Nowadays, Filipino male celebs and wannabes have no qualms stripping down to their jockeys and speedos just to get noticed. Some even show up in pictures in their birthday suits. Which circumstances made me wonder, Who was the first Filipino actor who bared all onscreen? Matinee idols then merely bared their torsos onscreen, such as Armando Goyena in Hawayana, Nestor de Villa in Pitong Gabi sa Paris, Cesar Ramirez in Bernardo Carpio, and former Mr. Philippines Jesus Ramos who starred as Og, the local version of Tarzan. The shirtless look was quite daring then in those modest times of Philippine cinema. It was only in 1970 when the first and biggest Filipino sex film, Uhaw [literally, thirst] starring Merle Fernandez [Rudy Fernandez’s mum], Lito Legaspi [dad of Zoren, Kier and Brandon] and Tito Galla, revolutionized local sex cinema. Yet still, no male nudity [read: dick shots] was shown in that sexploitation movie, which was clearly a naked Merle Fernandez movie.
During those times, a young actor by the name of Vic Vargas has been appearing in movies with gratuitous shots of his muscled physique. He was introduced without his shirt on in Diegong Tabak opposite Lolita Rodriguez. He appeared in a loincloth as Tarzan in the comedy movie, Tarzan vs. Tanzan opposite Dolphy. Immediately after that, he had a series of sexy photoshoots in his trunks, promoting his movie Sabado ng Gabi, Linggo ng Umaga opposite 60’s sex symbol Divina Valencia [the mother of gay artist and erstwhile child actor Dranreb Belleza].
Vic Vargas became the staple hunk of local sex movies, most memorable of which were his frontal nudity scene in May Lihim ang Gabi, his white briefs costume all throughout the movie Apoy ng Kaligayahan [he was the only guy in a remote island alternately humping four shipwrecked women], and the infamous Saging ni Pacing.
So there, that pretty much settles the question on the first Filipino who bared all in film.