Xander Ford is the new name of Marlou Arizala, an ex-member of Hasht5, a boy band parody group which became a viral sensation online in 2015.
With the change in name comes a change in his looks, achieved through a facial makeover courtesy of cosmetic surgery.
And the result is simply astonishing. Marlou Arizala a.k.a Xander Ford was transformed from a much- maligned online talent to a handsome young man.
Looking at the Xander Ford before and after pictures or Marlou before and after photos will shock anyone with a pair of eyes.
The Xander Ford Teasers
Early September, Marlou teased his fans with a video showing him in a hospital gown, with black lines on his face. Those lines on his face were familiar markings of someone who’s about to have a surgical procedure.
The video was shown on the page of Star Image Artist Management, the company that manages Marlou’s budding career.
Marlou’s short message in the video was, “Hi guys, excited na ko sa operasyon. Sana maging ayos, and wish me well po. Yun lang, and God Bless You” (Hi guys, I am excited with the operation. I hope it will be ok, and wish me well. That’s it and God Bless You.)
That short video became viral, with more than 3.2 million views. People started speculating how Marlou will look after the operation.
On social media, several memes showing Xander Ford before and after pictures suddenly cropped up. Some serious, some just pure nasty jokes.
Another video shows him being filmed prior to the operation. At the interview, he said he was excited because “gusto ko nang magbago mukha ko” (I want my face to change).
The video showed the hashtags #Marlouisdead #ItsXanderFord.
Other teasers appeared, with one video showing Marlou’s face superimposed with images of James Reid, and other handsome actors.
On September 4, Marlou underwent a cosmetic enhancement procedure at the Marikina Doctors Hospital and Medical Center. Some portions of the procedure was documented by Rated K.
In an interview with Korina Sanchez, Marlou said he’s scared of the surgery, but it has to be done.
Marlou laid out his reason why he thinks he needs to undergo surgery. He said, “Gusto kong ipakita sa tao na yung dating Marlou na nilalait nila, kahit laitin nila ngayon, hindi na yun yung ako” (I want to show people that the old Marlou who they were bashing, even if they bash him now, that’s not me anymore.)
Marlou, through his new persona Xander Ford, is totally detaching himself from the cyberbullying victim he used to be.
In fact, his former group Hasht5 group were all victims of bashing, but it was Marlou who was bashed the most. He was also the most popular among the group, though.
The plastic surgeon who transformed Marlou into the handsome Xander Ford is Dr. Samuel Eric C. Yapjuangco, MD., of the ICON Clinic.
Yapjuangco said cosmetic surgery is not really just enhancement of specific areas of the body but also for the patient to feel better about himself after the procedure.
For Marlou, silicon implants were placed on his chin. A portion of his ear was used to make his nose look good. The operation took 6 hours to finish.
After the operation, Marlou posted on Facebook: Marlou is Dead, I’m Xander.
But those weren’t the only ones fixed on Marlou physical appearance. His teeth were fixed, eyebrows thickened, hair placed with more volume, his eyelashes were extended, also his lips were made redder to make it look better.
Just so you know, ICON clinic had a former case wherein a businesswoman named Shiryl Saturnino died in the middle of surgery in March 2017.
Dr. Yapjuangco was one of the surgeons who operated on her, and The ICON clinic was temporarily closed because of that.
According to Philippine News, “the two cosmetic surgeons faced cases of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide due to the failed surgery.”
The case must have been resolved since then , because Dr. Yapjuangco (also called Dr. Yappy by Marlou) was able to perform an excellent cosmetic surgery on Marlou.
It was the idea of Marlou’s management team to change his name to Xander Ford, to fit his new looks.
Korina conducted an informal poll and reactions were mixed. Some liked the old Marlou Arizala, because he had “character”, while others liked the new Xander Ford because he looked fresher.
And when the new Marlou Arizala was presented as Xander Ford to a live audience via the program Rated K, the name Xander Ford and Marlou both trended on Twitter.
And the girls just loved the new Xander Ford.
Korina Sanchez asked him about the process of his transformation. He said, “Masakit pero kaya kasi po, ito talaga ‘yung pangarap ko. Ito talaga ‘yung goal ko, ‘yung mabago ‘yung sarili ko,” he said. (It was painful, but this is my dream. This was my goal, to change myself.)
He said that when he looks at the mirror, he doesn’t miss the old Marlou anymore. He said, he let go of his past already.
Rated K: Meet Xander Ford
With his new look, Xander wants to go back to showbiz and to make a serious career out of it, so he could help his parents.
Before he got under the knife, Xander (then Marlou) had already appeared in several tv programs as a guest. Even before he got into showbiz, Xander was a member of a church choir, and of their community theater group and had also attended acting workshops. He also claimed to have had experience in modeling, according to PEP.
As to whether he has new projects lined up for him is still unclear. Will Xander Ford be as charming as the Marlou Arizala he used to be? Will he have the same sense of humor, or will he be too conscious of his newfound looks?
What we found hilarious was the reaction of his father, Aniceto, to Xander’s new handsome face during the Rated K episode. The father cried and said he was a bit surprised because “dating kamukha ko, wala na, wala na”. (He used to look like me, not anymore, no more.)