Love at first sight. A wonderful thought but really, how often does it happen to one? Imagine meeting someone and right at that moment, something clicks and you just know it. You just feel it. “He’s the one!”, you think to yourself. As much as some of us would hate to admit it, we’ve all (okay, maybe some of us) day dreamed of finding the perfect person to spend the rest of our lives with in that fashion.
This Valentine’s season, /ESCAPE puts the spotlight on three boys who made us swoon as soon as we’ve spotted them.
First up on our list is David Licauco. We first caught a glimpse of him during his early university years in the viral video on YouTube of hot college guys in Manila called The Hotlist. It didn’t take long until GMA Artists Center signed him on as a talent and is now up for his first lead film role in the upcoming romantic-comedy movie entitled Because I Love You, directed by Joey Lamangan.
Jacket and shirt by Cotton On
On the day of the shoot, our second guy walks in with what seems like clothes that would last him a week of fashionable OOTDs. “Do you still plan to go home after this shoot?” we jokingly ask him as he settles in. SM Youth Ambassador, Macauly Löfgren, or Mac—as his friends would call him—juggles his modeling career while taking up Civil Engineering in DLSU-Dasmariñas. A golfer and a polo player as well, this well-travelled millennial is the familiar face that you would see donning the latest of the SM Youth Collection in any outlet of the brand.
Long-sleeved polo and shirt by SM Youth
The new kid on the block that completes our trio is #Benchsetter, Rhys Miguel. Born to a Filipino father and an American mother, Rhys has spent most of his life in Kentucky, Texas. He was told to try his luck here in the Philippines after a promoter mistook him for James Reid’s younger brother, Jack. He took the risk and flew here and after only being here for four months, Rhys has already scored a contract and a billboard from Bench and is already on the fast track to becoming one to watchout for in show business.
All clothing items by BENCH/
In an afternoon filled with neon lights and smoldering stares, David, Mac, and Rhys sit down with /ESCAPE and share with us who their first love was, how they are when they’re in love, and the kind of girl that they’re looking for.
On Rhys: All items by BENCH/ (left and right)
On Mac: All items by SM Youth (left and right)
On David: Sweater and jogger pants by Cotton On (left), Denim jacket, top and jeans by Uniqlo (right)
/ESCAPE: Who was your first crush?
David Licauco: Barbie (laughs). Fan kasi yung sister ko noon so gini-girlfriend ko sila, inaalagaan ko sila. Ayun.
Macauly Löfgren: My first crush was a girl from Kindergarten, I remember it very clearly: her name was Natalia. We were both in Kinder 2, I thought she was very cute—she was mean—but I liked that.
Rhys Miguel: I would say Selena Gomez, when she was on Wizard’s of Waverly Place, an old show but I just thought she was very, very pretty.
Let’s talk about the first time you fell in love. What was it like?
David: Siyempre hanggang kilig lang. Wala, parang kasi pag bata ka naman, hindi ka masyadong serious sa life eh. So from that time I had a lot to learn about love pa.
Mac: The first time I fell in love was with my best friend. We were in high school and I had been chasing her for four years, but she never felt the same way until I ended up dating someone else and I guess she realized that “Oh hey, I guess I loved him back” so we got together, and we were together for about a year and a half.
Rhys: I don’t know if I’ve fallen in love yet. But I did like a girl for a very long time. Since like, maybe sixth grade to sophomore year high school. I dated her at one point when we were super young, sixth grade, you know like goofy kind of thing.
What are your telling signs when you like a girl?
David: Mahiyain ako eh so diba usually kunwari kapag gusto mo talaga yung person like nahihiya ka i-text sila, it’s not like pag normal girl na friend mo lang, you can text them “Oh, hey what’s up?” as easily. When I like someone usually I ask my friends “Bro, okay lang ba ‘tong reply ko? Sure ka ba?” I guess yun.
Mac: Honestly I smile very easily, so you know I’m kilig cause you will see that there’s a big smile on my face and I will probably blush, and yeah, it would be very obvious, I would show it.
Rhys: I wouldn’t really know mine, but like, my good friends can tell when I like a girl, they’re like “Oh Rhys likes that girl.” I don’t know if it’s like a look that I’d give them or like the way I smile or laugh or act but it’s something.
What’s your type?
David: I like girls who can carry themselves well, yung confident. Like syempre yung confident na nasa lugar parin like may reason to be confident.
Mac: I love the Filipina beauty, morena beauty because it’s so exotic and it’s so striking. More than that, it’s not just their looks, but also their personalities. Filipina women are genuinely or normally more kind and they are very loving.
Rhys: I wouldn’t say I have a type. I’d just like who I’d like if I catch my attention and if they’re not materialistic. I like girls that like you for who you are. I like funny girls and I like girls that would eat a lot. I want them to actually be themselves.
