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?”
“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)