Marvelous.

There’s a polite, efficient and charming waiter at the Manila Peninsula Hotel who goes by the name of Marvelous. Quite unconventional for a guy’s name, that was how I remembered him. And suddenly it also came to me that he once posed in a shoot. His name is Marvin Villanueva, 22 years old and a BS Commerce [major in Tourism] graduate of Far Eastern University in Manila. This 5’10”-tall guy also joined the Man of the Year contest and the Handsome Guy of 2005 pageant but he was unsuccessful. Too, he did modeling for Hammerhead jeans and Flip Gear, to name a few. [And no, guys, I did not take the topmost pic as I do not have red curtains and faux leather couch in my house.]

Del’s Buffing Up

Rodel Felicidario has apparently toned up and lost weight in preparation for his showbiz career, or whatever comes his way. This student from Adamson University has definitely gone a long way from his Kalookan City origins, ever since he joined [and immediately got eliminated from] the toothpaste model search. He has done Bench underwear and BPI commercials, of late. For more photos, link here.

Naughty: Dave Devon Rebolledo

The word just came to thought, naughty. This innocent-looking guy maybe naughty or nice, but he is sinfully sexy and appealing in person. Dave Devon was one of Cosmopolitan Philippines Magazine’s 69 most eligible bachelors for 2006. This 25-year-old medical representative, who does modeling on the side, stands 5’10” and has appeared as one of the featured contestants in Style Eyecatchers Model Search.

Redux: Hermann Gerhard Weber

Organizers of the 2007 Mossimo Bikini Summit [Take it Underground] have finally raised the money for the venue. It will be held on 21 April at the NBC Tent in Bonifacio Global City. So all the fuss and mystery about taking it to an underground venue to accommodate a “reggaethon” was just plain puff to hide the real prob. All’s well for now.

I’m putting here not-in-any-set photos [sent in by a good friend who shall remain anonymous for now but do visit his site at http://malephotography.multiply.com/photos for more] of my favorite at last year’s contest: Hermann Gerhard Weber, who eventually finished first runner-up to Jerome Ortiz. People can’t seem to get enough of him [as I do] but he has lately been holed up in his suburban Laguna house, unless there are good projects in Manila. His latest appearance was a photoshoot with Icon magazine [the Jon Mullally cover] together with fellow hotties Jon, John Lopez and Rei de Castro.

Is Peter Nordell Pinoy?

At the recent gala night of the Philippine Fashion Week 2007, one male model stood out among the pack for his mestizo looks. I thought he was a fly-in model but someone told me that Peter Nordell is Filipino and has been around the modeling biz for quite some time. Beats me. My friend said that he went to Don Bosco Technical School in Makati City, as he was then part of the school’s varsity team. If that is true, then the guy has been silently wielding his clout in terms of casting, such that he has been in big projects lately.

WITWI Alain Sia

Where in the world is Alain Sia? In 1995, Alain Sia became a household name via the Close-Up toothpaste commercial. In less than a year’s stay in the Philippines, he landed major commercial projects and fashion shows. He became the resident print-ad model for Cinderella and was one of the seven featured male models in the Armani show in Manila. Eventually, he won in the 1995 Bodyshots contest. Alain Sia Verdier, who is half-French [father] and half-Filipino Chinese [mother] was born in Manila 36 years ago. When he was 6 years old, the family moved to Paris where he finished his Sociology course at the College Internationale de Bonnelles. During a visit to Manila, he was discovered by talent scouts and was soon cast in the classic toothpaste commercial. Before he left the Philippines, he did a movie called Burlesk Queen Ngayon, where he got to show some skin.

