did Esquire Philippines lampoon DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, the next president of the Philippines?
true story – we were shocked when we saw that cover of Esquire Philippines for its November 2014 issue. to calm down my heart which was in complete disbelief, we shifted from coffee to apple juice. it was after all still early in the morning. we wanted to give our heart some reprieve this early Friday morning.
then, it dawned on us – wait, this might be a hoax. this might not be the real cover of Esquire Philippines’ November 2014 issue. Esquire we thought does not have bad taste and certainly not this bad. so for another half hour, we searched the internet to find out what is exactly the November issue cover.
it was not easy to find but we eventually found out that yup, this is the real cover of the November issue. see for yourself here : https://www.facebook.com/EsquirePh/photos/pb.183140925069879.-2207520000.1415326861./827886413928657/?type=1&theater
after having it confirmed for sure that that is the cover, here is why we were shocked by the cover:
no, the shock is not that the choice for the cover article is Mar Roxas. we will not pass judgement on that editorial decision of the magazine.
but we are passing judgement on is the editorial choice of the photo of Mar Roxas. we are very sure there were dozens of photos taken of him for the cover and in fact before that there should have been an editorial meeting on what kind of cover photo should be taken and what choices will be made eventually.
what we were shocked about is the choice of this particular photo of Roxas on the cover of the magazine. the choice stinks. and it puts the DILG secretary on a very, very unflattering pose and look. that made us wonder out aloud – is Esquire Magazine insulting Mar Roxas, an almost sure thing presidential candidate to the 2016 elections? did they lampoon the possibly next president of the country?
look at the photo :
- Roxas has a sheepish almost grade school smile on his face. it’s not a smile of an adult and an adult who is the secretary of the DILG and possibly the next president of the Philippines
- his hair is unkempt and not brushed, like he just woke up in the morning and immediately went down from his hotel room for the shoot before he took a bath and brushed his hair
- and that wave – what is that? is that like a Miss Universe beauty queen wave?
- not only that, why the heck is Roxas waiving to the audience? what is the message here, what is the point? why is he saying hello? or why is Roxas giving a Miss Universe beauty queen wave? we could not find a sensible reason. we think the wave is the worst in this photo.
- okay, we get the background – these are construction materials and some delivery van which we get means Roxas is on the rehabilitation of Tacloban which is the status of the city. we get the message but is this the best way to deliver that message?
- and why on earth are there 3 people standing on the background? the photographer and producers of Esquire Magazine were not able to ask them to move out of the shot even for 5 minutes?
- very minor, but why is he holding a cellphone?
on the over-all and even on specifics that cover photo sucks! it does not present the subject in a flattering look and pose, something you usually want for a cover photo. and the pose does not make sense at all, plus the production values suck.
Esquire is a men’s fashion magazine cum intellectual magazine, it is stylish and of substance. none of that is reflected on the choice of this cover photo. the magazine on the top left of it describes itself as “Man at its best”. in this photo, they presented Mar Roxas, a man, a DILG secretary of the country and possibly the next president of the country not “at its best” but at “its silliest”.
we can’t help it, we are drawn to it like gravity will pull down something that is up in the air, our conclusion is this – Esquire Philippines lampooned Mar Roxas.
the same Esquire Philippines magazine cover is apparently getting a lot of attention in social media and is on the Philippine Daily Inquirer website:
Mar Roxas gets social media flak for magazine cover
MANILA, Philippines — What about Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas saying hello from Tacloban got netizens irked?
Roxas received flak on social media after he was featured on the cover of “Esquire Philippines” magazine commemorating the first anniversary of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan).
The official Facebook account of Esquire shared the photo of its cover featuring a smiling and gentle Roxas, whose right hand was raised in a greeting while sitting on a pile of cut wood behind a cargo truck.
The caption of the photo reads: “Hello from Tacloban… One year later.” Roxas’ smiling photo was taken about a year ago or on November 21, 2013, at the Tacloban City Port.
Some netizens called the photo “insensitive,” in “bad taste,” and an “insult” to the typhoon victims. Still, others noted a hint of sarcasm, a sense of a story, and even a note of hope.
“Esquire this is really done in bad taste. Give respect to the people of Tacloban,” commented Joseph Ongkeko Delos Reyes.
“Bad move. How about putting the pictures of those who survived the disaster?” Dee Ferraris Necèsito pointed out.
update on this one, as of November 9, 2014, 6:48 pm.
we did not know these things before we published this post:
a PDI article says that this picture of Mar Roxas was taken last year and not recently as we would think it would be since this is the cover of the November 2014 issue.
a Rappler.com article says Mar Roxas DID NOT grant an interview with the magazine for the article. it also said the article on Mar Roxas was written by Boo Chanco, a columnist from a newspaper.
note that we have not read the article itself, we just saw the cover photo on the website of Esquire Philippines.
