The title launches its June cover star for pride month — Hawaiian-based Filipino social media sensation and his colorful journey.
Groundbreaking firsts for Vogue Philippines and Bretman Rock. Vogue Philippines features its first-ever LGBTQIA+ front-page personality and Bretman Rock takes hold of his first-ever Vogue cover. Captured in his most free-spirited self, Bretman Rock unleashes his story towards authentic self-expression of being nonbinary and being in touch with his true self as he reconnects to his roots.
The title immerses the 24-year-old Bretman in the enchanting realm of Siquijor, where he finds solace and serenity. While it is hours away from his hometown in Cagayan, he feels emotionally rekindled. He said, “I’m so glad we went [to Siquijor], that we did a destination shoot because the trip became spiritual for me, almost like the start of an awakening for me and I’ve always kind of considered myself a very spiritual person. I’ve always felt very spiritually guided and that’s the first time in my life where I felt like my ancestors, rooting me on, cheering me, welcoming me home.”
In the headlining piece, Vogue Philippines explores his coming of age from being a little bakla (his favored Filipino term when identifying himself as a gay person) to being nonbinary in full detail. He stated, “I’m too delusional. I’m in my own world, call me whatever you want. That’s why I go by all the genders… Girl, I’m Bretman. I’m not a woman, I’m not a man,” Bretman says. “In the Philippines, we call everybody ‘Ma’am/Sir.’ I call everything ‘girl,’ even when I refer to my dad… ‘I miss my girl.’ At the end of the day, the person that needs to know who you are is you and the people that you love.”
The cover has reached praise and applause on social media, hitting another iconic feat for Vogue Philippines. From messages of admiration to expressions of support, the community and its allies embraced this powerful symbol of representation.
After the reveal, Bretman also turned to his Instagram account, pouring out his emotions. He shared that gracing the pages of Vogue had been a cherished dream of his, especially as a minority queer Asian who doesn’t get a lot of opportunities like this. “It’s such a big deal, it’s truly a big deal and I really wish, I hope that every brown queer kid gets to have their own Vogue cover one day cause every queer kid deserves to feel like this,” he narrated.
Bretman raises the flag for the community — to those currently struggling, to those harnessing courage, and to those discovering themselves. He expressed his gratefulness to Vogue Philippines for creating a platform for Filipinos and aspires for a future where individuals like him could also bask in the spotlight of such prestigious magazine covers.
Head on over to https://vogue.ph/magazine/bretman-rock-cover/ to read the full cover story.