DON'T look now, but do you know that Playboy's latest Playmate of the Month is a Filipina?
Yes, indeed, the November 2005 Playmate of the top men's magazine is a Pinay. Her name is Raquel Gibson.
Raquel is only the second Pinay to make it to the internationally famous mag's centerfold. The first was Pia Reyes exactly 17 years ago -- that is, way back in November 1988.
The writeup which accompanies Ms. Gibson's 14-photo, 12-page (including the foldout) nude splash in the new issue of Playboy is titled "Raquel's World Party," subheaded "Globalization is a family thing for Miss November." It reads:
"When you have a family as large and culturally diverse as Raquel Gibson's, your passport soaks up more ink than a
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Pinay is Playboy's new Playmate
UN ambassador's. 'My mom is Filipino, and my dad is an Italian New Yorker,' she says. 'I'm the baby of the family -- the spoiled one -- and I have five siblings from the ages of 21 to 43. I have a niece who is actually older than I am, which menas I was an aunt before I was even born.' Although the 20-year-old has always called Florida home, she often jets to the Philippines and Japan, where her oldest sister and her family live. 'I'm fluent in Tagalog, which is a language of the Philippines, and I know a little Japanese,' she says. 'I want to learn Spanish, Portuguese, Italian -- I have a whole list!' As she enthusiastically tosses some Tagalog at us, we can't help but notice her resemblance to another exotic beauty. 'It's flattering to be told that I look like Jessica Alba,' she says. 'It started when Dark Angel came out. I don't watch much TV, so I said, "Who is Dark Angel? I'm a what?" I figured it out when she became better known. My friends say I should sign autographs when people ask if I'm her, but I couldn't get into that.'
"Miss November had better keep that Sharpie in her purse, though, because she doesn't lack for admirers, and more are on the way. 'I have a ton of guy friends,' she says. 'That can be a problem when I hook up with someone, because they say, "You have a million and one guys calling you a day." But they're just my friends.' Raquel's taste in men is expansive, but she does have some firm ideas. 'I've dated every single type, from the beefy macho guy to the skinny, dorky-looking guy, but I don't want to be with a partier,' she says. 'I like someone who's into his mom and checks in on her -- not a mommy's boy but someone family-oriented.' He should also like a woman who has ambition, because Raquel -- who already has a culinary school degree and a real estate license -- plans to go back to school to become a pediatrician someday, with a practice someplace warm. 'I can't stand the cold,' she says. 'I can't see myself dressed like an Eskimo walking down the streets of New York, and I'd miss going to the beach and playing football.'
"Just don't ask Miss November to go into the water -- there are too many sharks. 'The news will show a helicopter flying over with 200 sharks in the water and people just swimming and playing around them. I think, Are you guys dumb? I'd much rather lay out and have a few tropical drinks. I want to enjoy my life and be happy instead of sweating something for no reason. You're going to look back and laugh, so why even worry about it?"'
One of the pictures in Raquel's peektorial package shows her pouring a drink for a female relative, presumably her mother. The pix is captioned: "There isn't much elbow room at the Thanksgiving table when your family is as big as Raquel's. Being a culinary school graduate, Raquel is skilled at making mouths water. Her specialty? 'Italian,' she says. 'The way to a man's heart is definitely through his stomach."'