Scout : 2017 May-June

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M A Y - JUNE 2017


t e n a c iou s



I S S U E NO . 2 6

YAR0028_YarisScout Magazine 8p5x11p75.pdf



6:13 PM

in this issue


juris go of janjan comics


pink, pink, pink


manila magic


living in a naval base


korean beauty trends


battle of the convenience stores


on the antidiscrimination bill


wild, wild life


outfit of the day


local music collectives




ild lif e , w




ild lif , w e

shion w i fa


scout x up campus tour

shion w i


ronnie alonte


manila street style


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“lit af” by asshulz

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what was your rep back in the day? W W W . S C O U T M A G . P H






Nimu Muallam


Denise Fernandez


Grace de Luna


Lex Celera


Patricia Romualdez


Chryssa Celestino, Cedric S. Reyes, Ross Tugade


Kristy Borromeo, Diigii Daguna, Asshulz


Jack Alindahao, John Dee, JL Javier, Czar Kristoff, Ralph Mendoza, Carlo Nuñez, Yuuki Uchida


Jill Baniqued, Ivan Cocjin, Petersen Vargas, Richard Webb


Melvin Mojica, Quayn Pedroso


Janica Balasolla, Slo Lopez, Kaye Misajon, Pam Robes


Colin Dancel, Alexa Mascenon, Julia Petalver, Aaron Silao


Ria Francisco-Prieto


Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez


J. Ferdinand De Luzuriaga


Atty. Rudyard Arbolado


Raymund Soberano


Imelda C. Alcantara


Chuchi A. Gracia


Ma. Leonisa L. Gabrieles


Reynalyn S. Fernandez


Jullia Pecayo


Lurisa Ann Villanueva


Felipe R. Olarte


Ma. Katrina Garcia-Dalusong


Angelita Tan-Ibañez


Thea Ordiales, Abby Ginaga


Charm Banzuelo, Andie Zuñiga, Liza Jison


Rechelle Endozo, Manilyn Ilumin


Jellic Tapia


Bianca Dalumpines


Ina Rodriguez


Merjorie May Young


Nicole Uson


Roi De Castro


Rina Lareza


Arnulfo Naron


Nancy Baybay


Angela Carlos-Quiambao


Blue Infante


Princess Martinez


Jan Cariquitan


Maricel Gavino


Dennis Cruz


Argyl Leones


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“I was known as the tall and awkward artsy geek who cracked jokes and was noisy in class!”

CEDRIC S. REYES Tough Luck Club (p.34)

“The agitated one.”

“I used to be referred to as Hello Kitty. My lola used to dress me with Hello Kitty stuff.”

“That girl who everyone thinks of as the shy and quiet one, however I am quite the contrary.”

JL JAVIER Invincible Youth (p.10)

YUUKI UCHIDA Before I Forget (p.12)

JILL BANIQUED Video, Kings of Convenience

“People knew me as an artsy bookworm.”

“Back in school, most people remember me as an athlete more than a photographer.”

SLO LOPEZ Call Me Baby (p.14)

JACK ALINDAHAO Tough Luck Club (p.34)

@scout m a gp h s c o u t m a g p h@g m ail.c o m

4F Media Resource Plaza, Mola cor. Pasong Tirad Sts., Brgy. La Paz Makati City

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PASS THE AUX CORD A playlist to accompany you when you’re mulling over life alone

Album art by Alexa Mascenon

No Rome - Seventeen Mac DeMarco - Chamber of Reflection FKA twigs - Glass & Patron Tame Impala - New Person, Same Old Mistakes Hana ACBD - Norm.and.I Danny Brown - Grown Up Kid Cudi - Surfin’ Gallant - Talkin’ to Myself Frank Ocean - Chanel Crank up the volume and listen to this playlist over at our official Spotify profile, Scoutmagph.

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have a confession to make: I dress rather predictably. Some might call it basic, even. Despite being the editor of a magazine that encourages a lot of loud, bold styles, I will come in to work in jeans and a plain T-shirt that, as much as possible, hugs every edge, line, and contour of my body. Once I am at work I’ll throw on a black hoodie to protect myself from the office winter; if I’m fortunate enough for the weather outside to be windy or just not at all blazing hot or humid, I’ll wear that hoodie outside. (I did actually ask for a black hoodie for an office Christmas party Kris Kringle, and ended up getting two. My publisher never let me hear the end of it for a few months but I didn’t care.) That’s not to say that I never wanted to try, though. I’d pore over the pages of every issue of GQ I got, marveling at how awesomely they put together their male models with styles that may or may not always fly in Manila. You can’t always dress in a nice suit and tie, because not all places here require it, and everyone would rather be relaxed with the dress codes. So considering how conservative this society is and how pedestrian a lot of people dress across all demographics (I know, I know, who am I to call most people pedestrian if I just admitted to dressing predictably, right?) I decided my best bet was to just find what really works for me and execute the hell out of it. Therefore, I gravitated toward what I’d like to call Superhero Casual, because I wanted to look like how guys like Chris Evans did outside their costumes. Or The Rock Casual, because it’s what Dwayne Johnson seems to wear every day. Point is, it’s simple, strong, and works for me. It seems to be easier than ever now to express your entire personality with the way you dress. Granted, of course, you’ve got enough resources, but people are proving more and more that you don’t even need expensive brands for you to do you. Nobody’s going to rag on you for getting an outfit from a thrift shop—they might even ask you where you got it so they can go find something good themselves. And people would rather steal that stuff at a bargain, anyway. But what’s even better in 2017 is that who you are, no matter what that definition is, seems to be gaining more and more acceptance in this generation, at least. Old heads won’t always agree—and they might even be #shookt about it, like they always are—but even with the savagery of the youth today, they’re still more likely to leave you alone to your own business, to what you want to be, and what you want to look like. So in line with all that, we’re celebrating Identity in this issue, and boy, we couldn’t have chosen a better guy to anchor that whole theme than Ronnie Alonte. We’ve met a lot of down-to-earth people over Scout’s whole lifespan, but Hashtag Ronnie to most of you may very well be the most grounded boy we’ve ever met. This is a guy who’s always thinking of home, even to the point where he will use his hometown to explain some things about himself. This is also a guy who will watch the premiere of his own movie in said hometown, flanked by his childhood crew instead of friends he’s made in the industry. It’s almost as if being from Biñan, Laguna was a part of his identity, or something. And we also celebrate anything you want to be right here. If you like plants more than people, that’s cool. If you like dressing up outlandishly, that’s cool. Whether you like flying solo or belonging to a squad, that’s cool. If you like making music, even if it’s budots, that’s cool, too. As long as you’re not hurting and demeaning other people in the process, it will always be cool with us. And it should be cool with the rest of you, as well.


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An iconic decade returns to take everyone down memory lane

a hot comeback

special feature

Whether you’re a ’90s kid or a kid born in the ’90s, there is no other era more exciting than the one we grew up in. From mixed-tapes in actual tapes, largerthan-life gaming consoles, to all things glow in the dark, we all love looking back at these in nostalgia. Make Your Own Havaianas brings back this iconic decade at this year’s Make Your Own Havaianas (MYOH). In the past years, Havaianas took everyone to colorful Brazil, sunny Hawaii, and kawaii Japan. This time around, they take us down memory lane in their 90s-themed MYOH. Iconic figures such as the TV, cassette tapes, and the boom box can adorn Havaianas’ black sole pair with pixels inspired from 8-bit video games. Glow-in-the-dark pins also celebrate the unabashed color of the era with lightning bolts, smileys, stars, lips, and M-Y-O-H letters available in all their vibrant glory. For those who want to customize their pairs with unique

references, Havaianas will use 3D printing technology for you to create your very own pin design. Start saving the following dates for the next Make Your Own Havaianas event at SM Mega Fashion Hall on May 12 to 14. Other dates and venues throughout the summer include: May 18 to 21 at All Flip-Flops Bonifacio High Street, SM City Tarlac, and SM City Iloilo; May 25 to 28 at the Alabang Town Center Activity Center, All Flip-Flops SM City Naga, and SM City Cabanatuan; June 1 to 4 at All Flip-Flops Robinsons Place Ermita and Sole Patrol Robinsons Calasiao; June 8 to 12 at All Flip-Flops TriNoma and Ayala Center Cebu; June 15 to 18 at All Flip-Flops SM Mall of Asia, SM Seaside City Cebu, and SM Lanang Premier; June 22 to 25 at CommonThread Powerplant Mall, Rockwell; and June 29 to July 2 at All Flip-Flops SM Megamall, SM City Cagayan de Oro, and Red Dot Robinsons Place Ilocos.

