The Manly Man’s Guide To Facial Care

Just because men are expected to be manly, macho, and rugged doesn’t mean they have to be filthy as well.

Of course, there is a dangerous sexiness in looking like Jason Statham. Even in photos, he reeks of bourbon, sweat, cigar smoke, and blood, like he spent the night in his clothes after disposing of nine seedy Cuban thugs of Suspect Character. But the degree of difficulty is incredibly high. Most women would toss their guy a gallon jar of Casino-brand rubbing alcohol, a scouring brush, and quite possibly three spray cans of hospital-grade disinfectant if he showed up for Date Night looking like this.

Jason Statham: Filthy but sexy.

But as our ol’ buddy Jase so masterfully demonstrates – rugged dishevelment is acceptable, so long as you balance it off with great skin.

Let’s get this straight, I used to be a die-hard member of the Tunay Na Lalaki (TNL) sub-culture who sorely believed that the only maintenance a dude needed was hilamos-sipilyo-ahit. Even more shockingly – and I know some guys who still do this – I had no problem using the same bar of Safeguard for my ass and my face.

Despite all my posturing, I’ve learned to accept that I’m not exactly the Philippines’ answer to Channing Tatum. When you’re not naturally blessed with Magic Mike-level good looks, you really do have to exert a little bit more effort.

Channing Tatum laughs at you for not looking like him.

And so, in the absence of truly manly skincare products like bacon-flavored lip balm and scotch-scented moisturizer, we have to settle for what’s on the market. Here’s my view on the skincare basics every dude should have to elevate from barbarian to Bublé.

Now, I don’t profess to be a skincare expert. I’m just a rookie, after all. But in four simple steps, I think all a dude has to do is:


1. Cleanse.
Cleansing is something I learned early on to take very seriously, but not to go too overboard on. Basic soap won’t cut it, especially with how oily I get after just a couple of minutes out in the sun. My current favorite facial scrub is L’Oreal Pure & Matte Charcoal Black Foam (P190 at PCX, good for 4-6 weeks).

It isn’t fancy stuff – just your basic salycilic acid to scour your face of oils, and is really awesome in mattifying. I can say so much technical stuff about it, but ultimately, you know what I love most about this stuff? It’s BLACK. As in the stuff itself is a rich, goopy, gunky BLACK. How bad-ass is that?? Batman himself would probably wash his face with his stuff; it’s just that manly. I can’t say enough about how much I love this stuff. It doesn’t just whiten, it brightens!

2. Tone
Back in the old days, we used to use this horrible stinging stuff on our faces called astringent, made from such low-prole brands as Master and Eskinol. Thankfully, it’s evolved over the years into something much more polite and soothing to the face, or what we like to call toner.

I’m a big fan of the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel collection, and their Energizing Tonic for Men (P1,900 at Kiehl’s, good for 6-8 weeks), is quite possibly the best stuff I’ve tried on the market. I’m a big fan of reading labels, and anything that announces itself as containing something as Incredibly Manly as caffeine as an active ingredient is worth a shot. The website says the stuff “instantly fights visible signs of fatigue for smoother, healthier-looking skin… [and is] combined with Bamboo Extract, to help soothe and balance skin for an energized and refreshed appearance.”

To all that, I say: Yes. It does. Damn well.

I use this in the morning and before bedtime, and I’m told that the DPWH has since then stopped using closeups of my face as a pothole repair tutorial.

MDJ’s favorite skincare products, AKA The I-Could-Have-Bought-New-Rims-For-My-Car-Instead collection.

3. Moisturize
Most dudes don’t like slathering gunk on their face after washing. I didn’t use to either, until I met the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Anti-Wrinkle Cream (P2,200 at Kiehl’s, good for 6-8 weeks), which smells absolutely delightful, rubs down to a non-greasy feel, and leaves a pleasantly tingly menthol-y feeling on my skin. My skin feels so much firmer and – dare I say it – positively dewy ever since I started using it. You might think it’s a joke that you can actually feel your pores get tighter, but trust me, they actually do.

