President Aquino an unlikely Esquire coverboy

Reading Time: 2 minutes

benigno esquireAs a Filipino, I never once envisioned PNoy, the nickname given to President Benigno Aquino III, on the cover of Esquire Philippines anymore than I could see any of his sisters on the cover of FHM. (Maybe except for one who I can’t exactly rule out  yet.)

There is this huge divide in the country between what is earmarked for showbiz glamour, and what is reserved for serious domestic issues, with the latter clearly wallowing in paltry readership while the former fully displayed and consumed weekly by call center agents, yuppies and housewives.

An Esquire cover for me stands for downright glamour and sex appeal, someone we aspire for. If it’s not Heart Evangelista with her perfect symmetries and Eurasian face, or ultra fit and global icon Manny Pacquiao in a GQ pose, I cannot see myself picking up one. Of course the clear outliers, MVP and Ramon Ang, are perhaps perfectly explainable by the humongous ad placing clout they bring to any table, publishing or otherwise.

But our cash-poor President PNoy, in a black and white cover, showing his perfectly contoured eye bags with no photoshopped efforts whatsoever? Either print media has gotten so competitive in the face of digitised media that almost anyone significant has already been a “coverboy,” or this rather unprecedented move by Esquire is actually the right call to make within an evolving Philippines.

Evolving? Philippines? Really?

Okay, think about this. The people we have tended to vote to serve us, our potential heroes, are not any different from the types we actually see gracing the covers of Esquire Philippines: 1) the famously sexy and glamorous, 2) the rich and powerful moguls who control the economy, and the 3) actor hunks. Take any of these groups and they are fully represented, if not overly represented, in Philippine politics, not to mention an actor hunk, who actually became president.

The fact that we elected NoyNoy Aquino as president, a clear outlier, could mean hope for us all.

Clearly, pre-presidency Aquino could never, ever have graced the covers of Esquire Philippines. He would have been the complete epitome of someone not to do for an Esquire Philippines, much less vote as President of the Republic. At times brooding, unglamorous, unsexy when he walks, without a displayable attractive squeeze (a prerequisite for any macho Filipino politician), parroting like his late father but with a stiff lower lip, oftentimes caught wiping his nose as if he lacked vitamin C – yes, this is the dude we elected to be president of, our looks obsessed, Billboard infested, mogul dominated, and macho Philippines.

The fact that he is gracing the covers of Esquire is actually a pleasant realisation for me. Finally, substance has won over form, and character has trumped visually appealing but shallow glamour. Moreover, I think PNoy has redefined, through his actions and not his looks, who our everyday living Filipino hero should be. On that alone, he may have done something unprecedented as well as definitely presidential.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

As a Filipino, I never once envisioned PNoy, the nickname given to President Benigno Aquino III, on the cover of Esquire Philippines anymore than I could see any of his sisters on the cover of FHM. (Maybe except for one who I can’t exactly rule out  yet.)

Reading Time: 2 minutes

benigno esquireAs a Filipino, I never once envisioned PNoy, the nickname given to President Benigno Aquino III, on the cover of Esquire Philippines anymore than I could see any of his sisters on the cover of FHM. (Maybe except for one who I can’t exactly rule out  yet.)

There is this huge divide in the country between what is earmarked for showbiz glamour, and what is reserved for serious domestic issues, with the latter clearly wallowing in paltry readership while the former fully displayed and consumed weekly by call center agents, yuppies and housewives.

An Esquire cover for me stands for downright glamour and sex appeal, someone we aspire for. If it’s not Heart Evangelista with her perfect symmetries and Eurasian face, or ultra fit and global icon Manny Pacquiao in a GQ pose, I cannot see myself picking up one. Of course the clear outliers, MVP and Ramon Ang, are perhaps perfectly explainable by the humongous ad placing clout they bring to any table, publishing or otherwise.

But our cash-poor President PNoy, in a black and white cover, showing his perfectly contoured eye bags with no photoshopped efforts whatsoever? Either print media has gotten so competitive in the face of digitised media that almost anyone significant has already been a “coverboy,” or this rather unprecedented move by Esquire is actually the right call to make within an evolving Philippines.

Evolving? Philippines? Really?

Okay, think about this. The people we have tended to vote to serve us, our potential heroes, are not any different from the types we actually see gracing the covers of Esquire Philippines: 1) the famously sexy and glamorous, 2) the rich and powerful moguls who control the economy, and the 3) actor hunks. Take any of these groups and they are fully represented, if not overly represented, in Philippine politics, not to mention an actor hunk, who actually became president.

The fact that we elected NoyNoy Aquino as president, a clear outlier, could mean hope for us all.

Clearly, pre-presidency Aquino could never, ever have graced the covers of Esquire Philippines. He would have been the complete epitome of someone not to do for an Esquire Philippines, much less vote as President of the Republic. At times brooding, unglamorous, unsexy when he walks, without a displayable attractive squeeze (a prerequisite for any macho Filipino politician), parroting like his late father but with a stiff lower lip, oftentimes caught wiping his nose as if he lacked vitamin C – yes, this is the dude we elected to be president of, our looks obsessed, Billboard infested, mogul dominated, and macho Philippines.

The fact that he is gracing the covers of Esquire is actually a pleasant realisation for me. Finally, substance has won over form, and character has trumped visually appealing but shallow glamour. Moreover, I think PNoy has redefined, through his actions and not his looks, who our everyday living Filipino hero should be. On that alone, he may have done something unprecedented as well as definitely presidential.

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid