Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Gallery: Raymond Lontok


A model’s age is no barrier to RAYMOND LONTOK's way of clicking the shutter

Like Giampiero Gastaldi of Italy, fashion photographer Raymond Lontok, who divides his time between Vancouver, Milan, New York and Manila, is featured in the fifth issue (now printing) of rice!, a bookazine about gay life in the Philippines. The following is what I wrote about Lontok, who has assumed the name Lon Li-wen (he is of Chinese-Filipino descent) since 2002.

IT’S very seldom that a male nude photographer would find a good model in his forties. By good here we mean not only a handsome face and a beautiful body (we could perhaps forgive him if he doesn’t have those rippling abs), but also a secure sense of manhood, or, at best, that pride of still having some assets (and we don’t mean his bank accounts) at age past forty.

It was by chance that photographer Raymond Lontok had again met Rodd Taylor, a Canadian friend from years past, during one of his visits to Puerto Galera, on Mindoro Island.

Taylor agreed right away to be photographed naked, saying he wouldn’t be able to see his body again this way. In fact, he’d expressed some sort of regret that he didn’t pose nude before the camera during his prime. The pictorial wasn’t done in Puerto Galera, though, but in Palawan.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Gallery: Giampiero Gastaldi


I UPLOADED here some photos taken by Italian photographer Giampiero Gastaldi, who shot this gallery for the fourth issue of rice!, a magazine (bookazine--a combination of a book with lots of pictures and a magazine without advertisements--if you may) on male beauty which I edit.

rice! is available at Fully Booked and C.V. Magazines (both in Makati), Pride Exchange and Top & Bottom (Malate), and other selected outlets.

Here's what I wrote in rice! about this gallery:

DESPITE being a world-class photographer with decades of experience behind him, Milan-based Giampiero Gastaldi found it embarrassing (he’s straight, you see) shooting a naked man. Well, this was his first time to shoot a nude male, professionally and personally. Professionally because he never sacrificed his technical skills and creativity for this pictorial (“I worked on it with the same dedication I put into my other works”), and personally because he was doing something for his friends here in Manila (“I couldn’t say no to you guys,” he tells us).

For this shoot, Gastaldi collaborated with stylist Ye Young Kim, a Korean who also does some styling for Vogue – Italy and – South Korea, and who did some modeling jobs in Milan; and Italian makeup artist, Christian Concas. He used white fluorescent lamp to get that green-color effect, tungsten, plus natural lighting.

Having a studio at the chic-est spot of the chic-est city in the world, Gastaldi has photographed many of the most beautiful peoples in the world, mostly fashion models. He is right where the catwalk is—at via Tortona, in the same vicinity as Giorgio Armani’s flagship store and a stone’s-throw-away from the world-renowned superstudio of photographer Fabrizion Ferri. He loves to travel, and this wanderlust has made him do some pictorials even in Manila, the latest of which were for the new campaign of Bench and for Cosmopolitan – Philippines. Then off he went to New York for a pictorial for Guess?. He also had done works for Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Max Mara, among others.

The 2006 Australian Open

Sensational debutante Pironkova


Venus Williams

I COULDN’T believe my eyes as I watched on cable TV (live, over Star Sports) American Venus Williams (seeded 10th) lose to rookie Tszvetana Pironkova, 18, of Bulgaria, 6-4, 0-6, 7-9, on the first round (Day 1) of the 2006 Australian Open, at the Rod Laver Arena, in Melbourne.

Russia’s Elena Dementieva’s loss to Germany's Julia Schruff also came as a surprise to me. Well, I’m not saying that Dementieva (9) is unbeatable but, at least, not in the first round against an unseeded player.


Martina Hingis, who is set to play in the first round today (Day 2), Tuesday, was right when she said that there is no “Ms. Federer” in the women’s tennis today, meaning, no one is as consistent as the men's world No. 1 Roger Federer in winning grand slams or, at least, landing always in the finals in all the big events. There’s a lot of great women players today, and anybody can win, she said.

I’m rooting for Hingis, a three-time Australian Open champion, who was forced to retire three years ago due to ankle, heel and foot injuries. I think she’s still a player to beat, although she has no ranking at the moment and despite her loss to Belgium’s Justine Henin-Hardenne (who emerged the champion) in last week’s Sydney international championships.

I agree fully with Hingis when she said that losing to the eventual champion wasn’t really a bad thing. She just hoped she could now find some winning strategies, saying that she never could overpower the other players who win their games by powerful serves and relentless ground strokes.

There was nothing earth-shaking that happened in the men’s event on Day 1.

I watched Argentina’s David Nalbandian (4) win over Thailand’s Danai Udomchoke, 6-2, 6-2, 1-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, whom I had the pleasure of watching here in Manila during the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in November-December, 2005 (where he lost the gold to Filipino Cecil Mamiit), although the Thai gave the Argentine a fright in their five-setter match.


United States' Andy Roddick (2) also brushed past his first net opponent, Switzerland’s Michael Lammer, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, saving himself for the second round, unlike in last year’s US Open wherein he had been sent packing by an unseeded player in just the first round.


(Photos by Getty Images, via the Australian Open 2006)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Where the Boys are - Part II

Hollywood actor Colin Farrell on a sex video


Some of the boys from []

Some of the boys from []

Hollywood actor Sam Rockwell

Where the Boys are

Today's 'sexiest man', Hollywood sensation Matthew McConaughey


Abercrombie & Fitch's new boys

MAY these pictures grant your wish of having more boys come your way this year of the fire dog.

English footballer Steven Gerrard

American Andy Roddick, one of my favorite tennis players, is preparing for next week's Australian Open

Sunday, January 08, 2006

'Brokeback' Mania


I GOT from my inbox early this morning the above posters replacing the faces of Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in "Brokeback Mountain" with those of United States President George Bush and his trusted men, and changing the movie title to "Dumbfuck Mountain" and "Kickback Mountain."

Well, the worldwide mania for this Ang Lee film, a story of forbidden love between two men--a rodeo cowboy and a farmhand--set in a Wyoming ranch in the 1960s, is just heating up, topping even "King Kong" in earnings on per screen basis in the US.

Even Oprah Winfrey is now planning a special show on this movie based on a short story by Annie Proulx that was published in The New Yorker more than 35 years ago.

Also, I got the Marlboro poster (vintage 1980) below from, which cleverly put across on it a witty blurb ("I Wish I Knew How to Quit You") taken from a famous line in "Brokeback."

I've written extensively on "Brokeback Mountain" in some previous postings, if in case you care to know more about the movie.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Smooth Rufskin


CONGRATULATIONS to Rufskin for coming up always with excellent ideas for its print ads.

Russia's Konstantin is Rufskin's latest model.

Well, aren't you drunk yet with Vodka?

Hingis Returns


I AM still rooting for former world No. 1 Martina Hingis in this year's tennis tournaments, despite her loss Friday to Italy's Flavia Pennetta, 6-1, 6(2)-7, 2-6, in the semifinals of the Australian women's hardcourt championships as she suffered a minor hip injury.

Her latest injury (left hip flexor strain) made her withdraw from the semifinal doubles match with partner Tatiana Golovin of Russia in the same tennis championships at the Royal Pines, in Gold Coast, Australia.

The 25-year-old Hingis' return from a three-year retirement due to foot and ankle injuries has been welcomed by her former foes, with Serena Williams saying she was rooting for Hingis "unless, of course, she plays me."

Hingis has two days to rest before playing in next week's Sydney International on a wild card and the Australian Open, which she won three times, in Melbourne on January 16.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Gallery: Dominique James


HERE are more photos from Dominique James: