themselves on stage.
|Isabelle Daza, Sophie Sumner and Allison Harvard|
|The amazingly creative designers.|
After a few, all the celebrity endorsers came back on stage as well to join the party. Of course, the man of the hour, Ben Chan, also came up on stage and was cheered by everyone on the venue. Well, he deserved all the praises for coming up with a fantastic night for everyone to enjoy and remember.
To everyone’s surprise, Congresswoman and also a Bench endorser, Lucy Torres-Gomez handed a bouquet of flowers to the retail king. She was very stunning in her fabulous gown as she handed a bouquet of flowers to the Man of the Hour, Mr. Ben Chan!
Overall, the show was fabulous! The numerous celebrities who walked on the runway and the technically-advanced production numbers were already enough reasons for everyone to watch out for the next Bench show.
To Bench and Mr. Ben Chan, thanks for adding fun to the lives of the Pinoys, and cheers to 25 more marvelous years!
|Here's my buddy enjoying the party!|