Doing the most while still looking the most, Bretman Rock is unstoppable. From his advocacies to his aspirations, there is a whole lot more to this superstar than you think you already know.
“I want to do a comedy special,” Bretman Rock blurts out as he was getting his glam on. In between careful swipes of color on his moreno skin and the massaging of his luscious curls, he starts imagining what his set would be like. It may sound like an idea right now, but he has it all mapped out in his head, because that’s just who he is. When Bretman Rock wants something, he will work his damn hardest to make it happen, just as he has toiled with every success that he has chalked along the way so far.
Not only can we totally imagine it, but we can distinctly hear it. His rambunctious ramblings goes on and on, telling us stories of everything from having to navigate what was then the realm of possibilities that is a social media influencer, hilarious anecdotes of his family, and even hard-hitting lessons learned along the way. Clearly, Bretman Rock has a story to tell, and while we’ve probably heard a lot over the years as he had grown on the internet, there is still a lot more to discover from the Filipino American superstar.
Expanding his own universe from his roots on YouTube to a reality series on MTV, his beauty tutorials to brand collaborations, and his fitness journey to a global Nike campaign, forget what he says on his Instagram bio—he definitely is doing the most while still looking the most.
Related: BRETMAN ROCK IS MAKING IT CLEAR, B*TCH: SPEAK OUT, STAND UP FOR PRIDE
Da Baddest, The Greatest
Just as with any celebrity or internet personality, we would like to think we know who we look up to just based off of what they publish online. But as we have come to know, even with our own corners of the virtual landscape, this is all but a crack at the window of our entire lives. So, while we may see and think of Bretman Rock as this big, bold, and most definitely brave character, he is also the complete opposite. Yes, he always serve a mighty Leo energy, but even the fiercest of lions know how to purr quietly when the night falls in the savannah.
Insightful, considerate, and profoundly aware, Bretman Rock is just as invested and generous to whoever he is in conversation with as he is when it is his turn to speak, making sure he looks into your eyes and peppers in your name in between just to make sure that it is remembered and real. The rumors are definitely true: for all his IDGAF and bad-ass attitude, he is a kind and gentle soul.
Oh, and lest we forget, even with all that, he is still insanely funny. So, that comedy special? We’ll definitely be watching.
In our continuing one-on-one with Bretman Rock, he opens up about how knew he was going to be a star, his foray into social media, and his love for pinakbet.
You’ve already accomplished so much, but what was the dream for Bretman Rock as a young kid?
I feel like some voices in my head and I feel like my higher self has always told me that I was destined for greatness. My grandma told me I was destined for greatness. My mom and every teacher that I had in elementary school all the way up to high school always told me that I was a star, even if I didn’t tell them that I wanted to be a star. They just told me, Bretman, you’re a star, or Bretman, you’re such a character. They always just told me that.
When you started posting and publishing videos as Bretman Rock way back when, combining among many things, fashion, beauty, and comedy, did you ever think you would be who you are right now?
To be honest with you, and I mean this in the most humblest way. I’ve always known I was going to be more than what I thought, because I thought differently than most kids. I saw the world differently than most kids. And I learned differently than most kids. I knew I was special, and I knew I had so much to offer to the world. But when I was starting social media, no one was making money yet. The word influencer wasn’t even a thing. We didn’t even have an algorithm to complain about. We didn’t have to like worry about likes back then.
So, to answer your question, yes. I’ve always known I was going to be so much more but to deep dive in your question. I didn’t think I was going to be a star from social media because back then, no one could be like, you. No one thought you could be famous on YouTube. No one was even getting paid on YouTube yet when I started, you know what I mean?
Like I was filing taxes when I was 17. And for the job description, I didn’t even know what to put, because influencer wasn’t a word yet. So, I’m pretty sure I put like, online video maker or something at the time. So, I did not think I was going to be a star through social media, but I knew I was going to be a star.
How important is representation to you? And on a related note, what was it like working with an all-Filipino crew for your NYLON Manila cover shoot?
Filipinos, we love food, and if I could describe us as a dish, it would be pinakbet, because it is a mixture of all great things with many different colors and offers many different flavors. There’s just so many things to take pride in being filipino. With this project, it’s pinakbet. We’re all Filipinos making one dish. I’m the bagoong, you could be the eggplant, you know? Everybody makes this one big dish, this great Filipino-ness. You’re right, there’s so many things to celebrate and it’s not just me. There’s Olivia Rodrigo right now who is killing it in music…Bella Poarch who is also killing it in the social media game…Shay Mitchell. We have so much talent and views and thoughts and ideas to share to the world, what is there not to celebrate? What is there not to be proud of?
Creative direction and cover story ANGELO RAMIREZ DE CARTAGENA
Photography RAEN BADUA
Fashion and Beauty Direction LYN ALUMNO
Styling NIKKO PANTI and ANGELO RAMIREZ DE CARTAGENA
Assisted by ADRIANNE CHAN
Makeup DAPHNE CHANTELL DEL ROSARIO using DIOR BEAUTY, TOM FORD BEAUTY, DR. DENNIS GROSS
Hair JOJO TORRES using ORIBE HAIR CARE
Shot on location THE GERRY BUILDING, LOS ANGELES
Special thanks to Paul Samaha, Taylor Rodriguez, and Align PR; Tash Greizen of NOW PR LA, Michael Cruz of The Gerry Building, Sofhia Sevandra and Shania Sevandra
CONTINUE READING: FROM GOOD MORNINGS TO BEING ALONE, BRETMAN ROCK GETS REALER THAN REAL