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Jul 8, 2011
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So the four Bench Body billboards featuring seven underwear-clad players from the Philippine Volcanoes National Rugby Team along EDSA were finally taken down Thursday, due to a number of complaints made by several conservative citizens.
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For the hetero-folks of the FHM nation, we say that’s a damn relief, but others aren’t as pleased with this little action.

Blame Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos for the removal of the billboards.

The man is currently garnering a considerable amount of heat from both the Philippine Volcanoes fans and the female nation.

“Hypocrites! Pero yung mga girls na nasa billboards pwede,” says one commenter on Spot.ph.

“Hay naku, double standard talaga. I’m sure na-insecure lang si Mayor Abalos sa katawan ng mga rugby players,” says another. The rugby team has yet to make a statement as of this writing.

To his defense, Benhur bites back: "Baka sabihin nila nagpapaka-moralista ako. I'm not very conservative."

Picking a side on this billboard fiasco, we deem it unfair for the mayor to get the bitter treatment for only doing action to complaints. Sabi nga nila, “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

A no-win situation, even. Abalos is bound to get beef for whatever choice he makes on the issue.

Now we stand firm on our take with the Philippine Volcanoes. Those dudes are awesome, doing our country proud and just as deserving of the public recognition as the honorable (and just so happen model-esque) players of the Philippine Azkals.

We too are only subject to a certain level of scandalous moments in public – the Diana Zubiri flyover issue comes to mind. And we definitely are fans of Bench Billboards and their respective models – Angelica Panganiban, Regine Angeles, and from way back, Francine Prieto.

But. Those are some big-ass billboards displaying some big-ass bodies without their big-ass clothing. Conservative folks, minors, and awkwardly unwilling dudes have no choice but to set their sights on them. Even the countless number of girls cited on “provocative billboards” isn’t that prominent.

The general public is either entitled to their share of sexy billboards. Or they’re not. It took a while for the public to duly accept the sexy portrayal of women in EDSA, but we guess the public is still not ready to see men in skimpy tights along Guadalupe. At least not the way those specific billboards are portrayed.

We don't know. Maybe, maybe, it's the billboard’s layout. Not the mayor, not the rugby players, not the "double standards," and most definitely not the people reacting to it.

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In any case, as of today, we can always resort to FHM babes, while women will always find a home with those Cosmo Bachelors.

WORDS BY MIKEY AGULTO
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