These Personalities Understood The Assignment At The Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala

These looks vogued the house down.

These ensembles at the Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala have a story to tell.

Related: The Exact Beauty Brands Worn By Bretman Rock At The Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala 

Turning the pages of one issue after another, Vogue Philippines has revolutionized the Filipino fashion landscape by championing the beauty of our people, culture, and craftsmanship. So, as Vogue Philippines celebrates its first anniversary, it was a moment to champion Filipino fashion.

The Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala went with the theme of ‘Rewear/ Rework’, which celebrates creativity and sustainability in the fashion scene. With the theme’s remarkable flexibility, celebrities, content creators, and creatives had the freedom to interpret it however they wanted. Whether by repurposing old outfits, reconstructing pieces, or incorporating thrifted finds, these personalities genuinely captured the essence of the event’s meaning.

Bretman Rock

Bretman Rock wore an architectural ensemble by Filipino fashion designer Rajo Laurel. The social media superstar strolled down the black carpet in an all-ivory garment that surged like a wave, with a statement shoulder transitioning into an asymmetric hem. To honor the theme, the head-to-toe piece was made with reused piña. Styled by Brian Meller, one of the night’s best looks was accessorized with South Sea Pearls and a clutch sourced from the Artefino Fair. According to Bretman Rock, he’s serving Perlas ng Silanganan, and we definitely agree with this one.

When asked about ‘Rewear/Rework,’ Bretman leaves a message for every Gen Z. “I mean, we’re already thrifting and reworking everything. So, my message is to keep going. I honestly think we should continue rethinking fashion in a sustainable way. What I love about Gen Z is that we’re also blurring the line when it comes to gender. Not only are we sustainably aware, but we’re also genderless now.”

Liza Soberano

Liza Soberano has always been one to turn heads, and the Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala was no exception. The actress arrived in a couture piece from Rajo Laurel. Similar to Bretman Rock’s architectural attire, this sculptural beauty was repurposed and reworn. Styled by Perry Tabora, the ensemble was then accessorized with Tiffany & Co.’s classic jewelry. 

Nadine Lustre

There’s just something about Nadine Lustre. She embodied the true essence of dark femininity in an all-black custom piece by Mark Bumgarner. While the actress admits to opting for something subtle for the evening, her beaded bodice and stunning set of jewelry continues to stand out as a statement itself.

When asked about the carpet affair, Nadine elaborates on the significance of rewearing garments. “You know, clothing is one of the biggest polluting industries. It’s important that we understand the value of the clothes, the pieces that you have. For me, if it’s something I could wear again, I would,” she says.

Angelique Manto and David Guison

While this couple never missed out on color-coordinating outfits, David Guison and Angelique Manto have also gravitated toward pieces that match their personal style. Following the theme, Angelique walked down the black carpet in an archive piece from Neric Beltran. By now, we’re noticing a trend as she paired the top with a reworked structured skirt. In another reworked creation by Neric Beltran, David wore an all-white ensemble. As always, we’re loving the perfect pair.

Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos

Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos had a monochrome moment at the Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala. Personally loving the theme’s significance, the actress re-wore an archival piece from Vania Romoff. With a see-through bodice and finished with Tiffany & Co. jewelry, the look was both subtle and sultry. Khalil, meanwhile, killed it with a dashing Dior suit and styling by David Milan.

Kyline Alcantara and Mavy Legaspi

We’re always on the lookout for Kyline Alcantara and Mavy Legaspi’s carpet looks, and last night was no exception. Kyline served an all-black Coperni piece—haute couture, no less. While we’re already envious of the ensemble, the actress reveals that she also has it in pink! Meanwhile, Mavy wore an all-white suit from Good American.

Pat Cortez

While Pat Cortez slays in the beauty space, she’s also recognized for her creative approach to fashion. The model and content creator reconstructed ‘old clothes’ and transformed them into an all-white ensemble. Handling all the work herself, she finished the look with tropical flowers—yes, it’s serving fairycore.

Shaira Luna

If the theme were tailor-made for someone, it would specifically be for Shaira Luna. Like a throwback to a moment in Gen Z culture, the Filipina photographer and ‘Thrift Queen’ graced the black carpet wearing a vintage dress sourced from the thrift market. Serving Dalagang Filipina realness, Shaira Luna’s Filipiniana features puff-sleeves adorned with embroidered flowers, complemented by a plain black choker.

Of course, we had to ask for her thoughts regarding the Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala theme. “I don’t think I could be more proud. I remember starting in the industry and thrifting wasn’t really a big thing. It’s just so nice to see the younger generations embracing thrifting, vintage, and reworking clothes in a celebrated way,” she shares.

Image by Gelo Quijencio

Continue Reading: GMA Gala 2023: The Celebrity Looks You Didn’t See on the Red Carpet

The Exact Beauty Brands Worn By Bretman Rock At The Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala 


These beauty brands? Oh, you totally recognize them. Seriously, you can just snatch them right off the makeup aisle.

Related: 7 Weird, Wonderful Workout Outfits By Bretman Rock That We’d Wear 100%

After a year of culturally resetting the Filipino fashion scene, the Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala has finally arrived. Last night, as we constantly refreshed our feeds for the show-stopping ensembles of our favorite celebrities and content creators, the word glamour might be best reserved for what accompanied those familiar faces.

Amid the star-studded guest list, all eyes were drawn to Bretman Rock, a name synonymous with pushing boundaries, shattering stereotypes, and redefining beauty. Complementing his Rajo Laurel ivory creation is the social media personality’s glowing skin and a graphic white liner. His hair is slicked back, and cascading in long waves. Yes, we’re all about that natural glam.

