Arts & Entertainment

7 Controversial Filipino Magazine Covers That Got the Whole Nation Talking

From the bad to the downright insensitive, here are the magazine covers that made us all do a double take.
IMAGE FHM PHILIPPINES, YES!
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A magazine cover is supposed to pique interest and incite opinion. But, sometimes, the concepts do get a little out of hand so much so that it makes one ask: 'What were they thinking?' Through the years, a number of Filipino magazine covers have gone beyond the typical drama and turned controversial.

Below, some of the most controversial magazine covers that the Philippines has seen.

Pulp Magazine, August 2016

When Pulp Magazine put Sud on the cover of its August 2016 issue, it probably wasn't expecting the band to be overshadowed by two pairs of female legs and the outrage that they caused. In a post-Me Too era, however, that's exactly what happened. The music magazine was called misogynistic for objectifying women. While the band ultimately apologized, the magazine's staff defended the cover. "Photography of the female form that is sexy and provocative has nothing to do with misogyny. It is actual worship of the power of womankind," Pulp Magazine publisher Vernon Go tweeted.

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Philippine Tatler, October 2015

For Philippine Tatler's fashion issue, the magazine put Imee Marcos on the cover in a red dress. The internet quickly slammed the magazine's choice of cover subject. Lorraine Marie Badoy, daughter of former Sandiganbayan associate justice Anacleto Badoy wrote: "I see how massive wealth stolen from a country bleeding and down on its knees can be used to buy not just respectability but oh-darn-god adoration from the very people this family of shameless thieves have bled dry." She continued, "And I see red, Imee. I see the blood of thousands of martyrs of Martial Law–bloodied, hogtied, chopped with evidence of severe torture, rape." On Twitter, the controversy reignited the hashtag #NeverForget, which refers to the atrocities committed during the Marcos dictatorship.

FHM Philippines, March 2012

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It's hard to see how FHM Philippines' March 2012 issue went to the printing press as no one seemed to notice the racist connotation of Bela Padilla spotlighted in the middle as she was surrounded by black models. The ironic cherry on top was the byline that said: "Stepping out of the shadows." The magazine ended up apologizing and pulling the cover but not before damage was done as the story was picked up by international news outlets.

Rogue, January-February 2012

KC Concepcion notably appeared on Rogue's January-February 2012 double issue in a photoshoot wearing swimsuits. On the surface, there's nothing out of the ordinary about the spread but seeing as Concepcion was fresh out of a highly publicized relationship with Piolo Pascual, the cover was talked about endlessly. Not only was the actress holding a severed head that many interpreted to symbolize her ex, but she also sported unpadded bathing suits, which was too much for a pre-Free the Nipple Philippines.

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Mega, January 2012

The cover of Mega's January 2012 issue was Jinkee Pacquiao but it didn't seem like it if you asked a number of people as some thought that Manny Pacquiao's wife was Photoshopped to the extent of being virtually unrecognizable. In her defense, the socialite said she prepared for the photoshoot by going on a strict diet. She even challenged people to come see her in person.

Yes!, October 2011

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Yes! and Nora Aunor landed in hot water, as reported by ABS-CBN, for the October 2011 issue where the actress was photographed holding a cigarette. Much of the criticism quoted Father Robert Reyes, known as the running priest, who said the cover conveys a bad image of Aunor. "The Filipino reading public is not dumb… if you want to be popular again, be wholesome. Gusto niyo ba gayahin ka namin? Ang trabaho niyo is to inspire us, not to scandalize us," he said. "Nora, you are ill-advised. You think you are moving forward, it's a step backwards."

Rogue, June 2008

Joey Mead wore nothing but body paint for this issue of Rogue, which was already controversial enough. But, what really got people's pitchforks out was the fact that she had the Philippine flag painted on her. The reaction wasn't all bad, however, as many thought the concept was cool and interesting.

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