Highly Respectable Player – Henry Yutuc

From golf club to horses & long-handled mallet to karts, then lighting instruments, and finally to Samurai steel scissors. What’s next for Henry Yutuc?

In 1983, Henry Yutuc started playing golf in Los Angeles with his friend, Baby Yupangco. Unknowingly, next to his recreational activity list would be horses and long handled-mallets. 

Mounted on horseback

Residing in Sta. Ana near the polo fields with his grandmother, he was an avid spectator of the polo games at an early age. Ricky Yabut, a top polo player in their batch in La Salle Green Hills, invited him to watch their practices. “In 1988, Enrique Zobel’s two children met an accident in an airstrip. Jake, Mr. Zobel’s only son, was rushed to the hospital. So the riders said: Henry, have you heard the bad news? You’re joining us next practice,” he shares. At one point, Enrique of the country’s influential Ayala family gave him the opportunity to play polo. It is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team.

Mr. Zobel provided him the helmet and mallet except for a pair of boots and a whip, which he brought. His father questioned him on what he was getting into. “This is cheaper than golf, dad,” he insists. Henry purchased the horses in a farm in Lipa, Batangas that was granted by his father so that it won’t be a humiliation on their part. As a rookie, Henry played in the opening polo cup of the first season. He even scored the winning goal and he was able to finish the three qualifying race. From 1988 to 2000, Henry played polo but confessed to Animo that it is the second most dangerous sports next to Formula One. 

Karts on an outdoor track

Richard Joson, one of his golfing buddies said: Bumili ka na lang ng go kart. Hindi mo pa pinapakain everyday. After some time, he sold his horses and bought an open-wheeler motor sport with simple, small four-wheeled vehicles called karts.Kart racing is usually used as a low-cost and relatively safe way to introduce drivers to motor racing. Karting is considered the first step in any serious racer’s career. It can prepare the driver for high-speed wheel-to-wheel racing by helping develop quick reflexes, precision car control, and decision-making skills. He recalls the time when he was practicing kart racing. “Your ass is one inch above the ground. It doesn’t have controller. I was then wearing t-shirt [not a suite]. Syempre si Henry eh. It was after the blister when I felt it because my adrenaline rises.”In addition, it brings an awareness of the various parameters that can be altered to try to improve the competitiveness of the kart that also exist in other forms of motor racing. Many, perhaps most Formula One racers grew up racing karts. 

Art of lighting

Henry’s first attempt at the art of lighting can be tracked back when he became interested in it. A renowned director from Kapuso, who happens to be his friend, told him that if he wanted to get into cinematography, he has to hang out with him during their back pack shoots. His first project as a Lighting Director for GMA 7’s Extra Challenge taong grasa episode was shot in Payatas. “You move from one location to another so we don’t use the same lights. Well, I already know how strong the lights are but the bottom line is when you set it up to your taste, you should check out the monitor,” he says. 

Indeed, the most important thing that he learned when he trained as a Lighting Director is the discipline of making lighting and camera choices when recording images or the television shows. Light is necessary to create an image exposure on a digital target. The art of lighting for cinematography goes far beyond basic exposure, however, into the essence of visual storytelling. The control of light quality, color, direction and intensity is a major factor in the art and science of cinematography. 

Secret to rock hairstyle: Samurai steel scissor

From the entertainment business, Henry moved on to special cosmetology as a hair stylist because he wants to go back abroad. For 3 months, he trained for a vocational course at Franck Provost, the most modern brand in luxury styling, enhancing the elegance and beauty of women. Then after 8 months, he took up advance courses. Stefan, of course is Stefan Wilczynski, the other half of Rockwell and Shangri-La’s supreme beauty hub, Basement’s German wonder duo, negotiated with Henry. “We’ll try you for 5 days. You can be our hair stylist and you can get your friends for free here in the salon.” 

As an upscale hairdresser, Henry caters to the rich and famous likes of top print and TV ad model Bianca Araneta, model turned host Phoemela Baranda, Tatler Magazine fashion editor Carla, award-winning actor Joel Torre and Captain Barbell’s Richard Gutierrez. “Little did I know that I if I cut, I’ll learn something new. A bad cut is if your client didn’t come back anymore. First, you have to establish how short they want or how daring do they want. You should ask if it will fit their job. They’re telling me about this geometry [which I flunk]. I watch this German guy every Sunday in Blow Out.” From the creators of NBC’s series The Restaurant comes “Blow Out,” an unscripted series that follows renowned hairstylist Jonathan Antin. 

At the end, you’ll realize that Henry Yutuc doesn’t go to work but to play. He doesn’t plan things but he does things that will interests him. And when Animo asked what kind of golfer, polo player, karter, lighting director, and hairstylist he is, he’d probably respond with a wince – HIGHLY RESPECTABLE. That’s Henry! 

Article originally published in 2006. Written by Toni Catu.



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