Happy Graduation! [plus Abel Serrano]

Yeah, why not neon green speedos under the graduation robes? Model is Abel Serrano aka Juancho Mortel, who is now 28 years old and a native of Valenzuela City. He was the first Mister Bikini Philippines [contest held November 1998 at the now-closed Fashion Cafe]. This 5’9″-tall guy was a graduate of Business Administration major in Marketing at the Polytechnic University of Philippines in Manila. Prior to winning the bikini title, he joined Maharlikang Pilipino 1997, with fellow contestants Juan Carlos Castro, Zoltan Amore and Andrei Garcia. He has appeared in B-movies and a TV commercial for Petron gas. [Also, his all-out nude pictures taken on top of a roof and a batibot chair were all posted on the net then].

There’s something about Christian Bautista’s singing…

… and it’s starting to bother me. I think it’s the nasal quality. I used to like his single The Way You Look At Me, which incidentally was a big hit in Malaysia and Indonesia. I’m such a sucker for sappy songs, but then again, Christian Bautista’s inflection seems to be coming from the nose these days. Just listen to his new singles. Not that I’m more than bothered, though. No, I’m not. [And what were you thinking, sir, posing like that for photog Frank Hoefsmit to promote Bench cologne?]

Derick Hibaler. Designer.

At the recent gala night of the Philippine Fashion Week 2007, one of the designers in the program was billed as Derick Hibaler. I thought it was a namesake of that ripped male model from Pangasinan who lead a colorful life. When the time came for the designer to come out, it was really Derick the model. His collection of denims, mostly the slim-fit-and-skinny jeans type [reminds me of Chip & Pepper’s 5-pocket skinny jeans], was lauded by the media and fashion watchers. It seems like this guy is now going places, I mean, switching trades, or whatever you call his career shift. Wise move.

Sorry for the grainy shot of the pic above. That was taken 14 years ago, during the Ginoong Pilipinas 1993 pageant, where then 20-year-old Nestor “Derick” Hibaler competed as Mr. Pangasinan. At the pageant, he had a sad tale to tell, as he was then supporting his siblings by cleaning his aunt’s taxicabs. He had to stop school as life was hard then.
The 6’1″ upstart did not win any of the awards, but he got noticed by the D-list fashion designers and talent managers who were ogling at the fleshfest. [That year, a Bulacan province representative, who went by the name of Carmelino “Gandong” Cervantes won the pageant. He was the same guy with the funny hair, over-the-top acting, and who delivered his lines in a sing-song manner in Sibak, a movie about three brothers who strip-danced for money. Incidentally, his first runner-up, Luis Cortez was also in the flick.]

Derick Hibaler readily grabbed the showbiz offers after the pageant. However, he soon noticed that the only exposure he got were photo shoots for the gay magazines at the time. At one time, he was even asked to pose with only neckties [yes, how contempo] covering his privates. He disappeared and left the biz in disgust. He soon re-appeared as a model for minor designers in the city. Soon afterwards the bigger designers took notice and cast him in their shows. He has since done Cosmopolitan Philippines Magazine’s annual Bachelors’ Bash and top-brand modeling assignments.

Derick [pics above were taken in Paris], has since moved on. In his resume, he lists his job as “product development consultant, model and stylist.” And now he is a designer. The hard-up Pangasinan boy, who still looks good in his slim jeans, has overcome adversity and grabbed fickle Fortune firmly.

Wet and Wild: Jayvee Cepeda


Twenty-two year old Jayvee Cepeda was the winner of Bar Uno’s Wet and Wild bikini show held recently. A native of Borongan, Samar, he is also a member of a university-based dance group in Manila. Incidentally, Bar Uno, which is located along Timog Avenue [beside the Korean convenience store], has been producing bikini contests ever since its inception. Among the notable winners of the the sing-along bar [which boasts as hosts a funny gay guy who admits that he was formerly an exotic dancer in Gigolo and a transvestite midget!] are Ian Porlayagan, who recently competed in Mr. World-Philippines; Troy Gomez, a veteran bikini pageant contestant; and, Andro Morgan, the scene-stealer at a recent sheer underwear show. For Richard Guebar fans, go to Bar Uno, as he is sometimes featured there as one of the dancers.