BTW, if there’s one more thing about Bretman Rock—it’s that he doesn’t gatekeep. As he expressed gratitude to his glam team and Carissa Cielo for skillfully showcasing his moreno and Palawan skin, Bretman spilled the exact beauty brands he wore to the event. And these beauty brands? Oh, you totally recognize them. Seriously, you can just snatch them right off the makeup aisle.

GRWM Cosmetics

A surprising contender takes center stage for the Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala: GRWM Cosmetics. Needless to say, Bretman Rock was all about the beloved local beauty brand. “Both my blush and color corrector are from GRWM, so supporting Filipinas, especially Filipinas in the beauty space,” the content creator says.

Tom Ford

Bretman Rock is renowned for a long list of accomplishments: beauty guru, cool chicken mom, and author. Naturally, his signature glow is no exception. Bretman Rock’s appearance at the Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala was nothing short of breathtaking. As the cameras flashed, his glam team undoubtedly captured the radiance of his beautiful moreno skin. The secret behind his natural glow? Not one, not two, but three shades of Tom Ford foundation. For this one, Bretman, I feel like we need some dupe recos.

Wet n’ Wild

No red carpet glamour is truly complete without the perfect pout. With a Wet ‘n Wild lip liner, Bretman’s choice of a brown lip look proved to be a statement in itself, effortlessly blending with both his eye makeup and his South Sea water pearl necklace. Who knew something subtle would stand out?

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B.I Low-Key Stole The Show At The Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala

What happens when a K-pop star goes to a Vogue Philippines gala?

B.I at Vogue Philippines’s Anniversary Gala made for the most exciting of surprises.

Related: Moments From B.I’s Concert In Manila That Prove He’ll Always Be Loved In The Country

Vogue Philippines recently celebrated its first anniversary with a gala that brought together a constellation of Filipino stars and personalities. With a guest list that included Bretman Rock, Nadine Lustre, Vice Ganda, and more, the star power that night was palpable. But the evening wasn’t just local names celebrating the country’s fashion bible. In a social media-breaking twist, international K-pop superstar B.I made an appearance at the gala and had hearts inside and outside the party going BTBT.


Before the Anniversary Gala, speculation ran among B.I’s fans as to what he was doing in the Philippines on his latest visit. It wasn’t telegraphed beforehand or expected that he was going to the event as a popular rumor among fans was that he was here to watch a FIBA game. So, in a surprise that got social media shook (well, maybe except for the Vogue Philippines team), B.I attended the Anniversary Gala decked out in a dashing Louis Vuitton fit.

B.I at the vogue Philippines anniversary gala

B.I is no stranger to the country. The talented and extremely sweet musician has held quite a few concerts and performances in the Philippines over the years. But his attendance at Vogue Philippines’s Anniversary Gala essentially served as his first industry event in the country. Did we see this coming? No. But are we mad about it? Absolutely not. Naturally, when he stepped on that red carpet, all the cameras were firmly pointed at him. And even if it was a setting we weren’t expecting to see Hanbin at, he was more than game for the evening.


TBH, B.I was a whole mood during the evening with his fun and charismatic poses, as exemplified by this video of Liza Soberano being interviewed while B.I was busy posing in the background (which, by the way, was for our photographer).

He was there to have a good time, and we’re here for it. And speaking of Liza, we love how she was also game to match B.I’s energy. Not only did she join him for pictures, but she also got down to doing poses with him.

B.I and Liza Soberano Vogue Gala Philippines

This seemingly random yet more-than-welcome development also manifested itself in B.I being included in a group shot already in the running for one of the best photos of 2023. We have Pia Wurtzbach, Liza Soberano, Bretman Rock, Bea Alonzo, Anne Curtis, Nadine Lustre, Byranboy, and then there’s Hanbin just vibing in the back.

Our favorite part though about B.I’s Vogue Philippines experience was how he still made time to take selfies and pics with some of his IDs before he left the venue. You really are that star when you don’t even stay for the whole event but end up becoming a main event and a top trending topic on X. Who knows what else B.I has planned in the Philippines.

Continue Reading: 7 Head-Turning Celebrity Interactions We Spotted At The Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala

The Asia Artist Awards Will Be Held In The PH For the First Time—Here’s What We Know So Far

Get your lightsticks ready.

You read that right. The Asia Artist Awards, one of South Korea’s biggest awards ceremonies, is being held in the Philippines for the first time ever! Here’s what we know, who’s coming, and how you can watch!

Related: Meet the Only Filipina Competing for a Spot in HYBE X Geffen’s New Global Girl Group

Have you ever watched a Korean awards show and wondered what it would be like if the Philippines was chosen as a host nation? Well, wonder no more because one is finally coming to the Philippines. The Asia Artist Awards, organized by Korean newspaper Money Today and media brands StarNews and MTN, celebrates the best of the best in music, film, and television. And on August 30, StarNews dropped the, well, news that the ceremony will be held in the Philippine Arena on December 14!

The first edition of AAA were held in Seoul in 2016 while subsequent ceremonies have been held in South Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. This year, its 8th iteration will land in the Philippines for the first time, and undoubtedly to the shock and joy of countless Hallyu fans all over the nation. The event will be hosted by the AAA organizing committee, TONZ Entertainment, and PULP Live World.

Happee Sy-Go confirmed the development by reposting the news on her X (formerly Twitter) page and sharing with Manila Bulletin that PULP is “very honored to have been chosen as the Philippine partner to host this year’s Asian Artist Awards.”

