If you weren’t at SM Mall of Asia Arena last night, you definitely missed out. Bench Under the Stars took our definition of “extra” higher. The entrances and runway stunts of the different models and celebrity endorsers were far from what you were used to.
You wouldn’t be able to hold back a surprised expression nor put your phone down. It felt like each walk was a little show in itself, leaving the audience amused and wanting more.
How do you open a major anniversary celebration? Bench thought it was fitting to start with a hot celebrity like Ruru Madrid who displayed off his ripped physique. Well played!
I can’t think of a better situation to show off your abs and toned figure than during an event where thousands are present, frantically uploading everything real-time on Instagram. In a white number, Julia owned up to the #fitspo that she is. Could it also be the start of more risque roles for the star?
There was Solenn Heussaff: model, host, It girl, vlogger, and now, budding acrobat. Upon reaching the top of the runway, Solenn showed off her skills on the ring as she dangled from the ceiling. You could say it was but another typical day in her life.
A parade of umbrellas introduced the bikini and beach collection of Bench. At first, they huddled together, hiding a secret. The group then burst open to reveal Richard Gutierrez. Why hide in the shade when you can bathe in the glory of the camera lights? All you need are some sunnies, anyway.
In a bright red bikini and a colorful hair accent, Maxine Medina entered while the accompanying models flexed their muscles. What? You don’t have the same effect on people when you enter the room?
Fresh from nabbing the Reina Hispanoamericana crown, Winwyn made her presence felt as she danced around her model sidekicks. She then raised her arms triumphantly so you can see the message clearly: The queen is here!
Then there was Maine Mendoza. She got to the runway by being lifted by three men. Is there an Uber feature we missed out on? Because that’s how I want to be transported all the time now.
As the screens lifted to reveal the second set-up of the show, out came Markki Stroem. He had nothing but underwear on and a beaded full-head mask. But don’t you worry, he took the mask off and also his underwear to reveal his thong. What’s more is how he threw his undies to the audience.
Paolo Avelino had two things going him for him. A studded denim jacket with a fur back and the ability to push people out of his way without touching them. Something we all need to say “Bye, Felicia” to the haters.
Enrique Gil commanded some (literal) fire as he took to the runway. Hey, it was a little chilly in the arena, so we totally understood the need for some heat.
While walking, Kim Chiu suddenly decided that it was a bit too basic. She then called forth two shirtless men to lift her by the arms until the middle of the runway. List that as my dream superpower.
Why just walk when you can show off your fighting skills? We also ask ourselves the same question every day, Tom.
Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla
Daniel Padilla called for a lot of screams as he walked out. But, wait, something was missing. Soon enough, Kathryn Bernardo caught up with him on the catwalk and they held hands to the end.
Coleen Garcia walked down the runway in a bomber jacket but she ditched it eventually so you could get a better view of her body. It’s the not-so-subtle way of telling you to get the gym membership already.
Lovi Poe mesmerized the crowd by twirling one end of her long shawl as she walked. Don’t forget how she also made everyone start their diet plans ASAP.
Closing out the big show was no other than the world’s sexiest math teacher. In nothing but his underwear, he served as hypeman to make sure everything ended in a big bang. Charming the crowd, taking his time, and shielding his eyes as if trying to look at everyone despite the bright lights, one could not get enough.
Photos by Dar San Agustin
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