4. Don’t Forget to Smize!
The “smize,” which is short for “smile with your eyes!” is a darling little nugget of wisdom passed down to us by the legendary, So-Awesome-She-Should-Have-Been-Born-A-Dude supermodel, Tyra Banks, in her landmark show, America’s Next Top Model, which is about three nipslips away from being mandatory dude viewing.

Smizing is awesome, and totally dude-approved. But it’s a tricky task to charm the hot nubile Cebuana seated across the bar if you’re sporting crow’s feet so large, even Tommy Lee Jones says, “Dude, you look old.”

And so, I highly recommend Kiehl’s Abyssine Eye Cream (P2,400 at Kiehl’s, good for 8-12 weeks), which the label claims is made from a mysterious super race of algae found 3,000 meters under the ocean, nesting near some undersea volcanic vents in the Galapagos region. That’s just too cool to be made up. All I can say is, I’ve personally never seen algae with crow-footed eyes, so I know the stuff must work. Just a dab under and around each eye at night before I turn in, and all is right with the world. Christian Grey wishes he were me.

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“Stop Us ‘To!” (Google Translate Meets Vice Ganda)

Vice Ganda breaking up with his young basketball player boyfriend isn’t exactly the most dignified story in the world, as the headline on the Bandera website shows:


Google Translate insisted so politely on translating the article into English. Because I’m a gentleman AND an Atenean, who was I to say no?


“Stop us ‘to!”

It’s so… conyo.

And apparently, someone needs to explain to Google what the word ‘dyowa‘ means.

The rest of the article is even more conyo.

Turned hard time hiding Vice Ganda in his lovelife. According to TV host-comedian, enjoyed his personal life but of course, come at the sacrifice of love.

Until now there has been no confirmation Vice makes the true identity of her boyfriend, but everyone knows this is one young basketball player.

“The quantity allegation in turn. The quantity appearing name, but I do not kino confirmed. You let them think. You let them throw the name, but I do not kinu confirmed,” Vice chika Buzz Town.

But although the meeting they surreptitiously his dyowa, feeling proud that he is proud of his achievements, “I know, in the New Year, he texted. Because then, I’m not in the Philippines.”

He said, “Even if I have no hair, even though I nakakatakbo,” he ganu’n said, “I will still be number one supporter you just quiet.”

He said, “I have to tell the whole world. The important thing, I said ‘yo.'” Story of Vice. “How difficult is to maintain a secret love affair, excessive hard. We really do not appear here in the Philippines.”

I told him, “You know, if we make a movie, the title of our film, ‘Love in Darkness.’ “Well, the other day, I said, ‘Stop us’ to.‘ He said, ‘What do you say?’ I said, ‘Yes, we stop.'”

“I’m tired of the four corners of the room. We can not get out. But I said that, the mess of my life. I am afraid that loud he and his family,” Vice say yet.

I don’t mean to make light of heartbreak and breakups. But it’s hard to treat the issue with dignity when Google won’t even do the same.

“Stop us ‘to!”

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Are People Looking For Love Or For Sex?

I was wondering, “Are Filipinos looking more for love, or more for sex?

And so I fooled around on Google Trends to see which of the two people search more for on the Internet these days. And this is what I saw:


Is the relationship between love and sex always inverse?

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Talent Borrows, Genius Steals

This “Labels Against Women” spot done by BBDO for P&G’s Pantene shampoo is gorgeous.

I just wonder if the similarity to the Glee Project’s “Mad World” video was a deliberate tribute.

As Oscar Wilde says – “talent borrows, genius steals.”

Is this talent or genius at work?

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Haydn Killed By Bad Manners

At a recent concert in Gothenburg, Christian Zacharias, one of the world’s most celebrated pianists and conductors, stopped playing in the middle of Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D Major because of a cellphone going off for the SECOND TIME in the middle of the same concert.

Audiences used to throw rotten produce at performers in the middle of a bad production.

I feel there’s a market for items performers can throw at rude, boorish audiences who forget to switch off their mobiles.

Durian would be a great start.