The Awards sees a mix of Korean idol groups, artists, actors take the stage to accept awards, host, or perform. Last year, the star-studded attendees included NewJeans, SEVENTEEN, TREASURE, IVE, Han Sohee, Bona, Lee Jae Wook, and so much more. Other most-awarded artists include BTS, SEVENTEEN, Lim Young-woong, TWICE, and Kang Daniel. International artists have also won awards, such as MAX and Anne-Marie winning the Best Pop Artist Award in 2020.

Social media is already buzzing with anticipation for this year’s awards as it’s a massive moment in K-pop culture that is sure to have incredible performances, fun interactions, friendly competition, and a grand celebration of Asian culture—and it’s going to happen right here in the Philippines!

To kick things off, the first lineup for AAA was announced on September 2 by Starnews. So get ready to see world-renowned girl groups LE SSERAFIM, NMIXX, and NewJeans, as well as 5th generation boy groups BOYNEXTDOOR, and ZEROBASEONE at the Philippine Arena this December!

Next up, the hosts of the awards! Wonder no more who’s going to take the red carpet interviewer gigs as IVE’s Jang Wonyoung, Kang Daniel, and ZEROBASEONE’s Sung Hanbin are here to host the grand event!

K-Drama enthusiasts—get ready! The next wave of attendees have confirmed they’re walking the carpet in the Philippine Arena: actors Kim Seon Ho (Start-Up, Home Town Cha-Cha-Cha), Ahn Hyo Seop (Business Proposal, Dr. Romantic), Kim Se Jeong (Business Proposal, The Uncanny Counter), and Moon Ga Young (True Beauty, The Interest of Love)! And to add, more attendees include artists Lee Dong-hwi, Lee Jun-hyuk, Cha Joo-young, and Lee Eun-sam.

You won’t believe who else is coming. K-Pop groups ITZY, Stray Kids, THE BOYZ, soloist Kwon Eunbi, and Japanese boyband &TEAM have confirmed their attendance at AAA 2023!

The second musical lineup revealed groups Dreamcatcher, KARD, STAYC, Kep1er, TEMPEST, Lapillus, as well as soloists and rappers Kim Jae Joong, Dindin, Lee Youngji, Ash Island, and YAOCHEN will be in attendance!

Next up! The star-studded lineup includes SEVENTEEN’s sub-unit BSS (BooSeokSoon), ONEUS, KINGDOM, ATBO, LUN8, Filipino groups SB19 and HORI7ON, EXO’s Suho, and chart-topper Lim Young Woong! And if that’s not enough, local big names joining them will be Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, and Melai Cantiveros.

Ticket selling starts November 12! Stay tuned for more news about the Awards, and get ready for a great December.

Bookmark this page for updates as we learn more about AAA in the Philippines!

Continue Reading: 9 International Music Videos You Didn’t Know Were Shot in the Philippines

7 Head-Turning Celebrity Interactions We Spotted At The Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala

Your faves behind closed doors.

There’s just something about having Nadine Lustre, Bretman Rock, and Anne Curtis sit beside each other for dinner like it’s a normal Tuesday night.

Related: The House Of Vogue: Here Are The Stars Who Dominated The Vogue Philippines Gala

ICYMI, the country’s fashion bible, aka Vogue Philippines, celebrated a major milestone recently as the magazine turned one. From iconic covers to spreads and features championing all forms of Filipino excellence, Vogue Philippines spent its first year making a splash and letting the world know that this is a publication that you need to have your eyes on.

Celebrating a first anniversary is a big moment for any magazine, which is why Vogue Philippines went all out with an Anniversary Gala spread across two floors and a guest list featuring a who’s who of the country’s biggest and most exciting names and then some. With all that star power under one roof, there are bound to be moments that felt like they were taken straight from fan fiction, and we were there to catch the link-ups and greetings that had us stopping in our tracks. Here are a few interactions we spotted in person at the Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala.


Kylie Versoza and Bretman Rock Vogue Gala Philippines

Seeing Bretman Rock slay with beauty queens feels correct. Case in point, this moment we caught when Kylie Verzosa approached Bretman on the red carpet to say hi and snap a few pics. Later that night, Bretman also had a moment with Celeste Cortesi, as they should.  


While this may have only lasted a few seconds, we’re still going to cherish seeing this moment of Bea Alonzo greeting Nadine Lustre as they ran into each other on the red carpet.


Given that he flew to the Philippines from Hawaii to, among other things, attend the Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala, it was expected that Bretman would be one of the stars of the evening. Seeing the social media superstar interact with Filipino celebrities was a moment to remember, like when Bretman linked up with Vice Ganda, Anne Curtis, and Bryanboy. Bretman and Vice is one frame? We know that’s right. 


B.I and Liza Soberano Vogue Gala Philippines

In an evening filled with glitz and rewear-themed glamour, one of the highlights of the evening was the surprise attendance of K-pop superstar B.I to the gala. And what made it even better was that he was joined by Liza Soberano. We don’t know what we loved more, the fact that Liza was matching B.I’s energy when they would pose for pics, or that they were in the same frame.


Here’s a bit of insider tea, the Anniversary Gala was split into two events, the first being an invite-only Thanksgiving dinner, and the second an exhibit to welcome the launch of Vogue Philippines’s first anniversary cover. So, with the star power inside that Thanksgiving dinner, the seating arrangement was something else. Such is the case with how Nadine, Bretman, and Anne just so happened to be seatmates at dinner, aka the table we would give an arm and leg to sit in.  


