You've seen it online: the epic Uniqlo ad shot by filmmaker (and Esquire Philippines photographer) Francisco Guerrero, featuring a stirring set of young movers and shakers for the brand's "Our Future is Here" campaign.
The personalities are meant to represent the city's brightest, the men and women who reflect the diverse character of Manila and contribute to its breakneck evolution. We took a closer look at these future-makers, and found some interesting names worth knowing.
A few things to know: The picks, which were narrowed down via a two-month nomination on social media, are not confined to a person, as in one person, but to entities, as well. And, as if special guest stars on the hot list, two familiar faces on Esquire Philippines have been tapped for the creation of digital and graphic pieces, journalist Atom Araullo and Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive Pia Wurtzbach.
Meet the rest of the innovators, in a portfolio shot by Guerrero, below.
The contemporary artist transforms discarded junk into immersive, large-scale public art installations such as a post-apocalyptic sculpture made from water tanks and cement fountains on the sand dunes of Paoay. New has also been collaborating with performance artists to bring his to life via @aliensofmanila.
“I want to be able to represent both women and the LGBTQ+ community in films that normalize us but at the same time expound on our commonalities,” says Lee. The film director and advocate for women's and LGBTQ+ rights made her feature film debut with Baka Bukas.
You can say the freerunner and parkour enthusiast highlights the secret spots of of Manila as he jumps across rows of freight containers or clears an urban obstacle on a rooftop. In his adventures Marcelo also notes how Filipinos show their famous hospitality as they welcome him into their homes.
Also known as CRWN, the beatmaker has been “pushing for a new sound” in the local music scene with lo-fi R&B jams “In Bloom” and “Still Life” from his latest set Orchid.
The Escolta Block
All found in First United Building in Escolta, these creatives and entreprenuers—Vince Africa, Reymart Cerin, Carmel Laurino, Mikki del Rea, Aliver Cedillo—campaign for the preservation of heritage structures and local culture by injecting new energy to old things.
His Instagram bio says, “I make spaces,” but the architect and founder of One Zero Design Co, does more than that: Serrano brings Manila back to life through the experimental spaces he builds in Escolta.
Campagn Asia recently included Yujuico, CEO of marketing firm Evident Communications, in its 40 Women to Watch list, for her work with local education-focused NGOs. She says, “I saw the transformative power of getting people to understand not just what you do, as an NGO, but why it’s important.”
The pageant queen-turned-social entrepreneur is (she was crowned Miss Teen Earth in 2015) devotes her time in the social enterprise Project Lily PH, which employs PWDs in the production of eco-charcoal.
The two-year-old Filipino restaurant—chef Jordy Navarra, May Navarra, JP Cruz, Kate Evangelista, Steve Jotham Hansen—achieved global fame when it was named as Miele One to Watch in Asia's 50 Best Restuarants. Though it's known for reinventing the familiar, the team believes that some dishes like the pinakbet Ilocano and sisig should be left alone.
“I’ve chosen to embrace adversity and hardship because of the values I learn in striving for success,” says Fagsao. The student and captain of the University of the Philippines’ Women’s football team also hopes that local athletes can be given more opportunities for training and conditioning.