Halloween Through The Years

For someone who claims to be all meh about Halloween, I sure have had a lot of costumes through the years.

Some have been pretty bad-ass, like my Lord Voldemark costume from 2010.



While some have been pretty lame, like this Really Ugly Betty from 2008.


I generally love anything that involves tons of face paint, like this Shrek outfit from 2007.


And I’ve never said no to anything that involved spandex, as anyone who knew me in 2006 will attest.


I’ve never argued the fact that I think I’m pretty incredible, as this Marky Incredible costume my wife made for me in 2011 will attest.


And when the situation calls for pleather catsuits – KABOOM. There we go. In this case, “X” really did mark the spot.


I once made 10 kids cry at our office Halloween party because of my two-headed orc costume. I know this because I counted.


And of course, there was 2012’s King Fergus, complete with totally inappropriate Fred Perry suede boots.


And still I insist I’m not all that hot about Halloween.

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Big Men, Tight Pants

Society’s rules for big men:

  1. Big men shouldn’t wear tight pants.
  2. Big men shouldn’t dance.

I’m proud to say I have shattered the first point – although that’s more due to sheer force of will, rather than actually considering such minor details as “does it look good?”

Now Uniqlo’s Shukka Roll contest for their men’s leggings makes me want to twerk my booty and show off what I’ve got on the dance floor. I’ve been doing squats and lunges. I promise I won’t hurt myself.

(Again, I make no promises that it will look good. I’m just saying I can do it.)

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How To Keep Romance Alive In A Gaseous Relationship

Couples in love share everything – secrets, dreams, opinions, and kisses.

One thing they shouldn’t share though? Farts. I mean, seriously. Men are total beasts when it comes to protein. Army Navy’s breakfast burritos are great – how can you go wrong with chorizo, beans, a fried egg, and tons of garlic-fried rice?


They’re not very friendly to one’s fartal dynamics though. My wife loves me unconditionally, but she literally wakes up in tears in the middle of the night from my gaseous whisperings after chowing down on one of these bad boys.

That’s why I am utterly enamored by this magical brand of underwear, Shreddies, which claims to “kill your fart’s smell and be able to neutralize odors up to 200 times the stinky strength of the average fart.”


How do they work? Their website says:

Shreddies flatulence-filtering underwear features a ‘Zorflex’ activated carbon back panel that absorbs all flatulence odours. Due to its highly porous nature, the odour vapours become trapped and neutralised by the cloth, which is then reactivated by simply washing the garment.

Zorflex. How awesome is that? It’s the fartal equivalent of Kevlar, only better!

And the best part is, you can’t tell by looking that a dude is prancing flexing around in a pair of Shreddies. They look completely normal from the outside, and have the exciting side effect of compressing one’s grapefruits into a shapely, aerodynamic, yet intimidatingly imposing package. Trust me.

To all this, I say, “challenge accepted.”

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The Beauty in Bookstores

I don’t buy books as much as I used to. But I still love going to bookstores.


Fully Booked on Bonifacio High Street always makes me happy. It isn’t just the books, but the way the whole place celebrates creativity and art in everything – their window displays, their book displays, their walls and their ceilings.


People need to celebrate beautiful things more often. Imelda Marcos may have been controversial, but she was on to something.


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He Says, Zee Says

MDJ Says: In our funny, different, silly little family of different shapes, smells, and sizes, we believe in the concept of “ohana” – because ohana means family; it means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.

MDJ: In this household, we’re taking a strong commitment towards living fitter, better lives – and because of ohana, that means our adorable little black teacup poodle Vader gets dragged along for the ride too.

Fitness Family

Zee:  We’re not actually at our healthiest now, and as much as we enjoy having bacon in every meal, it’s time for us to swallow that bitter pill and be healthier. And that includes the smallest, furriest, and 2-kilo member of our family. Because if he can do it, we all can!

MDJ: We think Vader is adorable. But to be brutally honest, he isn’t good for much apart from being cute, and chewing on pink fluffy things.


Zee: Yes, being a…

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