Follow Havaianas Philippines on Facebook and @havaianasphils on Twitter and Instagram for updates.

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03/05/2017 6:50 PM



that blue gentleman Artist Juris Go documents Filipino lifestyle and humor through minimalist (and viral) comic strips By DENISE FERNANDEZ

IT ALL STARTED with a meme. And we millennials all know this meme’s source material by heart—a somber Derek Ramsay, a thief illegally recording a film showing in a theater, a woman squealing in surprise when the tomatoes she’s holding are knocked out of her hands by the running fugitive. Intense, but laughable and unnecessary drama. Pare, pulis ako. When this local phenomenon of an anti-piracy advertisement began gaining more traction online thanks to multiple Photoshopped memes, artist Juris Go seized the opportunity and cooked up a piece for Janjan Comics, his weekly webcomic series. “Kamatis” is a four-panel comic centered on the woman’s odd lack of a plastic bag for those iconic spilled tomatoes. A few days later, which was around the time the Philippines hosted the Miss Universe pageant, Juris released another comic titled “Advocacy,” which cleverly merged elements of the Derek Ramsay anti-piracy ad with the Miss Universe hype. Janjan Comics blew up online after that. The series follows the adventures of original character Janjan as he goes through the average Filipino day we’re all too familiar with—taking a full MRT train, facing critical titas during family reunions, getting stuck in EDSA traffic. “I was surprised [after it went viral]. I’m very thankful, because before the “Kamatis” thing happened, I had trouble getting an audience,” Juris says. “I’m glad that there are now people who look forward to my comic and I am more motivated to make them.” Juris has been drawing since he was five years old. Back in high school, he joined art competitions and continued to hone his talent for drawing up until his days in De La Salle University, where he took part in creative organizations like Malate Literary Folio and Green Media Group. Anime series such as Dragon Ball, Ghost Fighter, and Pokémon influenced him throughout his childhood. Juris was also exposed to the aesthetic and humor of Tumblr, of which he was an active user in college. Janjan Comics started in November 2016 after Juris got ahold of a stylus and the Tayasui Sketches app. He eventually decided to go full-on digital. What makes his webcomic so appealing to the Filipino and millennial audience is its relatable local (and sometimes pop) culture references. Juris’s simple, colorful art style and use of language make his

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Clockwise: “Enseymada,” 2016 “Kamatis,” 2017 “Job Interview,” 2017

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comics easy to digest and wildly sharable on social media. The character of Janjan himself—which Juris shares is a reflection of his inner curious, innocent, and honest child—is an adorable protagonist that the average middle-class Filipino can easily identify with. On his command of Filipino humor, Juris says, “Filipinos are wittier. I think our culture has a higher standard of funny; our humor is so good. I guess that’s what happens when your country’s median age is 22. It’s exploding with jokes everywhere that no other people on Earth could understand. I almost feel sad that they’re not in on the fun we’re having.” The world of webcomics itself is slowly beginning to expand here in the Philippines, with the likes of artists Rob Cham, Hulyen, and Asshulz creating distinctly Filipino art. Juris has earned himself a top spot in the local scene thanks to his widely spread work. “It’s awesome. There are so many [local comics] now and it makes me happy that we’re creating our own culture. I see a bright future for us,” he says. “I’m actually a fan of Hulyen’s Ugh series. They are so precious, offensive, yet sincere. Before I started making Janjan Comics, I read an issue of Scout about Rob Cham’s success and it gave me the push to make my own comic.” The heart and soul of Janjan Comics, according to Juris, is actually his own everyday experiences, no matter how average they may seem. One doesn’t need to lead a spectacular life to create extraordinary output. And we see it in Juris’s funny but honest work. His tips to the aspiring cartoonist? Be positive and live in the moment. “Creativity is a muscle. The more you do it, the better you are at it. Having a regular schedule for Janjan Comics is one of those things that keeps me thinking of stories to share,” says Juris. “[Staying creative] is basically just being in the moment. The more I experience life, the more life there is in my art. That means going out with loved ones, having time for myself, having a healthy work-life balance, and embracing circumstances I’m given.”

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Clockwise: “Feelings,” 2017 “Work-Life-EDSA,” 2017 “Advocacy,” 2017

“Filipinos are wittier. I think our culture has a higher standard of funny. I guess that’s what happens when your country’s median age is 22.”

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1 ALDO bag 3 STYLENANDA shirt


7 PINK TEQUILA coin purse




a rush of blush

10 TOPSHOP trousers

How to easily crib the all-pink runway look for yourself 8 KIMBERLEY cap

WHERE TO GET? 1 - Power Plant Mall, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, SM Megamall, Greenbelt 5, Robinsons Manila, SM North Edsa, TriNoma, SM Mall of Asia, Bonifacio High Street, Lucky China Town Mall 2 - Greenbelt 5, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, BHS Central Square 3 - 4 - SM Aura, SM Megamall 5 Shangri-La Plaza Mall, SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, Glorietta 5 6 - SM department stores 7 8 - 9 - SM department stores 10 - Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Magnolia, Robinsons Manila, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Power Plant Mall, TriNoma, Greenbelt 3, Alabang Town Center, SM Aura, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia

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9 PARISIAN sandals

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special feature


time in This not-so-basic desk clock can step up your room’s aesthetic game


Things you’ll need: Illustration board (cut and shaped into book spine and covers) Canvas cloth Pioneer Contact Bond Clock mechanism Paint Paint tools Stamp Inkpads


Gather around all your cut and shaped illustration boards and wrap them with a canvas cloth. Add a personal touch by using your favorite stamps.




Repeat the steps above to create more books, set it along the sides of the first one you’ve made.


A rad rendition of a boring old clock to spice up your room

To fill up the dull and empty box-looking book covers, glue on more illustration board pieces.

Life Hacks If you’ve experienced walking around with a worn out sole, you’ll know that the struggle is very real. Sometimes, you just want to cop a new pair to avoid the hassle. Hold up, and keep your cash. Just use Pioneer’s Contact Bond for a quick-fix —it’s fast, easy, and cheap.

To wrap it all up, cut out a hole in the upper center of the middle book’s spine using a box cutter then place the clock mechanism.

