|Tom Rodriguez and Dennis Trillo in the much-creamed about My Husband’s Lover mode|
Since it started in 1997, with apparent inspiration from the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Bench’s biannual underwear shows have attracted a large following and media attention by having celebrities, as well as top models and designers participating in the show. It is a venue where celebrities get to strip down, literally. This year, the popular and sexiest celebrities worked the catwalk, and notable fashion designers were pooled including internationally recognized Michael Cinco, who garbed Solenn Heusaff, Isabelle Daza, Dominic Roque, Paolo Avelino and Martin del Rosario. International models were flown in including America’s Next Top Model alumna Allison Harvard. Interspersed within the show were circus acts by the French group Les 7 doigts de la main.
Crowds squealed for the love tandem of teen stars Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo, while controversial real-life partners Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati kissed onstage. Paulo Avelino, Rocco Nacino, Enzo Pineda, Joseph Marco, Tom Rodriguez, Dennis Trillo and Markki Stroem kept the crowd screaming. The popular female celebrities were less “showy”—Marian Rivera, Kim Chiu, Carla Abellana, Jessy Mendiola, Max Collins and Shaina Magdayao—but Solenn Heusaff and Ellen Adarna strutted their stuff.
Notable was a little step towards LGTBQ inclusiveness with Filipino-American transgender model Geena Rocero debuting on Philippine stage, and actors Tom Rodriguez and Dennis Trillo, though straight, recreating an intimate moment as characters from their acclaimed and highly successful soap My Husband’s Lover.
One of Bench’s most daring celebrity models, Jake Cuenca, appeared in jock straps, proudly displaying more than butt. With a little flab, he inadvertently injected a dose of reality into the fantasy, breaking the parade of perfectly sculpted bodies. Over time, we all can get flabby; that’s one of the naked truths. We ought to celebrate bodies of different types.
|Tom Rodriguez surprises and delights by showing more skin|
|Jake Cuenca in jockstrap, showing butt as well as flabs|
|Dennis Trillo and Tom Rodriguez|
|Sam Concepcion, sweet and sexy at the same time|
|Coco Martin comes in with a woman on a leash, a questionable concept|
|Hoop dreams: Brothers Jeric and Jeron Teng with Andre Paras|
|Fiery models in red and black underwear|
|Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati|
|Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo|
|Regal as ever, Marian Rivera concludes the show|
|Solenn Heusaff in queenly dominatrix look by Michael Cinco|
|Carla Abellana in bustier of deconstructed denim jacket|
|After disrobing a gauzy gown, Ellen Adarna sashayed in full glory|
|Sarah Lahbati, Richard Gutierrez and Coco Martin|
|Bench founder and top honcho Ben Chan|