given those two things from PDI and Rappler.com it looks like we were right that this article lampoons Roxas. it is meant to mock or put him in a bad light. that explains very well why the choice for the cover photo was really a terrible photo of him. from the point of view of cover photos, they usually flatter the subject but from the context of mocking and lampooning the subject matter, Roxas, choosing a bad picture of the subject is the correct editorial decision. the choice is meant to disrespect Roxas.
our instinct, well okay our suspicion based on that horrible picture was right.
question – did you dislike roxas after you saw this?
we have been posting comments on this at Facebook, please read here : https://www.facebook.cothis one m/wawam.blogs
one of the things we posted:
we do not think this article was a PR effort for Roxas. it was reported that Roxas did not grant an interview for the article. if it was a PR effort for him, he would certainly give an interview. not only will he give an interview, he would have a say on the cover photo and for sure this is not a photo he will agree to.
we also did a scan of Esquire covers for the Philippines and the USA magazines. all of the cover photos i saw are of 1 person, almost all are studio shots, glamour shots and high concept. none of that is in the Roxas cover photo. this one is very different from the rest can mean something happened on this one.
there is more to this :
posted November 10, 2014, morning.
many netizens were hating on Mar Roxas because Roxas appeared on the cover of the magazine on Yolanda and Tacloban. many of the netizens thought this was a PR effort for Roxas, something that the camp of Roxas has engineered for him to appear at the magazine to promote himself for the elections. as we said previously, we were not concerned on the choice of the magazine to feature Roxas on it. we were reacting just to the photo choice of the magazine and even at the start we thought this was a lampoon of Roxas given the terrible photo choice. in other words, we did not think this was a PR effort for Roxas. on the contrary, we thought this was meant to mock Roxas. it is some kind of a demolition job on him.
last night, we saw boo chanco, author of the article at the magazine post at Facebook the message above – the article was not a PR effort for Roxas.
this also appeared at the PDI internet edition last night:
Magazine denies endorsing Roxas on cover of ‘Yolanda’ anniversary issue
MANILA, Philippines—After receiving backlash from netizens by featuring a smiling Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II on its cover, Esquire Philippines denied that they are endorsing the secretary, saying that he is just “a symbol of national government response.”
“Secretary Mar Roxas is on the cover as a symbol of the national government response. Nothing less or more. We were certainly not paid or persuaded to put him on the cover,” Esquire Philippines said in a post on its official Facebook account Sunday.
Roxas is said to be the leading candidate of the administration’s Liberal Party for the 2016 presidential polls.
Esquire Philippines said that its November issue, which commemorates the first anniversary of the onslaught of Super Typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan), is dedicated to dignify the “memory of those lost, and the pain of those left behind in Tacloban City.”
“We at Esquire Philippines will always dignify the memory of those lost, and the pain of those left behind in Tacloban City. Our November issue is dedicated to that purpose.”
“In the issue itself, our writers and photographers revisit Tacloban in order to gather and present the very human tragedies that are still ongoing one year after Yolanda, as well as sift the facts regarding the government’s response,” the magazine said.
there are a few things on that explanation by Esquire :
- how is Roxas the “symbol of the national government response”? and in that kind of a pose with a “hello” wave? what kind of symbolism is that? we have not read the article but we hope this was explained in the article. but surely the photo they chose does not seem to speak of any symbolism of any substance.
- we are totally lost and it really does not make sense how a one year old picture of Roxas in that kind of pose and quality achieves any of this : “We at Esquire Philippines will always dignify the memory of those lost, and the pain of those left behind in Tacloban City. Our November issue is dedicated to that purpose.”. for sure there is no “dignity” in that picture at least for Roxas and the whole concept of a high ranking government official giving a “hello” wave. they talk of “pain of those left behind” – again, there is nothing in that picture that comes close to that.
- then Esquire talks about our “writers and photographers revisit Tacloban in order to gather and present the very human tragedies that are still ongoing one year after Yolanda, as well as sift the facts regarding the government’s response“. they talk about “current” and yet they chose a one year old picture and it is a picture of Roxas, not of the city or things that are being done at the city, or how the city itself looks now. with that stated goal, you would think a picture of Tacloban the place or Tacloban the place and its people now would have been more appropriate and more on strategy with that thinking. instead they chose a one year old picture of Roxas in a silly pose.
here is where we are at :
- the cover photo and article is not a PR effort for Roxas
- it is a terrible photo choice of Roxas
- this is an extreme departure from all previous Esquire cover photos. this photo is highly inconsistent with the other cover photos the magazine puts out – glamour shots of the subject, shot in a studio and with some high concept or has some drama in it
- that cover photo does not achieve the stated goals of Esquire
- or Esquire can’t seem to justify their cover photo choice no matter how hard they try
- a photo of Tacloban or Tacloban and its people would have been more appropriate given their goals and what they say is the content of the article inside the magazine
- which leads us to confirm our first suspicion – this was a lampoon of Roxas, a demolition job on the possibly next president of the country
the longer this thing goes on and the more info we get, the worse this becomes for Esquire Philippines. instead of hating on Roxas, netizens should be hating on Esquire for its stupid editorial decisions.