I have a con­fes­sion to make: I dress rather pre­dictably. Some might call it ba­sic, even. De­spite be­ing the editor of a mag­a­zine that en­cour­ages a lot of loud, bold styles, I will come in to work in jeans and a plain T-shirt that, as much as pos­si­ble, hugs ev­ery edge, line, and con­tour of my body. Once I am at work I’ll throw on a black hoodie to pro­tect my­self from the of ce win­ter if I’m for­tu­nate enough for the weather out­side to be windy or just not at all blaz­ing hot or hu­mid, I’ll wear that hoodie out­side. (I did ac­tu­ally ask for a black hoodie for an of ce hrist­mas party ris rin­gle, and ended up get­ting two. My pub­lisher never let me hear the end of it for a few months but I didn’t care.)

That’s not to say that I never wanted to try, though. I’d pore over the pages of ev­ery is­sue of GQ I got, mar­veling at how awe­somely they put to­gether their male mod­els with styles that may or may not al­ways y in Manila. ou can’t al­ways dress in a nice suit and tie, be­cause not all places here re­quire it, and ev­ery­one would rather be re­laxed with the dress codes.

So con­sid­er­ing how con­ser­va­tive this society is and how pedes­trian a lot of peo­ple dress across all de­mo­graph­ics (I know, I know, who am I to call most peo­ple pedes­trian if I just ad­mit­ted to dress­ing pre­dictably, right?) I de­cided my best bet was to just nd what re­ally works for me and ex­e­cute the hell out of it. There­fore, I grav­i­tated to­ward what I’d like to call Su­per­hero asual, be­cause I wanted to look like how guys like hris vans did out­side their cos­tumes. Or The ock asual, be­cause it’s what Dwayne ohn­son seems to wear ev­ery day. Point is, it’s sim­ple, strong, and works for me.

It seems to be eas­ier than ever now to ex­press your en­tire per­son­al­ity with the way you dress. Granted, of course, you’ve got enough re­sources, but peo­ple are prov­ing more and more that you don’t even need ex­pen­sive brands for you to do you. obody’s go­ing to rag on you for get­ting an out t from a thrift shop—they might even ask you where you got it so they can go nd some­thing good them­selves. nd peo­ple would rather steal that stuff at a bar­gain, any­way.

But what’s even bet­ter in 2017 is that who you are, no mat­ter what that de ni­tion is, seems to be gain­ing more and more ac­cep­tance in this gen­er­a­tion, at least. Old heads won’t al­ways agree—and they might even be #shookt about it, like they al­ways are—but even with the sav­agery of the youth to­day, they’re still more likely to leave you alone to your own busi­ness, to what you want to be, and what you want to look like.

So in line with all that, we’re cel­e­brat­ing Iden­tity in this is­sue, and boy, we couldn’t have cho­sen a bet­ter guy to an­chor that whole theme than Ron­nie lonte. e’ve met a lot of down-to-earth peo­ple over Scout’s whole life­span, but Hash­tag Ron­nie to most of you may very well be the most grounded boy we’ve ever met. This is a guy who’s al­ways think­ing of home, even to the point where he will use his home­town to ex­plain some things about him­self. This is also a guy who will watch the pre­miere of his own movie in said home­town, anked by his child­hood crew in­stead of friends he’s made in the in­dus­try. It’s al­most as if be­ing from Biñan, La­guna was a part of his iden­tity, or some­thing.

nd we also cel­e­brate any­thing you want to be right here. If you like plants more than peo­ple, that’s cool. If you like dress­ing up out­landishly, that’s cool. het­her you like ying solo or be­long­ing to a squad, that’s cool. If you like mak­ing mu­sic, even if it’s bu­dots, that’s cool, too. s long as you’re not hurt­ing and de­mean­ing other peo­ple in the process, it will al­ways be cool with us.

nd it should be cool with the rest of you, as well.


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