Saturday, March 29, 2008

Will Playboy (Philippine edition) fly?

On 3 April 2008, Playboy magazine will hit the Philippine streets, promising to be an engaging read for the “mature” audience. I’m intrigued how “mature” it would be. If it could capture the essence and spirit of the old Playboy I knew, it would be interesting.

The Playboy I knew had investigative reports on politics and economy, poetry, short stories, and really very, very good essays by good writers. The quality of its fiction and poetry was a blast. Could the Philippine version deliver on those types of content as well? If not, there’s really no sense buying a copy.

Way back in college, I delivered a crisp but really juicy political science class report on Chilean politics, including the death of president Salvador Allende and the assassination of his finance minister, Armando Letelier. Our professor was impressed.

“What’s your main reference, Mr. Llorito?,” he asked.

“Ah, uhmmm, sir, Playboy magazine, sir,” I answered meekly expecting a negative reaction. But the class erupted in appreciative laughter.

“Really?” His eyes shone like a hundred-watt incandescent bulb. “Could you please hand it to me?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Thanks. I’ll return it after a week,” he said, smiling.

I never heard anything from him about that magazine again.

That was in the mid-80s. In this day and age of the Internet, I’ve read lots of reports about Playboy’s declining circulation. FHM and its copycats emerged and it seemed Playboy was destined for the dustbin of journalistic history. Launching a Philippine version at this time therefore is a courageous decision for its financiers here. I’m intrigued how it’s going to differentiate itself in a niche market that is too crowded for comfort. (Photo credit: http://www.acmewebpages.com/graphics/playboyjune1962.jpg)

6 comments:

Lester Cavestany said...

I hope Playboy will also help influence the young generation to use contraception. We can expect the rice crisis to get worse if we do not address the overpopulation problem.

Dave Llorito said...

nah, don't worry. if the maiden issue is the gauge, it seems no one is going to procreate that much by just reading playboy! lol!

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Playboy Philippines is much more than a BOO… it is a insult to the Playboy editions worldwide.

Dalisay and Yuson and the other Palanca award winners are excellent writers… excellent but boring. pretty much like their newpaper columns. there’s just no way that they can catch the attention of magazine readers. as i’ve mentioned in other blogs and sites… Beting has formed a dream team… for a NEWSPAPER! they are entering a genre which they cannot possibly comprehend. they are dependent on words… a magazine is not a newspaper… magazines depend heavily on visuals. which none of the editorial team of Playboy… and their useless Palanca writers have. you cannot teach a geriatric dog new tricks. Dolor, Yuson, Dalisay, and the rest are not even willing to embrace this. how can they possibly succeed?
And the publisher is more concerned about acquiring the Playboy Casino. he does not give a damn about the magazine. At least Gokongwei of Summit and Lopez of Abs-Cbn pub are conscious about the quality of their mags. Mr. Ku… just simply… doesn’t care. that’s why it’s ok for Playboy Philippines to look like crap… as long as he can hold on and wait for Playboy international to foolishly give him the casino franchise… he’s happy.

but you have to give it to the Playboy Philippines people. they are a hardy bunch. i guess for people like Krip Yuson… this is his last stab at fame and fortune. and for people like Beting Dolor… he’s just too old to do anything else. pretty much like their magazine… it is a desperate attempt.

Anonymous said...

new chismis about Playboy. The Hef heard & saw that it was so bad… he had all the issues pulled out.

anybody out there who can confirm this?

Anonymous said...

heard more inside chismis.

Priscilla hated the original “Black Mamba Team” that did the photography. it was just a bunch of “feeling-photographer-fellows” who thought that they were good enough to do a magazine shoot.

But they were idiots and Priscilla was super disappointed. she specifically fixed up the famous SECOND SHOOT (on her own! go girl!) with a better and competent and REAL team. she told the staff of Playboy Philippines not to use any of the shots from the first shoot. but lo and behold… they still used the cooking magazine cover option. She was really pissed but gave up.

Poor Priscilla.