03/05/2017 6:40 PM

10 music

invincible youth Manila Magic would very much like it if you didn’t underestimate their talent because of their youth By CHRYSSA CELESTINO Photography by JL JAVIER

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WHEN YOU were trying to understand Daria’s comebacks or flipping through Marvel comic books in your room where your Nirvana poster hung, Zild Benitez was in a storytelling competition, explaining to his fellow grade-schoolers how a mythical bird once pooped on a prince and turned him to stone. He would narrate, in rehearsed singsong, the epic of Ibong Adarna for a competition. He’d place runner-up but preferred spending afternoons in the arcade playing “Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune,” where he and his friends obsessed over driving virtual vehicles and overtaking each other. Somewhere in the South, Tim Marquez was training to be a top jock. At eight, he played with the Army Football Club, gearing up for a lifetime career. But on days he wasn’t scoring goals, he’d hang out with his two older brothers, probably swimming or taking dance lessons. When those got old, he’d retire to his room to play “Age of Empires”: or kill Orcs in “Lord of the Rings.” He gained weight—his downfall as an athlete, he thought—and had to rethink his next move. Years later, on Oct. 2, 2016, the song In the Night dropped on YouTube. Obscured in silhouettes, two guys slowly swaying to synths sing—in warped voices—about falling in love at 18 as they mime the desperation that goes with it. All ears are on this ’80s-inspired, nostalgic showcase as the artists, in a rare occasion, coolly sidestep. The song is an elaborate introduction of to Tim and Zild of Manila Magic−once the teenaged dorks, now the indie scene’s newest electronic duo that haven’t even hit their 20s. It’s 40 minutes past 1 p.m. when Tim, Zild, and his girlfriend Shanne knock at the door of this spacious loft where we’re meeting. Their car broke down on the way here and yet, even in their hurry, they seem chiller than you think they’d be. Tim walks in first, striding to the laid-back sounds of no rome’s Seventeen resonating in the room. He wears a peach bomber jacket and has his round shades on. Zild, just a few steps behind, runs his fingers through his curly, floppy hair before offering handshakes to those interested. Apart from their faces, their shy swagger gives them away. The pair’s debut song was in the pilot of gay Filipino web series Hanging Out; they were finalists in Wanderband 2017; and they opened for Canadian act BADBADNOTGOOD last November. Tim and Zild are 18 and 19 as of time of writing. And they happen to churn out music of a bygone decade revisited by the likes of The 1975 and Carly Rae Jepsen. Their youth is an advantage, but it has also become a source of doubt. “To be honest, I feel like there are people looking down on us a bit,” Tim says, now lounging on the couch with Zild listening closely. “They

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music 11

underestimate us because of our age. I don’t know, is it the way we look? Is it because we’re kids? Sometimes, I don’t feel welcome in the scene.” “Neither do I. Especially when you’re young, they’re like, ‘Oh, don’t try to enter this scene. We know everything,’” Zild says. “Everyone hates young kids.” Wild guess? Most do because they’re perceived as threats. They either maintain traditions or break them. In Tim and Zild’s case, other people’s perceptions have been off-track. Unlike other musicheads, their origin story doesn’t consist of New York upbringings, flashy interests, or some other grand reality. It’s a start carved out of the ordinary. Zild was a top two student back in Don A. Roces Sr. Science-Technology High School, where computers “got him in a nonsense world.” Before that, he was a competing storyteller who had time to play some bass and write songs on the side. Tim was homeschooled and spent free time playing video games, practicing lessons, and requesting music on the radio. He would even record Chamillionaire songs on his Nokia phone. “Dweeb!” Tim jokingly calls himself and Zild, in the middle of telling me how their childhood went. “Ano ba yan, walang sweg!” But their transitions to music—and coolness—came easy. Zild’s dad, Franklin Benitez, was a drummer in the ’90s for Hungry Young Poets, a band led by Zild’s godmother Barbie Almalbis. His childhood, when he wasn’t in arcades, consisted of catching OPM bands live in Metrowalk and Araneta. At home, the vibe was similar. “My dad’s not directly producing music but it was just him listening to songs and some kind of music,” Zild recalls. “It became normal in my house. Every time, he’ll listen to some Toto or anything jazz, pop, or even funk. I just liked it.” Seeing how he hung out with other musicians—just listening to songs and talking about how good they were—has convinced him that this is where he wants to be. Tim thinks he got some of his talent from his dad. While Tim’s father isn’t a musician—he’s a manager in a telecom company—he taught himself and his kids guitar and a few other instruments. While Tim was slowly easing in and out of football, he had been thinking about taking up and making music. It started as early as when he was six. “I remember composing a tune called Dolphins on the Way. My goodness,

In the Night was actually written when the duo was originally scheduled to finish a Bible study project.

Tim Marquez (left) and Zild Benitez (right) actually wear these exact same outfits to almost every gig.

“To be honest, I feel like there are people looking down at us a bit. Is it the way we look? Is it because we’re kids? Sometimes, I don’t feel welcome in the scene.”

it’s on the piano,” he says. “I just tried composing ’cause we had a piano at home. I called it [that] because it sounded like dolphins. I remember, when [my folks] heard it they’re like, ‘You’ve got talent, boy!’” Today, Tim and Zild are on scholarships, studying music production in De La Salle-College of St. Benilde. They’ve also been playing for their own pop rock bands: Tim is the songwriter/drummer of One Click Straight, and Zild is the vocalist/bassist/songwriter of IV OF SPADES. Manila Magic is an accidental outlet—thanks to a detour from a project for Bible study—for music that doesn’t quite fit their bands. The name, an iteration of the Commodores’ 1979 album “Midnight Magic,” is a playground, a dumping ground for creative juices prompted by listening to their current faves the Bee Gees, Slipknot, or George Duke. And like in an actual playground, other people are either looking to play or frowning at the fun. Online bashers have accused Manila Magic of having “no originality.” “Everyone is influenced by something. Nothing is new under the sun, boys!” says Tim—but their new fans are already calling them the future. Either way, the music goes on. They may be drowned in shadows in their first video but there’s no hiding the guts screaming at the forefront. Manila Magic, while decked in millennial fashion, is free of the pretense and snootiness plaguing our generation. If their newfound place in the indie scene taught them anything, it’s to claim your spot and call it yours. Nothing inspires like seeing people Drake themselves out of the bottom. “Be an inspiration,” Tim advises their peers in music, before laughing. “What?” Zild, like the wingman he is, cuts in to save. “Be a friend na lang.”

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03/05/2017 8:30 PM

before i forget

12 essay

The younger version of me posing on top of my favorite slide in my favorite childhood park. I forgot who took the photo.

LEX CELERA takes a trip to his hometown in an attempt to confront the ghosts of his childhood. PHOTOGRAPHY BY YUUKI UCHIDA

I WAKE UP to the sound of the helicopter’s blades chopping the air. Sangley Point is a name that’s been mentioned at least once in your grade school textbooks. It was once a place for the Spanish to trade with the Chinese, then a naval base for the Spanish and the Americans. It was eventually turned over to us in 1971. Big military trucks, airplanes, and large ships were all around us in Sangley. It was a naval station and an Air Force base, after all, and it definitely looked like it. Men and women in uniforms were everywhere—enlisted men in jumpsuits, officers with all sorts of pins on their uniforms, men riding motorbikes in their camouflaged pants. But we would see them go inside our homes and take off their uniforms and wear their pambahay. They were our neighbors and our own parents. There was nothing unsettling about the loud chopper noises and the blaring sirens. It was the same as the shouting we would hear from the sabungan on Sundays; they were all just sounds of our every day.

I moved a lot when I was younger. I was born in cool, comfy Baguio where my grandparents were born. Then my family drifted to alienating, noisy Manila, where I spent most days inside our apartment, looking at the street for my father’s sedan. We eventually ended up at Sangley Point, which was at the tip of the peninsula of Cavite City. It was in Sangley that I finally rooted myself in a place without fear of leaving as soon as I had grown comfortable. Friendships are easily made when you’re young, but it was another thing to keep and hold them. I remember a friend I met one afternoon at a beach near Pangasinan. He was playing with the sand and my grandfather prodded me to play with a stranger. We were young—six or seven—but we built sandcastles as tall as we were until the end of day. After sunset, he went back to his castle of a house that towered over the chapel my grandfather and I were staying in for the night (he would deliver a sermon at the chapel the next day). I did not see him again, and the bitter sting of lost friendships left a bad taste in my mouth.

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(Top photo) Aside from being my home, Sangley point was also a naval base. Seeing large Navy boats like these dock and leave was a common sight. (Right photo) My brother, me, and my first dog, a labrador retriever named Sabre. I was afraid of him back then.

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essay 13

My father, now a retired officer, with my brother and I. Tucking in your shirt was still in style then.