Several motherquakes were detected in the Philippines when Pia Wurtzbach, Liza Soberano, B.I, Bretman Rock, Bea Alonzo, Nadine Lustre, Anne Curtis, and Bryanboy decided to break the internet. Where do we even begin with this group meeting that has enough star power to light up all of Luzon? Nadine and Liza in one frame. B.I just vibing in the back. Bretman holding the camera. And the best part of this was that it happened because Bryanboy pulled each one and asked them to be part of the shot, which he’ll send to Potato Corner for their application.


Gabs and Chi Gibbs Vogue Gala Philippines

The beauty of having so many stars and personalities in one room is that you get to see them hang out as if they were like any old regular barkada at a party. Inside the exhibit room during the afterparty, we spotted LA Aguinaldo, Paul Salas, Miguel Tanfelix, and Gil Cuerva taking a pic and hanging out by the corner, Nadine Lustre, Ry Velasco, Chi and Gabs Gibbs, and Lyn Alumno chatting over drinks, Bretman Rock, Vice Ganda, and Bryanboy taking a pic, and more. Meanwhile, outside the Grand Ballroom Foyer, we peeped Ranz Kyle having a chat with Paul Salas. 

Continue Reading: The Must-See Interactions We Spotted At The Vogue Philippines Welcome Party

Breaking New Ground: A-Team Is Highlighting Filipino Excellence Through Dance

They're making bold moves.

“We believe in this saying: by the community and for the community.”

Related: All The Performances That Made NYLON Manila’s Big Bold Brave Awards Night Unforgettable

For elite dance crew A-Team, pushing the boundaries of dance means learning from every experience and offering their very best selves to the world—and not just as performers.

We got the chance to talk to MJ Arda, one-half of The Ardas—the founders, choreographers, and directors of the multi-awarded dance crew. With him and his sister Angelica Arda, the duo are leading a team of driven, talented dancers to take on the world, one step at a time.

Arda talks all about how A-Team has grown over the last decade and how they’re using everything they’ve learned to give back to the community that’s uplifted them from the very beginning.


A-Team Dance Crew

Founded and led by MJ and Angelica Arda, A-Team is an independent street dance and hip-hop group known for their explosive, artistic, meticulously-curated, and impactful performances. Beginning as a small group of young dancers in 2011, A-Team has grown to be a community of dancers championing dance and movement in the Philippines.

As the first ever Filipinos to win the gold medal in the Megacrew division at the World Hip Hop Dance Championship in 2014, A-Team has earned renown and respect from participating and winning competitions all over the world throughout the years.

While they immediately started off participating in international competitions as early as their founding year, it was a long road to get to where they are.

Arda muses that dancing wasn’t celebrated before the way it is now. But as appreciation for the arts and movement grows and as pioneers make their marks, showing the world the value of what they do, it’s clear that much has changed.

“We really started from the bottom,” Arda shares. From small studios and a handful of members, to international titles and opening FIBA World Cup 2023, the team has grown so much not just in reputation, but in terms of who they are and what their role is in the community. They’ve learned from each competition, each performance, and each other.

In the international scene, “There’s so much more you can improve on. You’re not the best. There’s so many ‘bests,’ and you’re competing with all of them.” Constant improvement is a principle they strive to abide by. The global stage isn’t easy to step on, but it does provide an avenue for learning, discipline, and improvement.

Challenging themselves every day not just sharpens their skill, but also strengthens their own idea of who they are as individuals, as a team, and as dancers representing their nation.


A-Team Dance Crew

As time passed, A-Team was able to form a stronger, more cohesive idea of who they are and who they want to be. By telling stories through each performance, they also tell their own.

Because before each story is shared to audiences through movement, there’s also everything else—music, direction, mentality, style, and all of the other pieces of the puzzle.

Music and style are important aspects of a performance. For Arda, he refers to music as the most important thing. It is the “water” while the dancers are the “boat”. They ride the waves, letting their movements intertwine with the music to make a piece nothing short of magical.

And not only does the crew feel the movement magic in the music and steps, they also channel it through their looks. Watch any A-Team performance, and you’ll quickly see that fashion and styling are distinct essentials to their identity. 

“Fashion, styling, clothing…that’s our bread and butter. It’s who we are.” The team, known to always be decked out in cohesive, well-put-together outfits, takes pride in what they wear. It’s an extension of their performance, and an extension of themselves. Their style is an outward expression of their identity and pride at being dancers.

The influence they’ve earned now paves the way for them to help develop the mentality that dance is more than just a form of entertainment. Their members also aren’t just dancers—their roles have also shifted and changed along with the freedom and creativity that a change in mindset allows. They’re leaders and teachers, coaches, artists with a future.

It’s important to A-Team, and to Arda, that the identity they forge with their dancing isn’t just about them. Sure, going out to chase outside experience is good, but he asks a very relevant question: “why do we keep chasing the opportunity or the talent when we have it here?”

Several Filipino dance teams have won renowned global dance competitions—A-Team’s Megacrew division gold medal win, for one. And just recently, Filipino teams HQ and Legit Status brought home gold medals in the Adult and Megacrew divisions, respectively, in this year’s World Hip Hop Dance Championship.

Given the heaps of talent we have in the Philippines, from well-established crews to independent dancers, the world should be acknowledging that we could learn so much from local Filipino dancers and choreographers. Clearly there is no lack of talent nor opportunity for Filipino dancers to tell their own stories and to share their gifts with the world.


A-Team Dance Crew

Every A-Team performance is eclectic, meticulously designed with much consideration in mind regarding each one’s purpose. Preparation for a performance is fraught with having to make difficult creative decisions to exhausting conditioning sessions. There are “a lot of ups and downs,” Arda admits, and preparing both physically and mentally is a mountain to be climbed.

