Martin Escudero portrays HIV positive patient in TV5 series Positive

Martin Escudero said he volunteered to be tested for HIV. "Ako naging willing ako, nagpa-test ako. Nagpresenta ako, ‘Gusto ko magpa-test!’ Hindi lang dahil sa show o para lang malaman yung status ko kung hindi para masabi ko na hindi siya ganoon kasama.”


After his portrayal as Remington in the independent comedy film, Zombadings I: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington, Martin Escudero is all set for his first lead role in a weekly primetime drama titled Positive.

Martin has the challenging role of portraying someone diagnosed positive with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), which causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

Last October 1, Martin talked about his experiences while making TV5’s newest weekly primetime series, Positive at Annabel’s restaurant, Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

MARTIN AS CARLO. The story revolves around Carlo (Martin) as he traces how he acquired the virus.

Martin explained his character in detail, “Ang role ko dito ay si Carlo, isa akong OM [operations manager] sa call center.

“Mahaba kasi, e. Maraming pinagdaanan yung character so mula sa teenage [years] niya hanggang sa tumanda siya.

“Mahaba siya, madaming pagdadaanan.”

He summarized what his character will go through in this drama series, which will premiere on October 17.


“Pero bago ‘yon marami siyang pinagdaanan muna. Yung kabataan niya, yung pagiging maloko.

“Kung paano siya pumarty, magsaya sa buhay—yun yung kabataan niya, e.

“Pero nung nakilala na niya yung napangasawa niya yun nga si Helga [Krapf].

“Kung paano siya nagbago, kung paano siya naging seryoso, kung paano siya nagkaroon ng AIDS, pero medyo may konting kalokohan pa rin sa opisina, pero hanggang doon na lang ‘yon.

“Nung nalaman niya na buntis yung asawa niya at manganganak na pilit niyang baguhin lahat ‘yon.

“Nagpakatino siya, gusto na niya maging matinong ama at matinong asawa.

“Yun ‘yong pinagdaanan niya hanggang sa desidido na siyang maging matino doon na niya nalaman na may sakit siya.”

IMMERSION WITH HIV POSITIVE PEOPLE. As part of his preparation, the 23-year-old actor did immersions with persons with HIV at the AIDS Society of the Philippines (ASP).

Martin admitted that he doesn’t know much about AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), which is why he took the time to familiarize himself with this condition.

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The Positive star said, “Nag-aral ako at nag-research muna ako sa internet pinanood ko yung mga interviews ng ibang tao.

“Inalam ko sa mga site ng AIDS. Nagbasa-basa ako pero malaki ‘yong puntos ng mga detalyeng nalaman ko nung nag-immerse kami at dalawang beses namin ginawa ‘yon, e.

“Noong una, nagkukuwentuhan lang kami nung mga taong may AIDS...yung mga karanasan nila.

Martin and the rest of the cast of Positive namely Helga Krapf, Malak So Shdifat, Bianca Manalo, Mercedes Cabral, Rufa Mae Quinto, Bing Loyzaga, and Felix Roco went to ASP to do exercises and workshops to understand and know facts about AIDS.

Martin recalled, “Twice kami nag-immerse, nakasalamuha namin ‘yong mga taong may AIDS.

“Nag-share sila ng experience nila sa buhay, kung paano nila nakuha kung ano ang naramdaman nila, ‘yong mga pinagdaanan nila.

“Noong pangalawang immersion naman namin, nagkaroon ng exercise na pinadama sa amin kung ano ‘yong counselling, kung paano mag test.”

The members of the media present were surprised when Martin admitted that he volunteered to take the test. He said he did it not only for himself but to further understand the process.

Martin revealed, “Ako naging willing ako, nagpa-test ako.

“Nagpresenta ako, ‘Gusto ko magpa-test!’ hindi lang dahil sa show o para lang malaman yung status ko kung hindi para masabi ko na hindi siya ganoon kasama.”

He explained further, “Kasi ‘yong counselling and test mayroon siyang eksena talaga na ganoon.

“So para sa akin para mas maging totoo yung pag-arte ko, para magawa ko ‘yong eksena ng tama kailangan ko pagdaan lahat ‘yan, e para hindi lang siya inaarte gusto ko maging totoo lahat.

“Unang-una siyempre part ‘yan ng trabaho ko na kailangan kong gawin ng tama.

“Pangalawa siyempre may iba akong rason, may iba akong adhikain, gusto kong makatulong, gusto ko maging isang halimbawa sa lahat.

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“Gusto ko malaman nila kung bakit kailangan gawin ‘yon. ‘Yong takot gusto ko silang tulungang maalis sa isip nila.”

Did he feel scared?

He replied, “Oo, nakakatakot siya, pero mas dapat mangibabaw sa isip niyo na ito ‘yong dapat gawin para maging aware.

“Para malaman mo kung ikaw ay nangangamba, kung mayroon kang ginawa na hindi mo alam ‘yong naging resulta, kung ikaw ay nangangamba, kailangan mo siyang gawin.”

The actor admitted that it took him days to emotionally stabilize himself again. The experience was very moving for him because of the different stories he heard from the patients.

“Malaki ang impact sa akin, e," admitted the Kapatid star.

“Unang-una, sa emosyon na naramdaman ko.

“Hindi ko ma-imagine kung kunwari ako yung malalagay sa posisyon nila, siyempre dun sa pamilya nila, kung anong naramdaman ng pamilya nila, kung ano yung pinagdadaanan nila hanggang ngayon.

“Nadala ko yun hanggang kinabukasan, e. Medyo ang hirap bitawan, e. Sobrang bigat, punong-puno ‘yong dibdib ko ng ilang araw kaya dala-dala ko siya ng ilang araw talaga.”

How did his experience changed his perception about people who are HIV positive?

He answered, “Malaki talaga, wala akong alam talaga tungkol doon, e, kahit konti pero ngayon mas nalinawan ako mas nalaman ko yung mga bagay tungkol doon.

“Hindi siya ganun kasama katulad ng iniisip ng ibang tao na walang kaalam-alam doon.

“Ibang-iba talaga, mababago talaga ‘yong kaalaman mo. Mabubuksan ka sa ganun parte ng realidad.”

What can he say about the trust given by TV5 for him to topbill a sensitive and controversial show?

He started by thanking TV5 big bosses, “Unang-una nagpapasalamat ako kasi nabigyan ako ng ganitong role.

“Siyempre sa ating mga boss kanila Ma’am Wilma [Galvante], sa ating mga EP [executive producers], malaking karangalan ‘to sa akin dahil unang-una kong gagawa ng ganitong kabigat na character, na role, na project sa TV5.”

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He continued, “At hindi pa biro dahil hindi ito basta, basta na soap o drama alam mo ‘yon?

“Hindi ito basta, basta lang. Ito ay napaka seryosong topic. Reality ‘to, e.

“Nangyayari talaga ‘to sa bansa natin ngayon, e.

“Ito yung big deal ngayong panahong ito, maraming naapektuhan dito, maraming may kaso na ganito so hindi lang siya basta-bastang puwedeng gawin.

“Pinagaaralan ng lahat ‘to, kailangan maging maingat kasi hindi puwedeng magkamali lalo na sa pinakamaliit na detalye.

“So may konting kaba pero mas nangingibabaw ‘yong kaganahan sa pagtatrabaho ‘yong power kumbaga, kailangan maging maayos lahat.”

Positive is set to premiere on October 17 and will air every Thursday. The show will run for one season on TV5's primetime block.


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