The summers of my childhood were long. I knew it was summer because every kid on the block was out in the park in the afternoon. The entrance to the park was directly in front of my house and I could almost see everyone from my parents’ room on the second floor. Kids were swinging around the monkey bars or climbing the top of the slide or teetering on the seesaw or standing on the seat of the swings that had chains as high as my house. There were kids sitting on the grass and people on the basketball court and maybe some grownups walking their dogs while looking after their children. The park was called Lolita Park, and it was in Lolita Park that I met my friends. It was my world for many summers, and I eventually walked every inch of that park.

I’m not sure which days happened when but they happened. There were days when the whole neighborhood kids who had bikes would gather in the middle of the park and we would race our bikes round and round the park. There were days I would take my family’s bare sidecar to the commissary to buy groceries. I would also take the same sidecar to the apartment/sari-sari store at the end of the street to spend my entire 20 pesos on a pack of snacks. There were whole afternoons spent playing basketball until either of my parents came home and it was time to have dinner. I would come home with bruises and little cuts. I smelled like the sun.

The houses at Sangley were very American: lots of space in the front yard, and the interiors were spaced out. It was enough for our family of seven, including one helper and one dog, Sabre. The garage could hold at least two cars and in front we had enough space to host a good party. There was a tree old enough to grow wide branches to provide shade in front of the house. During the rainy season, the same tree would drop huge seeds encased in these shells that, when broken in half, would take the shape of a little boat. We would put leaves and flowers in the hollow part of these seed-boats and we would float them around the puddles that would form when it rained hard. Sometimes we would go to the little pier and drop them there. We bid each one farewell, waving our hands and maybe even blowing a kiss or two at these little boats for their big voyage to the unknown. We would never see them again. We would forget about them after a few days.

Before being renamed Children’s Park, my favorite park was called Lolita Park, and beside the sign were drawings of bootleg Disney characters.

The best summer of my pre-teen life was probably this: After the school term officially ended, my friends Tetchai and Clinton and I met in front of my house and decided to make paper planes. We pulled up a table and had a stack of white bond paper and we would make all sorts of paper airplanes based on what I had learned during my breaks at school. We used pens and pencils to roll on the wings of the airplanes we made to form curls and folds and even little cuts. These changes made the paper airplanes fly all sorts of ways. The wind was just right and the sun wasn’t as high and after our little workshop we each took our little planes to the sky. I swear I had this one airplane that could make three perfect circles in the air before it landed. And I had another that would return to me like a boomerang. And I had another that would stay in the air for a solid minute before it landed. I swear it did; I even counted it down once or twice.

The house in Sangley Point is just a memory. If I could live in my writing, I would. My youth in Sangley always presented itself as a film: orange-washed, lens flare abounding, stark light on brown skin and toothy smiles, snippets of sunsets and green grass and the sound of the sea. But the memories my families and friends have, no matter how numerous, how vivid, will never be the truest account of what happened. The house still remains, of course, but it is my house no more. Before we moved in, memories had already been made there by someone else, and now that we have left, someone new occupies the house and continues to make memories there.

The pier a minute away from my house didn’t look like this when I was younger. Before it was just a gap in the fence; a dive away from the open sea.

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03/05/2017 8:30 PM

14 beauty

We down here in the southeast can rock Korean beauty trends as much as those pop idols do Photography by RALPH MENDOZA Makeup by SLO LOPEZ

PUPPY EYELINER Instead of swiping your eyeliner up a la cat eye, you swoop it down to create a softer, rounder, and more innocent (cuter, if you will) look.

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Beauty gurus are now moving away from completely straight brows to a very slight arch on the bottom of the browbone, all while maintaining a sweeter facade.

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beauty 15

DEWY SKIN In Korean, it’s called chok chok, meaning plump and moist. The dewy skin fad makes the skin look more glowing and healthy.

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03/05/2017 8:30 PM

16 beauty

PINK AND ORANGE EYESHADOW Orange anything is pretty much all the rage in Korea—from hair color, to blush, to lips, Seoulites are obsessed with this color.

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beauty 17

GRADIENT LIPS This trend makes you seem like you got your lip color by eating some fresh cherries straight from the farm.

feat. KAT and TIMO

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18 culture

kings of convenience With its cheap food, no-nonsense interiors, and abundantly located branches, the trusty old convenience store is a shining beacon of light to every broke youngster out there. But among the four top stores in the metro, which one reigns supreme? We went to find out.

Photography by CARLO NUÑEZ


Grace got: Beef oyster Hotta Rice, Coke, and a slice of strawberry shortcake for dessert

You could say that 7-Eleven is the convenience store. With a branch or two found in every location you can think of, you can also probably find something to buy with your eyes closed. The fact that its interiors look similar to the other 7-Elevens abroad gives you the feeling that you’re somewhere familiar. 7-Eleven’s interiors have gone through an overhaul over the years, trading white details for some wood-textured finishing. With exclusive local offerings like hotdog sandwiches, siopao, rice meals, and the classic Slurpee, 7-Eleven’s array of food will always have your back. The place isn’t as fancy as other convenience stores, but its food still does make you full. –GRACE DE LUNA, graphic artist

MINISTOP Okay, to be honest, nobody would have Ministop as their preferred convenience store if it weren’t for two reasons: 1) it’s the closest thing to where they live, and 2) the Uncle John’s Fried Chicken is to die for. People take up arms for two local fast food chains on the internet, but real ones know that Uncle John’s is a worthy dark horse pick. But go past the chicken and you’ll see that your common local Ministop is a store that seems too clinical—the whites make you feel like you’re in an old hospital, and the choices on the shelves and menu are a little too pedestrian. And way too fried. It’s best when you’re trying to sober up before going home after a crazy night, but not really inviting in any other situation. –ROMEO MORAN, editor in chief

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Romeo got: Two pieces of Uncle John’s fried chicken, what else. It comes with a bottle of C2, too

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LAWSON This American-turned-Japanese convenience store isn’t really as popular as its competitors, but if you do find yourself inside one, you’re in for one hell of a treat. The tables are equipped with outlets (at least in the big, fancy Makati branch), they have their own karinderia serving hot meals with unlimited rice, and they’ve got their own exclusives like bamboo charcoal soft-serves and green tea mix ice cream. I don’t really know why they would have that kind of flavor, but a Lawson store is crazy good, but also crazy sad, considering that convenience stores aren’t really that convenient if they’re far from wherever you are. The people who live near one are truly blessed. You could probably go a week just mixing and matching whatever hot food they have for sale and you wouldn’t get tired. That’s the millennial cheapskate’s dream. –LEX CELERA, editorial assistant

Lex got: Chicken adobo, Hong Kong milk tea to wash it all down, and chocolate soft-serve ice cream for dessert


FAMILY MART At first glance, this Japanese favorite is seemingly perfect. The interiors are bright, well designed, and usually kept clean. Family Mart’s also got some Asian snacks you can’t really find in other stores (matcha lovers, get your snack fix here), plus a variety of refrigerated sushi (!!!). Despite all its pros, its Filipino branches still don’t live up to the Japanese originals. Though they’ve got some affordable donburi bowls and rice meals at the counter, these aren’t available 24/7, to our disappointment. And as much as the sushi seems like a major plus, let’s keep it real here−when you’re craving some sushi, the first place you’d go isn’t a convenience store that sells half-assed rolls. We still love Family Mart, though, at least for its consistently clean branches and rare Asian finds. –DENISE FERNANDEZ, associate editor

Denise got: Prepacked California maki and a Milo shake






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20 essay

a new era for equality Scout 26.indd 20

ROSS TUGADE examines the renewed fight for the Anti-Discrimination Bill, and the chances it’s got in the new Congress to change things around here. ILLUSTRATION BY KRISTY BORROMEO