“The stronger the body, the stronger the mind. The stronger the mind, the stronger the body.”

And while producing, choreographing, and directing a dance piece for a large-member crew is a long, painful process, he admits it’s very fulfilling.

Their recent large-scale dance showcase DEMO Vol. 9 required a lot of patience and preparation. The DEMO is one of A-Team’s biggest projects, and it’s also one of their favorites, because it’s not done to win anything, but to express who they are and why they dance.

“You’re exhausted after that, but at the same time it’s full of emotion.” The emotional rollercoaster that is a performance, tied with the physical toll it takes, could get dancers to reach a sort-of “Nirvana” state that Arda refers to, where they realize just exactly why they do what they do.

“Because of these things, these experiences, that make you feel something.”

What makes A-Team is the artistry, athleticism, mentality, and community behind every performance. It takes so much out of every dancer mentally, emotionally, and physically, and it takes a village to create something electric, something wonderful to share with the world.

At the end of the day, dancing is not just about the creative process or how excellent a piece is technically. “At the end of the day, dance is a feeling. You get to feel something and you get to share that to a lot of people.”


A-Team Dance Crew

Today, A-Team strives to “create newer paths” in the world of Filipino dancing. Their new era is marked by endeavors that will—more than just bring home more trophies—empower the dance community and inspire aspiring athletes and creatives. They own Zero Studio PH, where they host classes and workshops, and they constantly try to uplift the dance community and celebrate local artists.

“We believe in this saying: by the community and for the community.” Arda shares that the strengths of the members of A-Team is that they’re able to connect with the community on a daily basis. They encourage their members to create their own paths and build communities that love and appreciate the art of dance.

So when they announced the Ultimate Dance Cup, a dance competition to be held in October 2023 to highlight Filipino dance teams, they brought together everything they’ve learned to give back to the community.

The Ultimate Dance Cup is the third in their line of competitions meant to, literally and figuratively, put the spotlight on members of the local dance community. They began with the Choreographer’s Cup for local choreographers and the Freedom’s Cup for freestylers.

“The whole concept behind the ‘cups’ is for us to have a space and platform where everybody is given the equal opportunity to be seen.” UDC gives opportunities to teams who just want to try, those who may not have the infrastructure, support, or visibility in the dance scene. Dancers, established or new, young or old, have the opportunity to sign up to compete in the Cup.

The Ultimate Dance Cup ties together what A-Team was, is, and what it could be as it showcases their efforts to empower Filipino dancers and highlight dance excellence in the Philippines.

Grounded and driven by passion, a commitment to the craft, and a love for the community, A-Team is steadily pioneering a new era that brings performance art to a whole new level.

A-Team Dance Crew

Outfit Credits: MJ: Revibe Culture Reworked Jacket, Paxon Pants, Jordan Boxer Shorts/APES: Reworked Zara Top, Miss Sixty Mini Skirt, Nike Boxers/JAJA: Neric Beltran Bralette/NICA: Nike Skirt/ANGEL: Paxon Pants, Stone River Body Jewelry/YSAI: Blackbough Swim Belly Chain worn as Necklace/SHAWN: Toqa Tank Top, Give Me the Loot Vest/KOBE: MM6 Oversized Tee, Give Me the Loot Pants/JOSH: Revibe Culture Reworked Jacket/CHAEL: Revibe Culture Reworked Jacket

Photographer JAN MAYO

Assistant Photographer ENNUH TIU 



Assistant Stylist RAF VILLAS 

Special thanks to MUD Studio Manila

Continue Reading: 6 Filipino Dance Crews That Rocked The World

Meet The Only Filipina Competing For A Spot In HYBE x Geffen’s New Global Girl Group

Class is in session.

Twenty-year-old Sophia Laforteza has made it to the Top 20 finalists that will compete in new reality survival show The Debut: Dream Academy.

Related: All the Major Announcements From HYBE’s Community Event Briefing

K-Pop industry leader HYBE, home of global supergroup BTS, is teaming up with American record label Geffen Records to find the next global girl group that’ll take the world by storm! Twenty finalists chosen from hundreds of thousands of applicants have made it to the “Dream Academy,” where they’ll compete for a spot in the final lineup of the group. And one of them hails from the Philippines. Here’s what you need to know about the young Pinay hoping to make her idol dreams come true.




Sophia Laforteza, 20, is the only Filipina to make it to the finalist lineup alongside other international competitors hailing from the USA, Japan, Australia, Sweden, Argentina, Thailand, South Korea, Switzerland, Brazil, Belarus, and Slovakia.

Sophia Laforteza


She and the other finalists will showcase their skills and talents for 12 weeks on the reality competition and audition program The Debut: Dream Academy, which will air on YouTube and Japanese platform ADEMA starting September 1st to November 17, which will be the live finale.

The Debut: Dream Academy Contestants

Photo courtesy of HYBE/Geffen

In Dream Academy’s social media reveal of the finalists, Sophia, or Sophie/Fifi/Sopheezy, describes herself as “hysterical, caring, and diligent.” She is the daughter of actress and singer Carla Guevara Laforteza and Chef Godfrey Laforteza, who, like her, is a proud ARMY.

She graduated senior high school in 2021 with high honors from Multiple Intelligence International School after studying in the Humanities and Social Sciences strand. Her Instagram is filled with stylish outfits, travel pictures, and fun, sun-drenched adventures.

