And so it ends.

FHM (Philippines) - - BOOKENDER -

Full dis­clo­sure: I’ve been star­ing at those four lit­tle words for four days now and I'm still feel­ing quite un­sure about how I’d fin­ish the rest of this brief note.

If I’m be­ing hon­est, I feel some­what glad this is go­ing to be our last hur­rah. It’s been awhile, af­ter all, that I’ve had proper rest. Also, hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to not think about any­thing re­motely re­lated to FHM tit­il­lates me right now some­how.

For one, there’s Zumba wait­ing for me to try (And with my mother who’s an en­thu­si­ast no less!). See, ever since we were told that our May is­sue was go­ing to be our last, I’ve started in­stantly plot­ting my next moves once my 23-year stint at Sum­mit Me­dia ends.

Maybe hav­ing a Zumba in­struc­tor for a son would mean the world to my

75-year-old mom.

Not that she was never proud of my FHM tour of duty or any­thing. She knew all the cover girls we fea­tured; Diana Zu­biri, who had once sam­pled her de­lec­ta­ble kare-kare and laing dur­ing one of my birth­day all-nighters at home, re­mains a favorite, she says. She also read ev­ery is­sue of the mag­a­zine from cover to cover, but only af­ter fin­ish­ing Yes!, the mag­a­zine I know she loved more than FHM.

And she al­ways made sure her geri­atric friends got pre­cious VIP tick­ets to our

100 Sexiest Women In The

World Vic­tory Party ev­ery year. To my amaze­ment, her pals sur­vived those leg­endary nights of sweet sweaty fun to Zumba for an­other day.

Mem­o­rable as those par­ties were, though, they’re the least of the things I’ll miss about FHM. I don’t know if it isn’t ob­vi­ous enough, but it sure stings not be­ing able to work tem­po­rar­ily with an edi­to­rial group as crazily creative as this su­perb bunch of mul­ti­task­ing tal­ents whose pic­tures you see plas­tered all over this page.

If I haven’t said this enough, do know you’re the chief rea­sons I’ve sum­moned the strength to show up for work from the first is­sue to the last, our 214th.

No joke, I’m noth­ing but grate­ful to all of you: for all the laughs, for al­low­ing me to help you to un­lock your cre­ativ­ity and lead­er­ship po­ten­tial, for teach­ing me how to be pa­tient and re­silient, for match­ing my in­ten­sity with­out ever wilt­ing, for all the late nights spent beat­ing dead­lines, play­ing scrab­ble, cook­ing up and breath­ing life into seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble con­cepts that turned into un­for­get­table mo­ments and mile­stones, do­ing “re­search” and downing case af­ter case of our favorite brew.

I prom­ise to give glow­ing rec­om­men­da­tions if you dare tap me as char­ac­ter ref­er­ence in your fu­ture job-hunt­ing ad­ven­tures. But tell the peo­ple re­cruit­ing you not to call me in the morn­ing, please.

Thank you for all the things you said and left un­said when news of our up­com­ing last is­sue finally be­came of­fi­cial. I’ve read all your mes­sages and they’ll be just as cher­ished as the ex­pe­ri­ences we shared over the years.

To­gether, let us thank Sum­mit for sup­port­ing and tol­er­at­ing our mad­den­ing ge­nius, the nu­mer­ous ex­cel­lent creative teams we worked with that saw our vi­sion through, all our beloved read­ers who stuck with us through good times and bad, and all the in­spir­ing women, heroes, icons, and the peo­ple be­hind them who trusted us with their sto­ries for 18 years.

Let’s do our share keep­ing the tra­di­tion we set alive through

Take a bow, gentle­men and ladies of Team FHM. It’s been a priv­i­lege shar­ing this fan­tas­tic run with you all. Be sad if you must, but never sulk for far too long. Stand proud be­cause we will al­ways be FHM.

This is­sue only ce­ments our un­de­ni­able leg­end.

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