Whether or not you were alive during the ’80s, you would know that the decade stood out among others for the era’s vibrancy, eccentricity, and music that the young and old still jive to this day (cue Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up in 3, 2, 1. . .).
It was a time of diversity and unapologetic fun. It celebrated what stood out rather than isolating it away from what people were used to seeing.
Everyone had their own kind of music to dance to, and the ’80s was the grand stage.
Here we are now in the ’00s, where everything seems to be much bigger and grander, more celebratory and festive. and more vocal about things we like and don’t like. In a way, the thoughts of the ’00s are as accepting as they are contradictory.
We like what stands out, but judge what is different. We enjoy having fun but groan at the mess we have to clean up. We build something up only to tear it down. Sometimes it is frustrating, but more often than not, it is the contradiction that makes it so fun to live in an era of intense diversity.
Everyone is now more admittedly different, and the ’00s is the spotlight we are all under.
So how do you stand out in a sea of millions?
In our midst is a 16-year-old girl who is an embodiment of the decade of legends, and her name is AC Bonifacio.
Andree Camille “AC” Bonifacio was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Filipino-Canadian beauty is known for being a triple threat: the girl is in command of any stage she’s on with her beyond impressive dancing skills, angelic voice, and her blossoming talent in acting.
She gave out an amusingly exasperated “oh my, gulay” when asked about her journey to stardom, as she knew that we were in for quite a ride.
At early as three years old, AC knew what she wanted to do, and it didn’t take her long enough to become extremely good, if not one of the best, at doing it.
“I’ve been dancing my whole life,” she said. “I started when I was three, but then I really started to [get] into hip hop at nine.”
She trained and trained and performed a bunch of times in front of different crowds, but it wasn’t until she performed on one of the most popular talk shows in the world that she got her first real taste of destined stardom.
In 2015, dance duo “Lucky Aces” was invited to perform at The Ellen Show. At the time, AC was still with former partner Lucky Ancheta, and their performance brought the crowd to its feet.
That fateful performance put the duo on the map, and they went on to perform with international superstar Ariana Grande and eventually performed on The Ellen Show again.
AC calls the experience “absolutely crazy”, and everything took off from there.
“We went to the Philippines and then we did Dance Kids, and we became the first grand champions. From then on, everything else has been happening,” she said.
That “everything else” includes a runner-up spot in Your Face Sounds Familiar, over a million subscribers on YouTube, viral dance videos, a hit song called “Sumayaw, Sumaya”, and a Hall of Famer title in Los Angeles and Portland’s International Dance Challenge. The most impressive part? She’s only been in the entertainment industry for four years. Imagine what she’ll have under her belt in five.
At the heart and core, AC is exactly who she wants to be. She is an ace performer. Nothing much has changed except for her style. The baggy, boyish clothes may be gone, but AC’s powerful moves and likable personality still lives on.
“[I would like to be] someone who just inspires people and as someone who entertains people, but at the same time, she’s still that energetic AC that she always was before. She just loves to make people laugh and make people smile.”
In an industry where everyone shines, AC managed to find her own light and shine in her own right, and her secret is as simple as it can sometimes be unachievable: confidence.
“. . . If you’re not able to show people that you’re confident with your piece or with what you’re singing, what you’re dancing, other people are not going to believe you, too. So even if the routine is, like, horrible, but if you’re enjoying it and you’re having fun with it, then everyone else is going to have fun with it,” she said.
She’s also aware of how there’s always someone else who’s also good at what she does, but she knows that at the end of the day, she’s got her own edge and she knows just the right way to embrace that.
“Everyone is just really unique in their own way,” she proclaims. “All my friends are mostly dancing friends and we all take a class together and we’re all doing the same choreo, but we never look the same, because we always add our own uniqueness to it, we always add our own flavor to it.”
The future looks bright for the triple threat, and with her many talents, she’s bound to shine no matter where she ends up in. While she hopes to still be doing this in ten years, she knows that she “can’t depend on this forever”. The time will come when she’ll have to weigh her options — becoming a lawyer is one of them — but right now, she chooses to keep being the star that she has always been.
Four years in the industry and she’s already got millions looking up to her, but she still humbly refers to them as a “growing family”.
“Everyone is just supporting each other and we’re all having fun, you know? It’s not like a job or anything, but we’re just a family, and I’m glad that this family is just growing every day.”
She has gotten far and still has a long way to go, but she’s exactly where she’s meant to be.
The ’80s influenced so many things and people, and its impact continues to stand the test of time. Nothing can compare to the iconic decade that is the 80’s, just like nothing can compare to the icon that is AC Bonifacio.
She stands out among others, embraces her uniqueness, and celebrates what makes her relatable.
She is our Meg June Cover girl.
Photography by Floyd Jhocson
Art Direction by Suzanne Allbabidi
Sittings Editor: Elyse Ilagan
Words by Sam Valmonte
Makeup by Lin Uy
Hair by Jan Edrosolan
Nails by Girls Stuff PH
Styling by Patrick Pleno
Styling Assistant: Janine Valdez
Associate Publisher: Erika Austria
Publisher: Archie Carrasco