American adult magazine Playboy launched Wednesday its first Philippine edition, triggering protests from the country's conservative Roman Catholic Church, but promising to avoid full-frontal nudity.
The local issue promises to be tamer than other editions sold across the world and will seek to avoid offending local sensibilities, editor-in-chief Beting Laygo Dolor told AFP.
"The Philippine edition has been adjusted to our culture, including the fact that we are a predominantly Catholic country and a little more conservative," Dolor said.
While flesh will be featured, "there will not be full frontal nudity," Dolor said, stressing that they were not out to compete with the local editions of "lad magazines" FHM and Maxim, which are more explicit.
"We are targetting a different demographic -- the slightly mature, more upscale men," Dolor said.
"The main reasons for them buying this magazine is for the artwork, articles and photography," he said.
Four of the Philippines' top literary writers are among those on the roster of contributors to Playboy, the 25th international edition of the US-based magazine which was launched more than 50 years ago, he said.
While some ultra-conservative segments of the society "won't be very happy" Dolor said he does not expect the magazine to trigger social unrest like in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation.
Playboy launched its Indonesian edition in 2006, triggering protests there and forcing advertisers to back out.
But Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, spokesman for the influential Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said the Philippines already had a host of problems from poverty to scandals that it can't afford to "have one more moral problem."
"That (Playboy) would destroy our moral stature," Quitorio said, adding that government should investigate the franchise.
Senior CBCP member Bishop Pedro Arigo, meanwhile, noted that Filipinos "are already a lost generation" with sales of adult magazines widespread in the country.
Playboy "will further add to the degeneration of (Filipinos') sexual culture," Arigo said.