Sophia is also proven to be a talented vocalist, having posted singing videos to her Tiktok. With her talent, style, looks, and poise, Sophia looks to be a strong contender in Dream Academy, and we can’t wait to see how well she does.

@sophialaforteza singing on here again after months 🫶🏼 vanessa’s trick for ya #thelittlemermaid #vanessastrick #singing @halle ♬ original sound – sophia laforteza


John Janick, chairman and CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M, says of the contestants, “Each candidate is incredibly talented, dedicated, and driven, making this an exciting moment for music fans worldwide.” To introduce the finalists and their talents, HYBE and Geffen released an art film on YouTube, and we can already tell it’s going to be a tough competition.

Dream Academy was born out of HYBE chairman Bang Si-Hyuk’s desire to form an international group based on “K-Pop methodology.” Upon collaborating with Janick, they got started on developing the concept and process for forming the next diverse, world-class music group, which led to where we are today.

Once the final lineup and the name of the new group is revealed on November 17, Billboard reports, the group will undergo further training and development, a process that will be documented for a Netflix docuseries to be released in 2024. Meanwhile, The Debut: Dream Academy will see these 20 trainees showcase their skills and talents through challenges and performances to earn evaluators’ praise, the public’s votes, and a spot on the group.

If you want to support Sophia as well as your other faves, you can join The Debut: Dream Academy Weverse community or vote on Tiktok. Voting starts September 1st. Stay updated on their website and socials (@dreamacademyhq on X and Instagram) to see how far Sophia goes and how the next big global girl group will be formed!

Continue Reading: Meet R Rules, the Half Pinoy, Half Japanese P-Pop Girl Group All About Empowerment

5 Reactions To The Percy Jackson And The Olympians Trailer That Are A Whole Mood

Move over, Potter.

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians trailer brings Percy and the Greek gods’ story to life in new ways for a generation that’s waited forever.

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After wildly successful book-to-screen adaptations like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Divergent, it’s time for Percy Jackson to have the spotlight (and no, we don’t talk about the discontinued movie series adaptation). The long-awaited Disney+ adaptation of the book series, this time with author Rick Riordan heavily involved, dropped its series trailer last August 19 and moved its release date to December 20 of this year.

The series, as it was undergoing development, has been the subject of much media coverage and social media virality the past year. Book readers who have been there since the beginning and new fans alike have been buzzing with anticipation for an age-appropriate, faithful adaptation that will do justice to the young demigod hero’s story. Reactions to the new trailer and an earlier release date have been a mix of overjoyed excitement and emotional expressions of wish-fulfillment.

And no, as someone who’s read the books as a pre-teen and is now 22, I definitely didn’t tear up. Not at all. Nope.


Riordan and series fans have sung nothing but praises for the diverse and skills-first casting of Percy, Annabeth, and Grover. Walker Scobell of The Adam Project fame was announced as Percy Jackson last year, and Riordan referred to him as having the “perfect mix of comedic timing, sweetness, rebelliousness, snark and heroism” to embody the demigod hero.

The funny Aryan Simhadri was said to have a “mixture of sweetness, humor and internal toughness” perfect for satyr Grover Underwood. Finally, Leah Sava Jeffries is a “brilliant actor,” the embodiment of the daughter of Athena—smart, strong, and courageous. She could break hearts, make people laugh, and have people cheer on her “all in the same scene.” From the actors’ previous works, social media presence, and behind-the-scenes looks at the series, it is undoubtable they’ll do a fantastic job as the main trio.


Both teaser trailers featured creatures, gods, battles, and Camp Half-Blood come to life. It was fun for fans to notice and call out the series version of something they read in the book, such as Thalia’s tree (spoiler alert: Thalia Grace is a daughter of Zeus that was turned into a tree to save her life), the orange camp t-shirts, the armor, the battle with Ares, and so much more. While book-to-screen adaptations are a mix of hits and misses overall, there is reassurance in Riordan’s involvement and the world-building we’ve seen so far. Plus, it’s always so much fun and excitement in seeing words on a page come to life right in front of you.


In the trailer, if you listen carefully, you’ll hear a line from Vance Joy’s Riptide, making it canon as a Percy Jackson song after years of fans linking the song to the franchise. The song shares a name with Percy’s trusty sword Riptide. This detail means the series was produced with the fans in mind, and more than that, the creators truly realized what it means to fans who have been there forever, like those who made edits to the song way back in 2016. One can only wonder how those editor fans felt after watching the trailer!


Speaking of fans and faith, so many fans of the series who have run stan accounts for the series showed immense elation at the adaptation. I was also part of Percy Jackson Twitter in the early-to-mid 2010s, and I’ve made friends online and offline because of this series. Running a fan account and witnessing all the new releases and developments, from new novels to disappointing movie adaptations, is such a unique, rollercoaster experience. To watch the series, reliving old adventures and seeing new ones as the series goes on, will be a nostalgic, emotional journey that will get us to say, “Hello again, Percy.”


The first book of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, The Lightning Thief (which the first season of the show is based on), was first published in 2005. It’s been almost 20 years since then, but the series has consistently been relevant over the decades, what with new series being published by Rick Riordan still featuring characters and storylines from the original 5 books.

Chalice of the Gods, a standalone sixth novel to the original 5 books, is even being released this September. All that is to say, Percy’s story has lived on for years, accompanying a generation that is now all grown-up. This new Disney+ series will definitely introduce Percy to a whole new audience, and even a whole new generation. Regardless, we’ll all be seated for this renaissance.

Hype and expectations are sky-high for the adaptation, and hopefully, it will let Percy Jackson’s story live on in a new way in longtime fans, and open up new worlds to people who will have just discovered the magic of the series.

