Behind the sins

By Jenina Alli

PRODUCING a calendar is like a box of chocolates ... laced with napalm. You never know what's going to explode in your face. It could be a light fuse, the weather, flight delays. It could be -- heaven forbid -- the sales.

The success of the 2002 Assunta de Rossi calendar by FHM Philippines pumped up the pressure for the following year. So we at FHM went for not one, but three poster girls. With Maui, Aubrey, and Diana, we flew to the tropical paradise that is Bohol where, for days, at 8 a.m. sharp we would be off to some beach, cave, forest, or waterfall, unsure of where to plug in for electric power, and whether or not the sun would go bust on us.

As the last quarter of 2003 rolled in, another quandary kicked in: "Who's next?" Now we have the answer.

This latest FHM calendar serves up a quartet of certified hotties. There's calendar vet Diana Z again; Juliana, the girl with legs that go all the way to her jugular; sweet and be-dimpled, but all-woman Myles; and Francine, the towering Chinese tisay neophyte.

Since the water-and-sand backdrop was fast becoming a cliché, someone pitched: what if, instead of trekking to some exotic locale, we shot right in the city? In photographer Xander Angeles' words, "Skin City." Editor-in-chief Eric Ramos threw in the unifying factor: "Babes on Wheels."

It was a wicked idea.

The first shoot was at Robinsons Galleria. Post-mall hours, we had Myles and Francine in various states of undress without the benefit of the NCR's entire male population dishing out cat calls. Next day, we were set to do Juliana on a helipad, with an ice cream cart. But big fat storm clouds let loose a downpour, and we had to reschedule. On the new date, the sun shone grudgingly.

The other shooting days went on more or less smoothly, despite the requisite oglers. Speaking of requisites ... We had to see to it that Myles had her yogurt, Diana had sinigang for lunch, Juliana had ice cream and cake after dinner, and Francine was comfortably seated all the time (she gave the guys a complex with her 5'11" frame).

One standout shoot was Diana's at a gas station. We cordoned off the area and even had an oil tanker park in front to block the view of onlookers who had started climbing rooftops and Meralco posts. And just when we thought we had a Peeping Tom-proof set, an assistant said, "Um...ah, they have a forklift."

That was to say, a forklift bearing incorrigible Pinoy "usis." Talk about surreal.


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