Do I love the Philippines, or did I just want to sleep with her that one time? Will I be okay with changing her diapers when she’s 80?” Until yesterday, it seemed unlikely that anyone would internalize his relationship with his country in such terms. Do you love her enough to deal with all her crap, or are you just waiting for a way out, waiting for her to royally mess up, get a bad haircut, flirt with your friend, elect the wrong president, as you plan your graceful exit?

The recently launched Bench, with The Philippine STAR’s Paolo Lorenzana and Raymond Ang as editors, is “a love story“.

On the cover are our flag colors; inside are people, who happen to be Filipinos, telling you why they left, why they stayed, what songs they listened to when they (perhaps over a nondescript tub of artisanal sorbetes) wondered what the heck they’re doing here, why they came back. Why they keep on coming back. Not all of these people have been on Bench billboards along EDSA. There’s a Filipino phrase that comes to mind, something about a bench and lifting it yourself — it’s not about that. Notwithstanding slight allusions to the brand that carries it, Love Local comes across as personal.

We’re only seen Kath’s picture from this book from Mark Nicdao’s Instagram and StyleBible but it’s been mentioned that both of them are featured on the book: “From Bench endorsers Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo…”

“Love Local” is available at selected Bench stores in Metro Manila for P445.