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Delulu Is The Solulu: TikTok Explains Why Our Delusional Moments Are A Form Of Manifestation

Delulu come true.

Remember Isaac Newton from sixth grade? It’s all about the law of attraction.

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Have you ever attended a concert, thinking the lead vocalist would notice you in the crowd especially if you acted as if you weren’t interested? Maybe your campus crush looked in your direction for a split second, and suddenly, you’re married with two kids? Well, we’ve all had those delulu moments.

Delulu serves as a shorthand for ‘delusional’—saying something like ‘I’m being delulu’ means you’re believing things that couldn’t possibly be true. The term first emerged within a K-Pop fandom, where fans indulged in delusional behaviors like believing that a bias would develop feelings for a fan. By the time it entered mainstream media, the community used ‘being delulu’ as a catchy phrase to describe delusional thinking.

‘Delulu is the Solulu’

@jazzybaby99 delulu is the solulu part.2 🤪 #fyp #delulu #delusional #delulugirl #girlsgirl #relationship #love ♬ original sound – J A Z ❤️‍🔥🇮🇩

Isn’t delusion actually a bad thing? While it’s a Gen Z thing to romanticize narratives, it’s not always about escaping the real world. Instead, it represents a conscious choice to reinterpret scenarios, circumstances, and attitudes in a more mindful way. Amidst the stress and anxieties, delusional thinking casts self-confidence over whatever worries you. Being delulu serve as a reminder that within the confines of everyday routines, there’s room for endless possibilities.

‘May All Your Delulus Come Trululu’

@arcanumla #manifestation #spiritualtiktok #lawofattraction ♬ original sound – Arcanum LA

Looking back, I wouldn’t be writing this if I wasn’t delulu. Before becoming a writer, I was delusional in thinking that I deserved that position offer—even though there were more candidates with the same, if not better, potential. But I wouldn’t be working with my dream company if I hadn’t attracted the possibility into my life.

Remember Isaac Newton from sixth grade? It’s all about the law of attraction. You can manifest things to happen—the good and the bad. If it means having delusional moments, then pretend that the world is yours. Don’t worry, being delulu isn’t limited to fan fictions, imaginary boyfriends, or other romantic contexts. It extends to school presentations, job interviews, and even everyday interactions. When we’re envisioning an A+ during finals week, there is excitement, motivation, and a very optimistic outlook. Before you even realize, you’re graduating with Latin Honors.

Every delulu moment serves as a mini intention-setting session. When we’re imagining ourselves acing that interview or actually being THAT girl, we’re essentially stating our desire for success. So, the next time you find yourself lost in a daydream, recognize it for what it is—a testament to your creativity, your capacity for hope, and your yearning for something more.

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What The Success Of Rookie Means For Samantha Lee and Pat Tingjuy

Catching up with Sam and Pat.

Following Rookie’s headline-making splash at Cinemalaya 2023, director Samantha Lee and lead star Pat Tingjuy reflect on their queer volleyball movie.

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Given how volleyball-crazy many Filipinos are, with games often becoming community events in themselves, it’s quite surprising to see that we haven’t had many movies set around volleyball. The type of stories that can be told through volleyball is boundless. And one such story came when Samantha Lee introduced to the world her latest film, Rookie, during Cinemalaya 2023. 

Right off the bat, a film about two women who are part of their school’s volleyball team falling in love was destined for something special. From giving space for queerness in sports to turning its rookie lead star into an award-winning actress, Rookie is the definition of a success story. 


Rookie, which was produced by ANIMA, KUMU, and Project 8, follows Ace (Pat Tingjuy), a new student who is asked by her school’s volleyball coach to try out for the team. While Ace initially feels awkward as part of the team, things begin to change when she meets Jana (Aya Fernandez), the team captain, and the two begin to form a friendship that turns into something special. 

“If Lorde’s Ribs and Haikyu had a love child,” is how Samantha Lee would describe Rookie, the first sports film of her career, in an interview with NYLON Manila. It’s not every day that queerness is explored in sports, so, Rookie was a breath of fresh air for the local film industry. But more than just breaking new ground, Sam saw her latest film as another narrative to depict a love story where queerness is the norm. It’s this kind of world-building that has helped her stand out as one of the industry’s most exciting new creatives. 

Still from Rookie

But the love story at the center of Rookie wouldn’t hit as hard as it did if it weren’t for the two actresses who brought it to life. And it’s an even more impressive feat considering Pat Tingjuy’s life before getting cast in the film. While her praised performance in Rookie may not show it, the film is Pat’s debut acting role. “Someone shared [the casting call] in one of my volleyball groups,” recalls Pat in an interview with NYLON Manila. “What pushed me to audition was my friend personally sending me the photo saying, ‘Go mo ‘to.’” 

According to Pat, what attracted her to the role was how Ace spoke to her as a character. “While reading the script, I was so entertained and I related to Ace since we’re both awkward, and some things have happened to me that have happened to her.” As for Sam, the rookie actress proved to be a promising fit for who she wanted to play as Ace. “When I saw Pat’s video, I knew I definitely wanted to see her read in person. Once we locked down our Ace, it was a matter of trying to find who Pat had the most chemistry with and that was how Aya came on board.”


Once everything was in place, it was time to make the movie, which translated to less than two weeks of filming to bring together one of Cinemalaya 2023’s breakout entries. “We only had nine days to shoot it and shooting a sports film requires so much coverage so that’s where the difficulty was,” shares Sam. The short timeline also meant Pat had to get her feet wet fast in her first-ever lead acting role, which, believe it or not, she only realized during her audition. 