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AFTER 17 years of languishing in the halls of Congress, the fight for the passage of the Anti-Discrimination Bill (ADB) is finally making great strides. House Bill No. 267 authored by Rep. Geraldine Roman, with its counterpart in the upper house, Senate Bill No. 1271 authored by Sen. Risa Hontiveros, both cite the fundamental State policy of equal recognition before the law regardless of one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (SOGIE). For people in the LGBT community, the demands go far and beyond formal political channels, and surely even more than the 17-year struggle in the legislature. The inclusion of an Anti-Discrimination law in our statute books is part of the fight for our basic right to be afforded protection from harm and institutional stigma. It forms part of the struggle to live a life shielded from fear and inequity. Structures of stigma, pockets of privilege I grew up in a household where two of my older siblings identified as lesbians. When I started to realize that I liked girls too, I eased into the lesbian identity with fairly less anxiety and more ease than I imagine other young people my age experienced. And while I would not come out to my parents until I was 24 years old, my circle of peers knew what I identified as during my years growing up. Like many others, I was not safe from discrimination in those formative years. Young people who do not understand—more so those who refuse to— can be unkind. I had to endure thinly veiled shots at my sexuality. In the early days of social media, the attacks came in the form of posts. It was entirely naïve of me to think that respect came in the form of working hard in school and doing exceptionally well. At the end of the day, I was a person reduced to my sexuality and my choice on whom to love. That specie of fear chewed up part of me while working my way in university and, later on, in law school. I distinctly remember how I “came out” to my Constitutional Law professor who taught us the Bill of Rights: in between passionate discussions of landmark cases such as Loving vs. Virginia and Lawrence vs. Texas—jurisprudence later on cited in the same-sex marriage case of Obergefell vs. Hodges—I expressed how difficult it was to get recognition from the State if one was part of a historically discriminated class such as the LGBT. I got a nod of agreement in response and for that moment especially, without any preferential or discriminatory treatment, I felt how it was to be respected as an equal because of my own merit and not because of what I identified as. Not all environments are as accepting. One must stand at a certain point of privilege to be out and proud in the predominantly Catholic Philippines. Some circles of society only go as far as being tolerant, and most individuals who identify with and practice a non-heterosexual way of life bear the brunt of far-reaching consequences. Uninformed views on the impact of an Anti-Discrimination law appear to have seeped into our political institutions as well. Certain politicians’ sound bites—which may or may not include Bible quotes without context— demonstrate the lack of depth in their understanding of the proposed law and have only caused further frustration and tension. Recognition of fundamental equality In their present form, the proposed Anti-Discrimination Bills provide protection to anyone from any action or measure that clearly oppresses on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression whether it be from the State itself or from private entities and individuals. Both versions of the bill define and enumerate discriminatory practices done on the basis of a person’s SOGIE: 1. The use of SOGIE as a criteria in labor-related personnel action; 2. To refuse admission to or cause the expulsion from any educational or training institution; 3. Imposition of harsher disciplinary sanctions or prohibitions; 4. To refuse the accreditation of any organization or group on the basis of the SOGIE of its members or constituency; 5. Denial of access to health services; 6. Denial of the use of establishments, facilities, utilities, or services open to the general public; 7. To force the undergoing of any examination to determine or alter a person’s SOGIE; 8. Any form of harassment, profiling, or detention; 9. Promotion of stigma; 10. Denial of the application for or revocation of a professional license; and 11. Other analogous acts. Further, the Senate version of the bill provides that discriminatory practices can be considered as a qualifying aggravating circumstance in crimes committed against individuals on the basis of their SOGIE, in that it can increase the penalty of the crime. This portion of the proposed law is

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Certain politicians’ sound bites—which may or may not include Bible quotes without context—demonstrate the lack of depth in their understanding of the proposed law. crucial as it directly responds to the possibility of commission of hate crimes underpinned by discriminatory attitudes. While hate crimes against members of the LGBT are not prominently featured in the news, there are reports and academic studies that cite their occurrence in the Philippines. Particularly exceptional is the high-profile homicide case of transgender woman Jennifer Laude, if only for its political and diplomatic implications. The Senate version also includes measures for social protection and information and education campaigns. It also calls for a multi-agency effort in the implementation of the law, which includes bodies such as the Department of Labor and Employment, the Commission on Human Rights, the Civil Service Commission, and law enforcement units. The main thrust of the bills is in line with the international obligation of the Philippines as a State-Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Specifically, this multilateral treaty mandates that “All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law.” Non-discrimination as a principle recognized in international law has found its way in domestic law through our Supreme Court. In the case of Ang Ladlad vs. COMELEC where the registration of the party-list was barred on ostensibly religious and moral grounds, the Court stated that sexual orientation is a status squarely addressed by the non-discrimination provision. In the end, the Court soberly noted that in ruling for Ang Ladlad, it merely upheld the principles laid down in the Constitution, “uninfluenced by public opinion, and confident in the knowledge that our democracy is resilient enough to withstand vigorous debate.” The ruling hones in on the idea that the republic stands on secular terms, with the question of acceptance of the LGBT community left to the function of democratic deliberation and social evolution. Long road ahead At the heart of it, the ADB reinforces the fact that all human beings are equal and must be treated so by the State and other individuals. The need for the ADB stems from the reality that SOGIE is still used as basis to prop up differences between otherwise equal individuals. The boundaries go beyond the cosmetic. To some, the ADB might spell the difference when it comes to access to opportunities and crucial resources. The ADB neither confers the LGBT as a special class nor creates a new set of rights. It is recognition from the State that at the kernel of each person is an immutable right to live a dignified life free from fear. As the proposed legislation inches towards the end of the law-making chain, the resulting deepened solidarity especially among the LGBT community and its allies must be fortified. The fight for legislation combating discrimination is a necessary first step in interrogating political and social institutions that reproduce conditions of inequality. The discussion must involve as well other anchor points of identity beyond sex and gender, such as social class. The ADB is a step in the long march to true and genuine social progress. The transformation of norms does not happen overnight. It takes decades of work building on the efforts of those who came before. Structures are founded on attitudes and worldviews. The road ahead will be fraught with struggle. I long for the day when young people will no longer be afraid to tell the world what they are and who they love. I share the dream with those still afraid of what the world will say, and hopefully someday all will share in the happiness that is being treated as an equal. I want to wake up to a world when long-term partners in same-sex relationships can free themselves from the discriminatory fetters of society. These are no longer pipe dreams, but aspirations that can now turn into reality. Pride can then come to take on a whole new meaning: from the struggles in the parliament of the streets to beaming joy in the comfort of our personal lives, free from fear and anxiety. It’s time we respond to the call of equality in the fight of, and for, our lives with love, respect, and acceptance.

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22 fashion

wild, wild l i f e Photography by CZAR KRISTOFF Styling by MELVIN MOJICA

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MAISON KITSUNÉ button-down shirt CARL JAN CRUZ pants AC+632 necktie AC+632 suspenders GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY X FILA shoes

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24 fashion


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fashion 25


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26 culture

(Right) MUJI button-down shirt GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY jacket UNIQLO pants AC+632 necktie SUPREME cap


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CARHARTT striped pajamas MUJI button-down shirt GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY X FILA shoes

Grooming by PAM ROBES Stylist’s assistant JACOB KHO Special thanks to OLIVER EMOCLING feat. CENON


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28 quiz

outfit of the day

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Can’t decide on what to wear today? DIIGII DAGUNA sums up the choices in this handy flowchart

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30 music

Mapping out the local music scene through our favorite musical collectives By LEX CELERA Photography by JOHN DEE (Stages Sessions, BuwanBuwan Collective, and PUSHTRAK) and GRACE DE LUNA (NOFACE RECORD$)


“ON THE INTERNET, there is no real underground anymore,” writes graphic novelist and author Warren Ellis. Music today doesn’t rely on charts to remain relevant; some songs that have never experienced radio play have millions of plays on Spotify or YouTube. The internet has created an equalizing space for any artist to put their song out there, and hopefully make their mark in the world. Conversely, people can get easily overwhelmed with all these music releases, which is why there are still channels people follow for new releases, little pockets of music people can live in. But today the question you should ask isn’t which music is the “best,” but rather which music you can relate to this very moment. We take a look at local musical collectives that, one way or another, formed their own pillars in the music scene. There are artists that continually push sonic boundaries and there are artists that drive towards building a familiar brand. These are all voices worthy of being heard.

