Is Diana Zubiri afraid of backlash from Church over sexy role?

by Jocelyn Dimaculangan
Oct 28, 2014

Diana Zubiri returns to her sexy image by being part of an indie film that depicts how priests succumb to temptations.

This 2014, Diana will begin shooting for Daluyong (Storm Surge) that will be directed by Mel Chionglo and written by Ricky Lee.

In the film, Diana portrays a woman who enters a relationship with a priest and bears his child.

Allen Dizon is cast as the priest who is assigned to a remote province but Diana's character follows him because she is in love with him although he is a man of God.

Diana describes her character by saying, "May sariling career ako dito. Talagang na-in love lang sa pari at gusto kong ipaglaban ang pag-ibig ko. Nang mare-assign ang pari sa malayong probinsiya, sinundan ko.”

(Read: Allen Dizon portrays a priest who impregnated his girlfriend in indie film Daluyong)

Diana believes their movie simply reflects what is actually happening among priests now.

"Sana hindi nila ma-misinterpret ang pagpapakita ng nangyayari sa Pilipinas," said the actress who recently graced the cover of the September 2014 issue of FHM Magazine.

In 2012, Diana declared that she would veer away from sexy roles in order to finish her course in theater arts in an exclusive Catholic school.

How does she feel about starting out a sexy star and now being given the chance to be part of serious films?

"Masaya po ako na kahit papaano may pagsasama ang pagiging sexy at pagiging serious actress. Bihira po yun na pwede kang ma-consider na magaling...

"Yun ang challenge sa akin na ipakita na hindi lang pagpapa-sexy ang kaya kong gawin," she said with a smile.

Diana's last movie project, Bahay Bata, earned for her the Best Performer award during the 2012 Young Critics Circle Awards.

Also known as Baby Factory, this Cinemalaya entry won the Jury Prize at the Deauville Asian Film Festival in France held in 2012.

Since Diana will portray a woman who has sex with a priest who breaks his vow of celibacy, isn't she afraid of backlash from the Catholic Church?

"Hindi naman pero siyempre hindi na rin maiaalis na magkakaroon sila ng reaksyon. Ang gusto lang naming ipakita dito, yung balanseng pagpapakita kung ano yung normal at natural nang nangyayari sa atin, sa mga pari," she explained.

INSPIRATION BEHIND DALUYONG. Aside from Allen and Diana, this indie film produced by BG Productions is also expected to star Eddie Garcia, Ricky Davao and Chanda Romero.

Daluyong shows the loneliness and weaknesses of priests who are all burdened by one problem or another: a priest who has a child and is carrying on a relationship with a woman, a priest who is an alcoholic, a priest who is an NPA supporter, a “healing priest” whose ability to heal is being questioned, a priest who was suspected to have killed somebody and a bishop who is undergoing a personal crisis. had the chance to ask Ricky Lee about the inspiration behind Daluyong. He revealed that the composite characters were created based on real-life incidents.

He explained that Direk Mel Chionglo is a very religious person who has always wanted to do a movie about priests.

Lee summed up the dilemma faced by Allen's character by saying: "Si Allen, isang pari na nagkaroon ng anak sa isang babae na minahal siya at minahal din naman niya, in a way.

"Nang ma-discover ng simbahan, dinistino siya sa malayong malayong lugar na ang ganda-ganda. Dun sa lugar na 'yon, nagkaroon ng [murder] at implicated siya dun sa murder."

The award-winning screenwriter explains that their movie aims to show the "ordinariness ng evil" and the human side of the men of God.

He points out that the characters are "mga paring na taong-tao rin."

Isn't he afraid of negative reaction from the Catholic Church?

"Hindi naman kasi in the end, gusto naming i-explore na maraming paraan papunta sa pagiging banal, maski sa isang pari," explained Lee.

"And I think sa isang pari, lalo siyang magiging banal kung dumaan siya sa sanga-sangang landas. Hindi naman ganun ka-straight, na tuwid na daan papunta sa kabanalan, e. Yung mga liko-liko, kung minsan yun ang nakakatulong sa kanya para mas maging totoo siyang banal sa huli.

"And kung minsan yung konsepto natin ng kung ano ba ang banal, hindi naman yung traditional lang na nakagawian. Maraming iba-ibang ways to [achieve holiness]."

Is their movie a period film?

"Present time ito," he disclosed. "Nagla-laptop yung pari and so on. Modern na modern."

Lastly, why is the film titled Daluyong?

"Sa loob ng simbahan, may daluyong o storm surge pero in the end, may calmness, may serenity."

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