Whatever happened to AJ Dee?

There was a time when he was the most-favored boy in the backlot of ABS-CBN, causing many to wonder and speculate on a powerful person behind his good fortune. Now, the 25-year-old Angel James “AJ” Dee III has no projects on tv and he goes about town bemoaning this fact. Has he fallen of flavor, er, favor with his meal ticket inside the network? AJ Dee used to be a model [he was runner-up to Brent Javier in the Mossimo Bikini Summit] before doing tv and the movies. He is now waiting it out by doing the theater – currently in the production of Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.

Scenes from a Bench Underwear Go-See

For followers of ANTM, a ‘go-see’ would have to be model auditions where the models go from one designer to another to get hired. The Bench Fever Underwear Show [held last year] attracted hundreds of models during their go-see, which included the pros, amateurs, and the curious. The professional mannequins had to slug it out with the upstarts before a panel of judges with rate cards. It is quite a humbling experience, as described by one top model, after going through the process. But that’s how the cookie actually crumbles for models who want to land a fair and honest job. [ There’s Puma Borja, Will Devaughn, Cedric Sandez, and Lawrence de Stefano. And UPH, that’s your friend Jeffrey from Laguna, right? The one in the last photo, middle guy.]

Society Boy 1: Victor Consunji

Thirty-year old Victor Consunji is a well-known party and society boy. Lately, he has taken to fashion photography, capturing in stunning images the country’s top models and celebrities on his lenses. Victor is an engineer by profession with his own multi-million-peso construction company [his father is the 21st richest man in the Philippines]. Yet, his Vconsunji Construction is also into large-scale construction apart from the vast family empire in the same field. Despite his status, Victor Consunji is well-known for his gentlemanly ways and impeccable manners.

Undressed and Drenched: Victor Reyes

Back when the idea of going sexy a decade ago was a tight speedo for male actors, Victor Reyes stripped for the cameras and how. His daring poses sans speedos, like the ones above were somewhat surprising ten years ago. An alum of the afternoon teen show That’s Entertainment, Victor Reyes tried to go into action films, oftentimes as one of the villains. When the bold bandwagon hit town, he was the first cocky guy in photos to go wet, with some precious skin pressed strategically against his sheer clothes.

“Parola” in successful commercial run

Despite the “B” rating from the Film Development Council’s Cinema Evaluation Board [which entitled the film to 65-percent rebate on its amusement taxes], “Ang Lalake sa Parola” was a commercial success at the exclusive IndieSine of the Robinsons Galleria Mall. The digital film, starring Harry Chua [Laurel] and Justin de Leon [seen in photo above in the skinny-dipping scene of the movie], also got mixed reviews from film critics, after surpassing the initial “X” rating from the MTRCB. The DVD version of the movie will be out soon, and, with fingers crossed, it will be in its uncut version.

Wet: James Allan Salonga

Twenty-eight-year-old James Allan Salonga was Ginoong Pilipinas-Visayas in the 1998 edition of the male pageant. Prior to landing that runner-up position in the national contest, he was Ginoong Bulacan. The 5’11”-tall native of Marilao, Bulacan was also a veteran candidate of the bikini contests on the noon-time show Eat Bulaga, which contests include Modelo and Mr. and Ms. Seksi.

Smokin’: Simon Ibarra

Visible on tv and in the movies as the token crony of the villain is Simon Ibarra, a 35-year-old actor who started out during the sexy-movies era in the 90s. Simon Ibarra was discovered when he came home from Canada with a Mr. Bodyshots-Canada 1995 title. He was 17 years old when he and his family migrated to Ontario, where he finished his Literature degree from the Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology in Hamilton. Simon Ibarra finished quite a number of movies in his ten-year career, most of which were made during the heydays of R-18 skin flicks. He is currently in the cast of Pedro Penduko on ABS-CBN. Too, he just wrapped up filming for the movie Tambolista , one of the five finalists in the 2007 Cinema One Originals.

WITWI Donnie Fernandez

Where in the world is Donnie Fernandez? In 1997, he was launched in the Star Circle Batch 5 [with Boom Labrusca, Lui Villaruz, Paolo Zobel, and Anton Sta. Maria]. Before he went to Manila to try his luck in modeling, he was already a California resident for 10 years where he went to Pierce College and then to California State University in Northridge [CSUN]. In Manila he did print ads for Cali Shandy, Close-Up toothpaste and Magnolia Ice Cream. He appeared on tv and the movies [Soltera, being his last] for a while, but he disappeared subsequently.

Joem and Derek

Star Magic talents Joem Bascon and Derek Ramsey made it to the top ten Cosmopolitan centerfolds this year. While the 28-year-old Derek has been a centerfold in the previous years, this is the first time for 21-year old Joem to appear shirtless for the magazine. Derek has established himself on tv as a dramatic actor and host [and a reluctant sex symbol], which path Joem Bascon might have to undertake given his “howling” debut at the Cosmo show.

Marvin Agustin on a roll

Marvin Agustin seems to be enjoying good fortune these days. He was recently signed up by GMA Films for a pivotal role in the suspense movie Dagaw [Waray for “shadow”], opposite Richard Gutierrez. The 28-year old actor didn’t mind, though, if he was the sixth choice for the part, after the role was first offered to Dennis Trillo, Jericho Rosales, Dingdong Dantes, Diether Ocampo, and Ryan Agoncillo. Recently, too, he inked an exclusive contract with GMA 7, effectively cutting ties with rival station ABS-CBN where he was given the big break a few years back.