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music 31

The Asian wave of trap music—made popular by Keith Ape’s It G Ma and kept afloat by the likes of media outfit 88rising—finds its parallels in this record label founded by Blvck Lauren last year. The hallmarks are there: streetwear pieces meet rattling hi-hats and catchy hooks to show off the perennial hip-hop flex. Look around you. This is where pop culture has arrived, with hip-hop permeating all ends of our every day. It was only a matter of time before we had our own local representation, people we can refer to when we say “local trap music.” That doesn’t mean to say PUSHTRAK is just a dig at what’s popular today. “If you look around we have heavy trap, we have vibes, but we’re also going to lo-fi pop, and disco,” says creative director 35VSNRY. The influences of Kanye West and Pharrell (Blvck Lauren’s idols) are there of course, but PUSHTRAK’s appeal is its impressive and diverse roster of members: music producers, rappers, graphic designers, and fashion designers form the family that is PUSHTRAK. “Music is our forefront but it’s also about culture and the lifestyle,” Blvck Lauren says. At its core, PUSHTRAK represents a new wave of creatives chasing success without compromising their vision. They know what they’re good at and they make the most out of it. In short, they hustle.

T R A K NOFACE Formed by ΩMEGA, YUNG $IMON, TAN TREES, Knife, and skinxbones, NOFACE RECORD$ is a label born out of the corners of the internet you always knew were there, but never fully noticed. The same online spaces that have created manifold genres like witch house and vaporwave have also created a tradition for artists to twist and bend these genres as they please. The tags NOFACE RECORD$ assigns to its songs indicate a non-commitment to traditional labels, but they’re nonetheless descriptive; “hip-hop/rap” is coupled with other tags like “therapy” and “depressionwave.” Although NOFACE RECORD$ has been only been alive for a year, its members have been consistently—almost restlessly—releasing new projects. To date, there are 19 projects up on its Bandcamp page, two of which are crew tapes (“$OUTH$IDE$WA666” and “DEAD INSIDE VIBE,” both released in 2016.) Whether it’s abrasive cloud rap, disconcerting beats, lulling vocals, or a combination of any of the three, the one thing that binds this group’s sound together is that it’s music that is best probably listened to by oneself. Some kinds of music build a barrier between you and the rest of the world, and in the hyper-everything of today, a soundtrack to being alone (and more importantly, being yourself) is therapeutic. It’s hard to ignore movements from the likes of NOFACE RECORD$, whose songs probably won’t be heard at the top of the music charts, but find an audience nonetheless in the increasingly visible fringes of the underground. This record label might fade away back into the void where it came from, and the members may return under a different name. Who knows, and more importantly, who cares? The music will hopefully stay.

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32 music

BUWANBUWAN Formally started in 2012, BuwanBuwan Collective is a strange, enticing brew of beatmakers and selectors that have driven music experimentation to uncharted sonic territories with the same DIY bedroom-studio approach. Founded by Vince Pante (BIN5), Kyle Quismundo (formerly Yolanda Moon), Luis Guitierrez (Like Animals), and Jorge Juan Bautista Wieneke V (SimilarObjects), BuwanBuwan now hosts almost two dozen artists who share the same vision of challenging the norm and pushing the envelope of electronic music outwards. By its existence, BuwanBuwan represents the possibilities of making music and, through its efforts to reach out to other musicians, fosters a community where fellow musicians can learn from each other and grow together. Its members have spawned movements and communities of their own, and its group projects are always a must-listen just to see what each member can come up with. Categorizing the transportative, experiential, and textured music of the members of BuwanBuwan isn’t easy, and to be honest, it’s often futile. The music the members of BuwanBuwan create becomes a coded language that speaks differently to both the artist and the listener. Each member of the collective is talented in his or her own right, but the truth of it is that this collective as a whole is bigger than the sum of its parts, whether the members are aware of it or not.

COLLECTIVE STAGES A production house, a talent agency, and a “content cocreation space” all at once, Stages Sessions’ artist-centric approach to gigs has been its trademark to fans. For pop artists, Stages Sessions provides a venue to experiment and push the boundaries of their own unique sound. For new blood, Stages Sessions offers a platform to be heard. Stages Sessions has been getting attention from indie heads and mainstream fans alike since their its first event last October 2015 with headliner Christian Bautista. Since then, it has organized events such as Daniela Andrade’s Manila concert, Clara Benin’s farewell gig, and recently its latest project called The Gig Circuit, which takes their roster of artists to frequented gig spots in the metro. Far from the do it yourself attitude of the local underground scene but also distinct from the trademark extravagance of local pop, what sets Stages Sessions apart is an emphasis on production value. Its take on music has been described as “mainstream stuff, done in an alternative way.” Each project comes off as somewhere in between pop sensibilities and new sonic territory, and it’s not entirely right smack in the middle. It’s in a different, better place.

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scene 33

the scout x up campus tour

Laura Abejo stressed just how effective making art could be in managing one’s feelings.

This year saw a revamped version of the lakads after acads By ROMEO MORAN Photography by CHARLES RODULFO

The official lakads after acads passport (also required for free food).

Students all over the university sent us their beautiful work, and you know this’ll still be a thing in the next Campus Tour legs.


Seresa also from the Music Circle got the chance to serenade us that afternoon.

The Scout team talked all about how their magazine gets made. Here’s EIC Romeo Moran asking how many people in the crowd actually read it. UP Music Circle’s Alexia Sumilang starting us off right.

Interested students also got the chance to interview with us for internships. (Spoiler: we hired her).

EVERY YEAR brings a new set of Scout Campus Tours to your local colleges and universities, and this year, we set the bar high once again with 2017’s first leg at the University of the Philippines Diliman last March 31. This year, we wanted more straight up hanging out, more knowledge from both the Scout team and friends they brought that the students soaked in, a lot more art to go around, and the most fun part: bigger and better musical performances. We wanted you to have some serious fun without too much of the red tape. There were card and tabletop games ready for them to play with, as well as giant Jenga and tic-tac-toe boards to have fun in. For those who also wanted a shot to sit with us, members of the team were also available to entertain internship applications. Pioneer Adhesives also helped bring out students’ inner artists by holding creative workshops on making paper bead bracelets and button murals. We were there to do more than that, though— Scout editor in chief Romeo Moran, art director Grace de Luna, and editorial assistant Lex Celera also spoke all about the magazine. Aside from that, writing and art students were treated to a taste of their passions as artist Laura Abejo of the UP College of Fine Arts held a short art therapy session, and Inquirer SUPER editor Pam Pastor discussed the reality of writing professionally. Of course, no Campus Tour is complete without the music. UP’s very own UP Music Circle provided three talented acts to jam with us: acoustic singers Alexia Sumilang and Seresa, and post-rock trio Hollowburn. Scout friends Jensen and the Flips main-evented the evening the only way they could do it. The Scout x UP Campus Tour was made possible with the partnership of the UP Writers Club, Pioneer Mighty Bond, and media partners DZUP, Maroon FM, Inquirer SUPER, and Bandwagon PH.

Jensen and the Flips took us home, too, and everyone was happy afterward.

