Rupert Jacinto’s magnificent seven

Rupert Jacinto at his very first photo exhibit at the Peninsula Manila in 1978. (Photographs courtesy of Rupert Jacinto)

With rare exceptions, only a few gentlemen take the time to have their portraits taken by a photography professional. Some give the excuse that they have better things to do, others just outright refuse.

When we teased them, “How will the coming generations remember you?” they would mockingly retort with, “Through our accomplishments and achievements.”

Rupert Jacinto, dubbed “Photographer of the Faabvlous” in a front-page interview with the Washington Post, said only 20 percent of his clients are men.

“It is not a challenge to make them sit down for a session,” he observed. “Women instinctively check themselves in front of the mirror — from makeup to their fits. As a result, they practice their poses. Men are more conscious of their rather limited poses as they have not rehearsed in advance,” said Rupert.

“Unlike the seemingly countless imaginable props of women, gentlemen usually prefer anything elbow-height to rest their arms on, or a stool to park one leg.”

Today, Father’s Day, behold these seven men of the hour — some credited as “fathers” of certain fields — who have their portraits taken, as told in Rupert’s perspective.

Raul Isidro

Father of Philippine Abstractions

A multi-awarded artist and featured in Faaavlous 8, Raul is always seemingly in deep thought as he claims he sees art in everything. Fascinated by anything and everything, he finds fulfillment in his mission to mentor and assist young artists.

Along with his fantastic, supportive wife Belle, we explored his studio at their residence and I was absolutely awed at the valuable contents of his Gallery Room.

Ramon ‘R.J.’ Jacinto

Father of Philippine Rock and Roll Radio

I have photographed RJ and his statuesque wife, Frannie, for my coffee table books Celebration and Faaabvlous 3. RJ remains young at heart through rock and roll. My late wife Tina and I used to frequent RJ Bistro at Dusit Thani Manila.

Philippine National Artist for Visual Arts Arturo Luz

Father of Philippine Neo-Realism

The modern interior of his home was the perfect background for his portrait. The no-nonsense Arturo and his culture and arts advocate wife Tessie welcomed me at their contemporary residence and his second floor Office Gallery. Looking at his new drawings and paintings, I was rendered speechless by Arturo’s masterpieces.

Former Philippine Senate President Manuel Villar

Father of Philippine Urban Development

Always smiling, the down-to-earth Manny was my subject for two photo sessions: the first was with his family at their resort-like residence in Las Piñas City for my Centennial coffee table book; the second at his condominium unit in the central business district of Ortigas, in the presence of his loving wife, Senator Cynthia Villar.

Former Philippine Senator Ramon ‘Jun’ Magsaysay Jr.

The Father of Philippine Cable Television

The approachable and amiable gentleman Jun and his gracious wife Marilou were my subjects at their splendid home in Muntinlupa City for my Faaabvlous V coffee table book.

The son of the well-loved Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay and the charming, socio-civic servant Luz Banzon, Jun was most candid and bursting with genuine sincerity.

Former Philippine President Fidel Ramos

Father of Philippine Liberal Democracy

I had the honor to take his photograph twice. The first opportunity was at Malacañang Palace during his presidency. Ever cordial, he was one of my special guests at my Faaabvlous IV book launch at The Peninsula Manila.

During our second meeting for my coffee table book, A Celebration of the Filipino: Portraits of An Era, to celebrate our commemoration of Philippine independence in 1998, he has evolved into a statesman, who was more relaxed as he personally toured me at the Ramos Peace Development Foundation Incorporated in Makati City. I was amazed at his hands-on involvement in numerous projects. As a memento of the visit, he gave me an autographed self-authored book.

Ramon Orlina

Father of Philippine Abstract Glass Sculptures

Internationally renowned sculptor Ramon Orlina was our Faaabvlous Icon of the Decade at my 10th Faaabvlous Photo Exhibit. This maestro was the subject of my lens twice, for the Faaabvlous 3 and Faaabvlous 10 coffee table books.

He is deeply engaged in his three passions: his work, his Museo Orlina in Tagaytay, and his ever-growing collection of Volkswagen Beetles.

This particular image was taken at the lobby of the National Museum of Natural History, beside his masterpiece, Paradise (Arcanum XIX: Paradise Gained), in the presence of wind-beneath-his-wings wife Lay Ann.


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