Beauty expert, plant daddy, and fitness guru Bretman Rock is infectiously hilarious, it's no wonder why has garnered a huge following for his online videos. The Philippine-born digital creator's name stems from two of his father's favorite wrestlers — Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson — and the resulting portmanteau is a decidedly Filipino baby naming convention.
We caught up with him between squat reps, science vids, and tending to his growing garden to talk about his love for Crocs shoes, get a bit of fitness advice, and his unique experience growing up as a gay immigrant.
The following interview has been edited and condensed.
Jian DeLeon: What's up with this insane home gym setup you have?
Bretman Rock: Let me tell you about my fitness journey. If you've been following me, you know I've always been like skinny. I actually got skinny because track happened in high school, and I would always be running, so I never gained weight. When I graduated, I discovered a little bit of Mary Jane — and sometimes you be craving things. One thing led to another and I got a little thicker, and I was like, “Okay, the fat needs to go somewhere.”
So I started doing CrossFit and hired two trainers. I train Crossfit two times a week, and I do body training, body weights, and Olympic training three times a week. If I'm in the mood — which is honestly never — I try to run on the weekends.
JD: You also showed off your “designer room” which I imagine is full of dope gear. People aren't really up on Hawaii's advanced shopping game with places like Ala Moana.
BR: Yes! That's so funny that you said that. I was looking through my comments and everyone was like: “How do you get like expensive clothes there?” I'm like, “We have shops here. I don't live in a fucking grass shack, girl.”
JD: Do you shop a lot in Hawaii? What's the local fashion scene like?
BR: I've been living bicoastal, so a lot of my shopping happens in Hawaii, but most of my clothes are in my L.A. apartment. Hawaii people, they don't care. I could literally be wearing like a Louis Vuitton bag, but no one would really care.
People here, we don't really dress out. But in L.A., everything is very show-y. That's really where you wear all of your designer stuff. But honestly, we do have cooler stuff here. I don't have to compete too much with people when it comes to getting things.
JD: One thing that you are flexing hard, though, is Crocs.
BR: Girl. Period. The Croc thing was honestly like, a joke. I posted a video of me testing out a TikTok viral trend where you see if you have an ass or not. People saw me wearing Crocs and I got so much fucking hate. I've never gotten more hate in my life than about wearing Crocs. I was like: “Fuck you, bitches. I'm going to buy all the fucking colors of Crocs.” Now, I have every color of Crocs. These bitches are mad.
JD: Do you have any Crocs grails you haven't gotten yet? What about the Balenciaga collaboration?
BR: Don't tell me about it, because I'm going to be up all night looking for them! I also really want to find those strawberry Crocs that all of the fashion girls are wearing.
JD: Moving on to your gardening habit, what are some good starter plants?
BR: I feel like every plant person will tell you this, but you literally cannot kill snake plants. If you kill snake plants, please, do not ever get yourself any plant at all. Just give up. Snake plants are so easy. You literally cannot water for them like a whole month, and they'll still live. They'll probably thank you for not watering them. You can keep them in the fucking closet in the dark, and they'll still thrive. I would say snake plants.
If you really want to flex on these hoes and really act like you know what you're talking about, I would get some pothos or something like that, because they're also really hard to kill. They're like low maintenance. I can go on and on about what plants you need. But I would say snake plants and pothos would have to be my top two beginners plant, if you have a brown thumb.
JD: Of course. June is Pride Month in many places, and May was Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. One perspective we don't see represented a lot is the experiences of gay immigrants. Were there any challenges you faced in finding your niche and being your best self?
BR: To be honest with you, when I moved to America, I was almost ashamed of my culture. It's as if I almost didn't want people to know I was Filipino. I was trying to be whitewashed so bad because I felt like that's what was needed for me to be accepted in America. I didn't want to speak my native tongue or be called a FOB.
Then on top of that, I was gay as hell. Growing up, I realized that it was like a superpower. Knowing a language is one thing, but knowing multiple is another. I said this before, and I will say it again: English is the easiest language to motherfucking learn. My ass moved here in third grade speaking more fluently than bitches that grew up in America!
JD: One of the reasons your fans love you and people appreciate you is because you're so confident and live your life in a way in you don't really give a fuck what other people think. What's some advice for people to fully embrace who they are?
BR: I'm this confident because of the environment that I grew up in. My parents were so accepting of me being gay at a very young age. I remember I was four years old and my mom and dad bought me this toy truck, and inside the truck were like Barbies in it. It makes me so emotional when I get comments from other queer kids saying: “Oh, my parents didn't accept me,” because I only imagine what that's like.
My biggest advice is — and I hate saying this, because I feel like it's so cliché — you just genuinely have to be yourself. Everything takes time. I was fortunate enough to have parents and a family that loved me and encouraged me to be myself.
Stay tuned for new episodes of Vibe Check every Tuesday and Thursday.