“I had absolutely no idea it was for a lead role, so it came as a surprise to me when I read the script.” On her biggest challenge during the shoot, Pat says it came from the initial awkwardness of the acting workshops. “I’m actually very shy and at the start of the workshop, I’d feel super awkward with the things I’m asked to do. But, she adds, “[Acting coach] Ms. Marj Lorico was there in every step and I’m super grateful. What changed is what Direk Dan [Villegas, producer] said, ‘wag na kayo mahiya, magkakasama naman tayo hanggang shoot’ and it hit me ‘oo nga’ and they’ll see us act anyway so I got to incorporate that thought with my acting.” 

Still from Rookie

Just like any athlete who takes to the court for a big game, Pat felt the nerves during her time on set. “I was absolutely nervous! The last thing I wanted was to be a burden to everyone in the set so I had to give my best.” But, looking back, she sees the shoot as one to remember.

“The experience was amazing. Everyone on set was encouraging and kind.” Oh, and it also does help to play a volleyball player when you’re an actual volleyball player in real life. “I never imagined [playing a volleyball player] on screen,” she shares on the meta moment. “My original dream was to play professionally but I never thought I’d be playing volleyball for a movie. I just think it’s funny and amazing how volleyball has gotten me to where I am today.” 

Still from Rookie

If Rookie spoke to audience members with the stories and scenes it depicted of young women in school, so too did it for Sam and Pat. “I was the captain of my high school basketball team who was supposed to move to a high school with no basketball team so most definitely a lot of aspects of Rookie ring true to me,” reveals the writer-director. As for Pat, she too also came from an all-girls school and was deemed a star player in volleyball after intrams. “It’s also really funny how this one scene where a girl in the hallway was pushed by a friend to Ace, that happened to me.” 

And without getting into too many spoilers, Sam cites filming the locker room scene where the Angels talk about their girl problems as her favorite moment on set because it was “so much fun to shoot.” As for Pat, she goes with the intrams scene. “It brought back so many memories, especially the part where Ace gets to spike in perfect form for the first time.”


As early as the first screening of Rookie, it became clear that a highlight of the film was the chemistry between Pat and Aya Fernandez with the scenes between Ace and Jana eliciting kilig from audiences. Sparks were flying whenever these two were on the screen and it was a chemistry that Pat felt was reflected off cam. “She’s very kind and supportive of me,” she shares on getting to work with Aya Fernandez. “We both agreed our chemistry is organic, very natural ever since the day we met at the first round of auditions. Direk Sam even requested we don’t connect at the beginning to keep the awkwardness because our chemistry is just too much.” 

Still from Rookie

And while all this was going down for the first-time actress, Pat was also reviewing for her Architecture Licensure Exam (which she passed, by the way). As she explains, “Before the shoot, I would do my review, reading and taking up online review classes. I had to pause my review for the shoot and I continued in mid-April for it.” Luckily, her employers were supportive of her acting endeavors and gave her time to attend events during Cinemalaya week.  


A movie about two women a part of their school’s volleyball team falling in love from the writer and director of some of the most talked-about Filipino queer films of the 2010s was always bound to get people talking. But when Sam Lee dropped the poster of Rookie on X to thousands of likes, she was caught off guard by the reception. “One million views in 24 hours for an independent film with first-time actors is insane. It was a pleasant surprise.” The poster’s virality on social media proved to be a harbinger of the success that would follow Rookie in its Cinemalaya debut. 

Not only was the movie met with positive reviews and deemed a box-office success by the independent film festival, but it also bagged three awards from Cinemalaya, including the Audience Award. “Winning this award is a good way to show producers that films like this can be a good investment for them and they should continue funding projects like these,” Sam expresses. 

Cast and crew of Rookie at Cinemalaya

On a deeper level, a queer sports movie taking home an award voted on by viewers was another sign of validation that means the most to her. “I make my films to speak to a very specific kind of audience and to be able to receive that love and appreciation back is the only validation I ever truly need.”

Pat Tingjuy at Cinemalaya

As for Pat, it’s still a bit of an adjustment period for the first-time actress and newly licensed architect after taking home Best Actress. “It still hasn’t sunk in since I haven’t had the time to process everything. The awarding was on Sunday, the morning after, I went straight to work, got home late (because of the traffic), and I’m just too tired when I got home. But I am aware that this is a huge thing! It’s real and it happened. I’m truly honored and thankful to have worked with the amazing people of Rookie and everyone who supports it.” 


Sports is filled with success stories that are the stuff of, well, movies. And in a way, Rookie is that kind of success story of the queer independent film that could. The film’s moment is yet more proof that Filipino creators and audiences are ready for more Filipino LGBTQIA+ stories in media and that the industry just needs to catch up. “I hope that Rookie is able to be a bridge for more opportunities for more storytellers and actors to be able to have more opportunities to create,” shares Sam. 

Still from Rookie

Filipinos deserve good Filipino movies that delve into all kinds of stories, themes, identities, and more that should be told. The space has room for these kinds of narratives as local creators, and local cinema, deserve the support. To that end, Sam and Pat implore audiences to show their love for the local industry by buying tickets, streaming legally, and posting about what they watch on social media.

And, as for their advice to the people at the heart of Rookie, young women navigating through change and still on that journey of finding themselves, they want to make it known that this is your journey of discovery, no one else. “You’re on your own timeline, don’t feel pressured or worry about anyone else,” says Samantha. Adds Pat, “You do you, do good, take your time, and more importantly love yourself.”

Photos courtesy of ANIMA. 

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