Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sky Flakes and catfood for theater actors--says Rafael Santos

This guy named "Rafael Santos," a first-time director in the Philippines specializing in independently produced films (or "indie films), is now in hot water. A few days ago, he was interviewed on local television to promote his film to be shown in a local film festival (Cinemalaya). I guess not too many people saw the interview (at least not from among theater actors concerned), and no one complained at that time of what he said in that interview. But when the same interview was recently uploaded by someone to YouTube, Filipino actors, especially theater actors, finally came to know of what Santos said there. Santos, in reply to the host's question to him on his experience of working with theater actors in his first-ever directed film, said that he found it better working with theater actors. Okay, that's good of him to say that. But then Santos didn't stop there. He continued to say that the reason that he works better with theater actors is because "they don't complain, you can feed them Sky Flakes (a brand of biscuit) three meals a day, and pay them in catfood, basically."

Link below of interview of Santos from Peparazzo's YouTube account:

Expectedly, Filipino actors and directors are now up in arms against Santos because they deem his words an insult to them. And I agree with the sentiment of these people. Santos has issued a quick apology (albeit e-mailed to the organizers of the film festival, if I understand correctly news reports up to a few hours ago, in which his film is an entry). Santos said in his apology that he didn't exactly mean what he said, that he was joking, and that he actually has high respect for these actors, especially theater actors, who sacrifice a lot just to pursue their craft in the best possible way.

Well, if you ask me, if he really respects these people as he now says, he should have chosen his words well during his interview on television. He could have said it just straightforwardly how he does respect his peers in the industry. But in his attempt to be witty and cool in describing how theater actors work hard to pursue their craft and are willing to undergo sacrifices in the process, he ended up saying rather insulting words. His words insinuated that there's no need for film producers to spend for full meals when they hire theater actors because these people will be happy even if they are fed only with biscuits during shootings (and the biscuit brand that Santos mentioned--Sky Flakes--is just about one of the lower-priced biscuits in the Philippines) and by giving them catfood (presumably to take home to their cats). What adds to the insult is that he was saying those things in indirect comparison to film and television actors who, as every showbiz fan in the Philippines knows, are pampered by film producers and television networks, especially the most popular actors.

As it is now, Santos's film-making career just picking up might just take an abrupt detour to perhaps another career where he won't have to bump into these people he has offended. Aside from his e-mailed apology to the film festival organizers, a televised apology from him is being demanded by an organization of theater actors in the Philippines.

Santos should move quickly and humbly if he still wants to save his career. Or, does he still have a career?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Facebook killer!

In the news yesterday in the Philippines--a local actor-director named Ricky Rivero suffered more than 10 stab wounds in the chest and stomach in the early morning of June 13, 2011, and drove himself to a hospital near his place in Quezon City district. His alleged assailant was another man whom he befriended through Facebook just about only five months ago, the report said. Rivero was said to have invited this man to sleepover at his apartment on the 12th. The following early morning, Rivero and the man allegedly had an argument because the latter was asking for money. Rivero's guest was said to have become enraged during the argument hence the stabbing, and left the bloodied Rivero in his apartment in a jiffy.

Miraculously, Rivero was still able to drive himself to the hospital despite his wounds. He's still in the hospital now but there's no update as to his condition.

His alleged assailant was caught by village officials when he came to Rivero's apartment just moments after the attack, presumably to get some of Rivero's things. The village officials were alerted by Rivero's neighbors who were roused by the commotion.

If the real would-be murderer is really Rivero's Facebook friend (and Rivero already identified the guy as his assailant when police had presented the man to him at the hospital), this is another lesson for us all to be careful of persons we meet via the Net, especially for those who have the habit of eyeballing their Net friends. I've heard or read of other frightful stories (in the Philippines and abroad) where people have been victimized by their online "friends" whom they meet face-to-face and turn out to be criminals. Of course, these stories are not that many. I guess there are more kind people in the Net than there are bad people. But, it wouldn't hurt to be careful in the Net as we should also be in "real" life.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rain! Rain! Rain!

Me, happy! Because, finally, after days of sweating it out in very warm weather in a supposedly rainy season in the Philippines, we've been getting some pretty strong rains today, since this early morning (at least in Metro Manila). Not that I wish that the rains would get stronger because that could mean floods, but thank God for some respite from the past hot days where one could've definitely gotten a heat stroke if she or he isn't too careful. I hope more rains will come in this rainy season (which started in late May), but not too strong since the Philippines is really flood-prone.