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34 on the cover

We met Ronnie Alonte one day, and found a fast-rising young star still attached to his small-town roots By CEDRIC S. REYES Photography by JACK ALINDAHAO Styling by QUAYN PEDROSO

TOUGH L U C K C L U B Scout 26.indd 34

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on the cover 35

SHOW BUSINESS HAS A TERRIBLE HABIT OF FORGETTING. Keeping millions of individuals glued to their screens and at the edge of their seats can’t be easy, after all. Left to its own devices, the entertainment industry, especially our own, has a habit of taking on new talents and testing the waters for mass appeal, or the uncanny critical darling. These talents feed the line. Only a handful of fresh-faced teen idols are able to incite the response necessary to propel them to stardom, and this exclusive club forms the earmarks of a generation. Vilma Santos, Rico Yan, and Scout cover girl Nadine Lustre are just some of the lucky ones. When we think about specific eras of pop culture, they’re the ones that we remember. To the club that thousands of new talents strive for, it seems Ronnie Alonte was given an all-access pass. For a moment, right at the end, just as relief started to settle at the close of 2016, all eyes were on the smug-faced newcomer. He was by all means a star on the rise, but the end of last year hitched wagons to Ronnie’s ascent and secured his place as one to watch. Serving top billing on two films of the Metro Manila Film Festival simultaneously can do that to a young actor’s career. Still, Ronnie’s was a new name, one that rang like a tune and commanded attention. Snappy and memorable, his was the kind of moniker that agents pitched in meetings, because a pretty name is just as important as a pretty face. But Ronnie Arthur Alcantara Alonte has been his name for 20 years, since he was born in Biñan, Laguna. His name is real, and despite a maddening onset of success, so is he. Such is Ronnie when I meet him one afternoon in Escolta, the concrete-laden business district now making a quiet little resurgence. People tend to get antsy when waiting for stars, and our production team is seeking solace from the sweltering heat by the bar stools of Fred’s, a local bar with an alarmingly early opening time at the ground floor of First United Building, while exchanging casual banter about our subject. Which film was he better in? Did you hear that song he did? How about Maalala Mo Kaya? Ronnie’s work and his history precede him. When he appears at the shoot, bearing a tight grin on his face and plenty of charm, the team and I become alert, watching as he apologizes profusely for being late and shakes hands with everyone on location. With every terse introduction, he says his name–“Ronnie.” Everyone is on their toes, all recognizing Ronnie as the man who starred in two MMFF films last year, the actor pegged in his industry as one to watch. Because of his height, Ronnie looks agile and imposing, and he walks with a loose gait, with movements that are exaggerated but graceful in a way that only an athlete’s are. He looks confident, and dare I say, even a little excited. He looks convincingly like he is happy to be there, dodging the Manila heat with us. He and I head straight to a quiet corner of the bar. As we walk, Ronnie finds a grain of rice from breakfast on his shirt and flicks it off without pause. “Nag-almusal kasi ako,” he explains to me, laughing. There’s no blinding aura of bravado around him, no aggressive smack of perfume as we walk. Ronnie looks stunningly ordinary. I realize that the actor introducing himself to me is far from what I expected. Given the torrential fame he’s had to deal with, I would have understood a bit of cockiness, or the occasional request for some thing or other from his assistants. But Ronnie holds his own. He talks without encumbrance, casually and without regard for appearances. Maybe it’s too soon to tell, but it seems he hasn’t changed much since his start in the entertainment industry two years ago.

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36 on the cover

(This Page) RONNIE COMIA jacket TIM COPPENS mesh shirt MAISON MARGIELA pants ADIDAS shoes (Opposite Page) ACNE STUDIOS shirt MAISON MARGIELA pants GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY turtleneck ADIDAS shoes

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on the cover 37

I realize that the actor introducing himself to me is far from what I expected. Given the torrential fame he’s had to deal with, I would have understood a bit of cockiness. But Ronnie holds his own. Maybe it’s too soon to tell, but it seems he hasn’t changed much since his start in the entertainment industry two years ago.

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38 on the cover

When Ronnie sits down to introduce himself, the first thing he says is where he’s from. “Hindi talaga ako taga-dito,” he explains with something that looks convincingly like pride. “Taga-Biñan, Laguna talaga ako.”

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on the cover 39

GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY turtleneck OAMC pants OS ACCESSORIES beret GEN. MDSE keychain ADIDAS shoes

AT THE TIME, RONNIE’S NAME ONLY RANG A BELL TO THOSE WHO WATCHED DAYTIME TELEVISION. Though quite a way from becoming a household name, he had already been on television for two years, five days a week, as part of teen idol boy band Hashtags. Acing dance routines and flashing his abdomen on occasion were part of the job. The young looker with a smirk and a square jaw was used to placating a steady stream of fans between dance rehearsals and tapings, taking photos and signing shirts like it was nothing out of the ordinary. As a professional dancer with a regular gig, he settled into a routine, and fans started to worry that the drill was turning humdrum. Ronnie didn’t mind. His lithe physique and disarming smile got him a start in commercial gigs, which, in the beginning, were few and far between. Being able to show that he was more than just his looks with a regular job that showcased his talents as a dancer was more than enough. As far as Ronnie was concerned, he’d won the professional lottery by becoming a Hashtag. As he says the name of his boy band, he takes his hands and puts two fingers over two more–a number sign, and also the insignia of the Hashtags. His happy-to-be-here demeanor is authentic, and I find it’s infectious, too. This is because Ronnie’s origins are always top of mind for him. A few big breaks later, young and at the height of his career, Ronnie is sitting across from me, wearing cotton shorts and a bright yellow T-shirt. He takes off his sunglasses to reveal a tired pair of eyes. He hasn’t been getting a lot of sleep. His face is eager nonetheless. There are many things that can be said about Ronnie Alonte–that he sings, dances, acts. But when he sits down to introduce himself, the first thing he says is where he’s from. “Hindi talaga ako taga-dito,” he explains with something that looks convincingly like pride. “Taga-Biñan, Laguna talaga ako.” For everything that Ronnie is capable of doing, it’s this ardent connection to his roots that makes him stand out. Even more interesting is the fierce dignity he sheathes this connection in. His isn’t an easy story to tell, after all. After the motorcycle accident that left his father unable to work and the subsequent bankruptcy of his family, Ronnie found himself transferring from one school to another as he dealt with his family’s setbacks. A basketball varsity scholarship eventually supported his education, supplemented by the occasional commercial talent fee. His job as a Hashtag supported him and his family, and gave him the opportunity to tell his story, too. Ronnie confides that the first acting job he ever landed was for the role of himself. The story of his unassuming beginnings found its way to the producers of his network and became the basis for a capsule drama made for nighttime television. Though apprehensive at the beginning, Ronnie credits this episode as the green light for his acting career. He didn’t know that this path was only just beginning. For him, the shift was made more out of necessity than choice. “Dito sa Pilipinas, hindi pwedeng dancer ka lang. Kailangan balanced, artist talaga.” It might have been his acting chops, or his natural charisma onstage, but something about Ronnie caught the eye of Erik Matti. A big fan of Matti’s previous work, particularly his crime thriller On the Job, Ronnie was floored at the chance to work in Seklusyon, Matti’s grimy horror entry to the 2016 MMFF. “Binigay ko talaga ang lahat ko, kasi pinagkatiwalaan sa akin yung role ng isang director na napakahusay,” he said of the trust that was given to him by the renowned auteur. Giving his all meant that Ronnie had to sidestep the disturbing occurrences on set. An isolated house in the deep recesses of Antipolo, with a giant tree growing out of an abandoned pool, the location was organically frightening for Ronnie. It didn’t help that one cameraman left production after seeing an old woman in a noose onset. The role of Miguel, one of the four deacons being tried in Seklusyon, was emotionally taxing and

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physically demanding in equal measure. Hours of shooting, sometimes with camera equipment strapped to his person, left Ronnie questioning whether he was truly capable of giving justice to his role. Still, he forged on, spending half of his week shooting for Seklusyon, praying that he’d be spared the paranormal activity, and the other half playing the cold-shouldered bad boy in Vince and Kath and James. The memory of Ronnie’s Miguel, the straight-faced deacon plagued by the romances of his past, is a stark one in my mind. It’s easy to see why Matti saw Ronnie Alonte fitting the role. Ronnie looks serious, but also as if he has a genuine quality about him, making him the ideal vehicle for gritty emotion. He’s honest and spontaneous in person, but I wasn’t sure how well he would fare in a comedic Wattpad-based romance like Vince and Kath and James (VKJ). When describing the stark contrast between his two characters, Ronnie admits he struggled with transitioning into the role of James after playing a stoic deacon just the night before. He’d find himself walking with his arms still pinned to his sides, like a man of God, on the set of Vince and Kath and James. This was a habit that eroded with some time and the guidance of VKJ director Theodore Boborol.

