People make such a big deal about looks, but after a while, when you love someone, you don’t even notice anymore.
This is your first full-length film after doing a lot shorts, which do you prefer more?
Short films are my first love. I have short attention span, so short films really work for me. Sobrang komportable ako sa paggawa ng short films. I don’t need to consult people kung tama ba yung ginagawa ko, kung nakuha ba yung gusto kong sabihin. That’s why although I was excited to do my first full-length film, sobrang takot na takot din ako. Kasi ang laki ng hinaba ng 90-minute full-length film sa mga 3-min shorts ko. So may 90 minutes ako para magkamali. Pero may 90 minutes din ako para may magawang maganda.
Among all the extras in Philippine Cinema, why pick Lilia Cuntapay? What makes her such a good subject?
Kasi si Lilia Cuntapay yung extrang sikat na walang screen name. Nonong de Andres has “Bangkay” as screen name. We have Mahal, Mura, Dagul, pero si Lilia, wala. Ang screen name nya, kailangan mo siyang i-describe: “yung matandang babae na laging white lady o aswang sa mga horror.” Ang haba! That makes her different from all the other extras. Sikat siya, pero wala siyang pangalan.
How did you convince Lilia to do the project?
Binuo ko muna yung concept bago ko siya nilapitan. So kung hindi siya pumayag, wala akong pelikula. Eh pumayag. She loved the concept. Ang request lang nya, “Direk, basta wag nyo ipapagupit ang buhok ko ha.”
How was it working with her?
Isa siyang karakter. Medyo naninibago nung una si Nanay Lilia. Kasi naman, bilang extra dati, nasanay siya na 3 sequences lang siya per taping day. Eh dahil bida siya rito, syempre naroon siya sa bawat eksena. Eh bilang 75-years-old na si Nanay Lilia, pagpatak ng alas-sais ng gabi, parang hindi na kaya ng katawan nya. The spirit is willing, but the body is pagod na. Pero ide-deny nya. Hindi niya sasabihing pagod na siya.
“Nanay, pagod ka na? Pahinga muna tayo.”
“Ay hindi direk, kayang-kaya ko pa. Take na tayo.”
Pero yung mata nya, papikit na. Pero dahil lagi kaming magkasama, nahanap namin ang solusyon para bumalik ang energy nya kapag alas-diyes na ng gabi: gatas at Fudgee Barr.
Was Lilia able to see the final cut before it screened?
Just the first 15 minutes, when we accidentally played the DVD of the rough cut during the shoot and she was there. Nakatutok lang siya sa TV. Which is a good thing, kasi sabi niya sa amin, “Direk, hindi ako nanonood ng mga project ko eh.” Buti naman pinanood niya ‘to.
The trailer sets it up as a comedy. But it’s more than that, isn’t it?
Let’s just say, it’s a different kind of comedy.
This film has a lot of cameos…
Surprise na lang yung cameos. Pero definitely, hindi namin nakuha si Claire Danes. Busy raw siya. (Lilia’s worked with her in Brokedown Palace.)
Do you think there’s still life for Lilia outside of being the punch line in comedies or the scary old lady in horror flicks?
There’s life for Lilia outside the horror genre definitely. She’s played a lot of non-horror roles actually. But I don’t think she’ll be believable playing the bida. As Direk Peque Gallaga put it, the industry has put Lilia in a box. Her looks and history limit her roles. She definitely won’t be cast as a lawyer or a mayamang kabigan ng bida. It’s like a curse. Just like how why we didn’t see FPJ playing a coward, or Robin Padilla not winning a fight.
What has working with Lilia taught you?
Yung ibang extra, trabaho lang ang pag-eextra. Pagkatapos ng shooting, tapos na rin sila sa pag-extra. Yung iba, trip lang, gusto lang makita sa TV. Pero may ibang extra na may pangarap. Si Lilia Cuntapay, ganoon.
Some things you said, kept me up all night.
I am now receiving Christmas GIFT! anyone??? haha
I keep silent even when Im screaming inside because the things that drive me crazy, I have no choice but to hide
I’m just Loving her Version :) ♫
For all the people out their.
Paki Auscultate nga nung apical part ng thorax ko & hear how my Heart Beats for you.. ayii!
this is so cute.. :)
i always envy people who knows how to love. the guts to enter a relationship without any guide book on hand to aide when things wont work out. Yet as human nature, we try to seek our place in this world, to try and find someone who will travel with us on our journey called life. i’ts more like trial and error, really. we look for it, crave for it, sometimes we call it the essence of our being often time we simply call it…love. Funny, a lot of people find it in unexpected place, on unexpected time or to unexpected person. And when one is lucky enough, a happy ending will surely happen next. But in reality, its the irony of what’s gonna happen. You see, love is like an opportunity, a window that opens once in a while. But, like opportunity, it doesn’t stay. Some people doesn’t know how to spot it and often times they blindly let it pass. i have known a lot of persons who love to the extent that they put love to its next level. and i cant help but ask myself if i can do that. see, i know me. and i know i cant love 100% on somebody. i cant just cant! the only reason i love someone is because of the benefits that come with it. and when i do love someone all i can give is but 60% of it. the reason i am afraid to give it all is more centered on the fear that if i give my 100% on love, what happens when things wont work out? I don’t have any grounded assurance that things will work out and when i act as an optimist and hope for the best what will make of me then when i get the worst. i know someone who loves someone but is not quite sure if the love that he gives to that someone is rightfully returned. My question is this, how can you love a person and ask yourself if you are love back? For me, loving is like giving, you don’t expect something in return. If you love a person and he loves you too, he knows damn well to love you back or else he just doesn’t love you. When there is a imbalance on the amount of love that you give and the amount receive, ask yourself this, am i happy and contented with the amount of love i get for him? is its all worth the sacrifice i’ve been through? or does my future with him looks bright? your answer to these questions is the key that shall unlock your dilemma, i know you will find it difficult to answer these questions since you are battling with your feelings. but you should know that when you always bail yourself when ask with those questions you will just forever ignore the fact that there is a problem, and and no matter what you do i will eventually surface.