What’s the best way to get a girl’s attention?
David: Shy type ako eh. Minsan hinihintay ko na sila unang pumansin. (laughs)
Mac: Honestly, I like to be straight forward, I would walk up to her and I’d say “Hi, you caught my eye. My name is Mac, what’s your name? Can I join you for a coffee?”
Rhys: I don’t really know… but I would just walk up to her and introduce myself and just be polite and nice.
How do you date?
David: Actually I spoil the girl. Feeling ko boyfriend material ako eh, to be honest. Like I really go all out, as in actually lahat binibigay ko—as in talagang ini-spoil ko siya—kahit wala akong nakukuha in return.
Mac: I like to take things slow. I don’t like jumping into relationships. Normally I would date someone, it would take two to four months before I could actually consider being with her. So I like to take someone out on dates, meet her friends, eat with her family, but I don’t like rushing into things.
Rhys: I really like old-time day dating, I don’t really like all the social media like texting all the time, I like the classic calling-and-I’ll-pick-you-up-at-7 kinda thing instead of setting everything up but also I would really love to take a girl in a drive-in movie, classic drive-in movie.
What’s a signature David/Mac/Rhys date like?
David: Gusto ko kasi yung for some reason dinadala ko yung girl to a place na simple lang. Gusto ko lang ipa-feel na kami lang yung nandoon.
Mac: I would say the signature Mac date would probably be: after dinner, it would be a night out with my closest friends. That would be my signature Mac date.
Rhys: I wouldn’t say I really have a signature date.
You’ve scored a second date with a girl that you really like and you could take her ANYWHERE in the world. Where would it be?
Mac: Venice. I think it’s the most romantic setting. Two people who are in love, in a boat in the canal, under the stars, clear moonlight with Italian sonnets in the background? I don’t know how you can get more romantic than that.
Rhys: Mykonos, Greece! I went there one time, maybe four years ago and it was just the most beautiful place I’ve been to so far.
What’s your deal breaker when it comes to girls?
David: When a girl is loud.
Mac: Grammar. Yes. I’m a grammar nazi so if you text me “you’re” with a y-o-u-r-e instead of a y-o-u-r, when it should be like “your bag”, then just major turn off.
Rhys: If you don’t like my family and if I can tell you’re not being yourself.
What’s something that you find hard to understand about women?
David: To be honest, what I don’t know when girls play hard to get or if ayaw nila sakin. Siguro yun yung hardest part about dating for me.
Mac: I find it hard to understand the way they think. I don’t understand why females have to play mind games and try to manipulate you in a certain way for you to do what they want when they can simply be upfront about it.
Rhys: Sometimes when I would think that “Oh they totally like me!” but then they’ll say something else and then I end up getting really confused like I don’t know what just happened.
Would you date a fan?
David: Yes (laughs). Why not?
Mac: Oh that’s so hard, uhm. I think, I’m open to the possibility of it. I’m not gonna say no. Because at the end of the day, who loves you more than a fan right?
Rhys: I would date anyone if I liked them.
Who’s celebrity crush?
David: Lily Collins.
Mac: Mila Kunis.
Rhys: Selena Gomez.
What emoji do you use the most when you’re flirting?
David: Heart emoji.
Mac: Upside down smiley or the wink emoji.
Rhys: Grin emoji or wink with a tongue.
Emma Watson or Emma Stone?
What’s your kilig song?
David: Crazy For You by MYMP.
Mac: La Vie En Rose.
Rhys: Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are.
What’s your heartbreak song?
David: Magbalik. Joke. (laughs)
Mac: Breakeven by The Script.
Rhys: It Will Rain by Bruno Mars.
How will you be spending Valentine’s Day this year?
David: I’ll be spending it with my family. Wala akong Valentine this year eh (laughs).
Mac: I’ll be spending Valentine’s Day with my closest friends. Probably 7th wheeling and will most likely end up being their official photographer.
Rhys: Spending it with my mom because she flies in on Valentine’s Day from the States.
Where would your perfect /ESCAPE be with “the one”?
David: Beach tapos magkatabi lang kami the whole day.
Mac: My place so I could cook for her and have a nice dinner. Dinner and chill.
Photography by Erwin Canlas (@erwincanlas)
Interview by Vani Altomonte (@valtomonte)
Art Direction by Kinskie Oriña (@kin.orina)
Styling by Sam Policios (@thesampolicios)
Grooming by Czari Domingo of Benefit Cosmetics (@legenczari)
Produced by Vani Altomonte (@valtomonte)
Edited by Dan Buenaventura (@dnbnv)
Videography by Paula Gisala (@molleypolly)
Video edited by Sara Paredes (@saraparedes_)
Assisted by Rosy Elizardo (@rosyfuckingelizardo)