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40 on the cover

I have only just met him, but I can almost recognize an old acquaintance, a childhood memory on the street. Ronnie looks, sounds, walks, and is even aptly named like a celebrity, but all his stories suggest otherwise.

(This Page) GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY T-shirt MAISON MARGIELA pants OS ACCESSORIES beret (Opposite Page) AMI PARIS hoodie APC pants RONNIE COMIA jacket

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on the cover 41


WHERE TO GET? ACNE STUDIOS Archives d’homme et femme, First Midland Office Condominium Building, Legaspi Village, Makati ADIDAS Robinsons Galleria AMI PARIS Hoodwink, SM Aura APC Hoodwink, SM Aura GEN. MDSE The HUB at First United Building, Escolta, Manila GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY Hoodwink, SM Aura MAISON MARGIELA Archives d’homme et femme, First Midland Office Condominium Building, Legaspi Village, Makati OAMC Hoodwink, SM Aura OS ACCESSORIES RONNIE COMIA TIM COPPENS Archives d’homme et femme, First Midland Office Condominium Building, Legaspi Village, Makati

Despite becoming acclimated to a lack of sleep and a demanding schedule, Ronnie says that he’s become a braver artist after Seklusyon and VKJ. He had to stretch himself far, and, considering his growth, he was glad to find in himself the same boy from Laguna. “Na-miss ko mag-basketball noon,” he says of the personal challenges he went through while filling his roles as deacon and teen rebel. Because of his late hours, Ronnie had to pack his free time with as much sleep as he could manage, leaving little room for him to come back to his first love. As the sport that supported him before he found himself in the thick of the entertainment industry, basketball will always find a place in his heart and in his schedule. The thing he misses the most about Biñan, he says, is playing basketball on the streets of his barrio. There was a basketball court on the set of VKJ, and while it was far from Laguna, getting to shoot a few hoops there reminded him of home. As he tells me the story of catching both of his films on the day the MMFF opened in Laguna, Ronnie’s face is awash with gratitude. It shows in his actions, too. Of course, people recognized him under the lights of a postcredits cinema. He was glad to meet them all, sans entourage, flanked only by friends who have known him since he was a child.“Kasama ko mag-laro ng basketball iyong mga ’yon,” he says of the group of five that accompanied him to watch Seklusyon and VKJ back to back. “Gusto ko kahit nagbago na iyong buhay ko, pareho pa rin ako.” I have only just met him, but I can almost recognize an old acquaintance, a childhood memory on the street. Ronnie looks, sounds, walks, and is even aptly named like a celebrity, but all his stories suggest otherwise. Despite a line of work that can so easily poison the well with conceit, Ronnie is gentle, self-effacing, and willing to listen. He must be the same guy he talks about when he talks about his past. Most people don’t know how lucky they are. But Ronnie seems to have a pretty clear idea. For all of the bad hands he’s been dealt, Ronnie Alonte exhibits a glowing optimism that makes him hard to look away from—whatever he’s doing. And he’s just getting started. While it’s not certain for now whether he will make it to the intimate club of generation-defining celebrities, Ronnie is going to keep trying. Armed with a thorough range of talents and a head full of gratitude, Ronnie Alonte wants to be remembered. When he does make it, he’ll have his lucky stars to thank.

Grooming by KAYE MISAJON Shot on location at THE PUBLIC SCHOOL MANILA Special thanks to GEN. MDSE and FRED’S

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42 fashion

nice to meet you

Six different personalities, six different styles on Manila’s streets Photography by GRACE DE LUNA

Name: Jullia Instagram: @julliagoolia Age: Young at 27 Occupation: Editorial content planner What’s your personal style? My style depends on my mood but mostly anything loose (yes, including pambahay!) What are you wearing? My fave jumper worn as trousers, top stolen from my sister’s closet, and Fred Perry shoes (for my inner mod) How are you feeling right now? Hungry but comfortable and fashionable, LOL Who are your style inspirations? Teddy girls in the ’50s and lolas of Japan

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Makeup by JANICA BALASOLLA (for Jullia and Aijalonica)

Jullia, 27

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fashion 43

LA, 24

Name: Alexis/LA/Le Axis Le Human Instagram: @leaxis.lehuman Age: 24 Occupation: Emcee/rapper/ street hustler What’s your personal style? Street style mostly, but I love wearing my own designs the most. What are you wearing? Beastism Security hat, hoop earring and black iced out panther pendant, Gucci gold watch, BAPE jersey, personalized cargo pants, Paces & Faces belt, and Bapesta shoes How are you feeling right now? I can’t feel my face. I feel like I’m walking on a runway. Most of all, I feel like Pablo. Who are your style inspirations? Animé, UK and Russian street style, KOHH, Ian Connor, tito style, Camron, Jeric Raval, NIGO

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44 fashion

Name: Ryan Melgar Instagram: @melgz Age: 25 Occupation: Illustrator What’s your personal style? I wear anything comfy. What are you wearing? Gosha Rubchinskiy T-shirt, Uniqlo khaki jacket and pants, and classic Puma suedes How are you feeling right now? Comfortable. Confident. Fine. :) Who are your style inspirations? Korean Oppas lol

Ry, 25

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fashion 45

Aijalonica, 17 Name: Aijalonica Lei, but I’ll respond faster if you yell “dogs!” Instagram: @vectortears Age: 17 Occupation: Besides being a full-time procrastinator, I guess I’m kind of a multihyphenate because I do lotsa stuff. What’s your personal style? I just want it to be fun and experimental all the time. I’m young and I’m prone to imperfection but it’s all good as long as I’m having fun with myself :) What are you wearing? Knit top from Androgyne, tennis skirt from AA, jacket from Heart Club, choker from eBay, aaand adidas Superstars! I was gonna wear platforms... but I’ll just give it up for days when I feel extra. How are you feeling right now? ~ M A I N I T ~ (but still super happy) Who are your style inspirations? #1 right now is @coco_pinkprincess on Instagram! Besides her, I’m sooo into Joanna Kuchta, Jovel Gomez, and Kiko <3

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46 fashion

Flo, 26 Name: Florian Trinidad Instagram: @floriantrinidad Age: 26 Occupation: Stylist What’s your personal style? street­–more sporty, very ’90s What are you wearing? Staple bucket hat, BAPE shirt, Super-X Sportswear jogging pants, adidas Gazelle shoes How are you feeling right now? I feel fine. This is normally how I dress. Comfort is still a top priority but I can’t forget about my overall look. Who are your style inspirations? Christine Paik, Princess Nokia, Aaliyah, TLC, “Mini Swoosh” Alexandra Hackett

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fashion 47

Raniel, 19

Name: Raniel Moraleta (brainspread) Instagram: @brainspread Age: 19 Occupation: Entrepreneur What’s your personal style? It depends on my mood but definitely, I always have on clothes that have stories, clothes I’m relaxed in, clothes that take inspiration from stuff I like. What are you wearing? Wednesday headband and cropped hoodie, Most High Co. shirt (underneath), The Starving Artist and Pushtrak pins, thrifted pants (that I’d like to be longer), and Bapestas How are you feeling right now? Comfortable. I always wear clothes I’m comfy in. Who are your style inspirations? ’80s and ’90s movie characters, 35VISIONARY, Bryan Sochayseng

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48 humor

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