When the members of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) watched Muli for the first time last August, they decided to give it an "on hold" status.
The MTRCB wanted to shorten the 44-second love scene between Sid Lucero and Arnold Reyes but the film's director Adolf Alix Jr. refused to cut the scene.
The censors did not give Muli an X rating but they scheduled a second viewing for the gay-themed independent film.
During its second review, the MTRCB approved the film without cuts and gave it a rating of R-18.
Muli will finally be shown in cinemas starting September 22.
At the presscon of Muli held last September 14 at Max's restaurant on Roces Avenue, Direk Adolf was happy to announce that viewers will be able to see the integral version of the two-hour film.
In Muli, Sid plays Jun, an innkeeper based in Baguio who has different relationships as he waits for his great love.
Cogie Domingo is a young lawyer named Errol who is committed to a woman but becomes sexually involved with Jun.
Their affair spans four decades, amid political and social upheavals in Philippine society.
Sid has three partners in this movie. He shot separate love scenes with all of them: Cogie Domingo, Arnold Reyes and Rocky Salumbides.
When asked what was hardest part of shooting the movie, Sid admitted: "It was breaking the walls with the guys."
How was he convinced to do this movie? "Madali naman akong kausapin," said Sid. "Sinabi lang sa 'kin na director si Adolf. Sabi ko game!"
It will be recalled that Adolf directed Sid in Donsol, his big screen debut in 2006.
Sid was doubly excited when he learned that he would be working with Cogie Domingo, best known for the critically acclaimed film, Deathrow.
He recounted his pictorial with Cogie for Muli. They were asked to stand close to each other as if leaning in for a kiss.
"Pag dating ng photo shoot, may nagsabi sa amin, masanay na kayo ha, kasi marami kayong eksenang ganyan. Wait, gay movie yata 'to. Binasa ko yung script at gay movie nga!"
What was Sid's reaction to the "on hold" status initially given to Muli?
"Hindi ako naniniwala sa MTRCB, e. Hindi naman lahat sila film people. Buti sana kung galing sila sa pelikula...sana may experience sila sa pelikula at naiintindihan nila ang message ng pelikula at nakukuha nila yung message ng pelikula."
Completing the cast of Muli are Angeli Bayani, Evelyn Vargas, Kenneth Ocampo and Sid's sister Maxine Eigenmann, who plays the girlfriend of Cogie Domingo.
Did Sid feel awkward "sharing" Cogie with his sister?
"No, ang awkward para sa akin, yung magkasunod kami ng eksena. Buti na lang, hiniwalay ni Direk ng araw, e. Nag-share kami ng [lover].
"Ang title nito dapat Kaagaw ko ang Aking Kapatid!" quipped Sid. "Or Magkaribal na Magkapatid."
The actor said he feels lucky to have worked with his sister for the first time on a project.
"I learned a lot about her and we're closer now. Matagal na kaming hindi nagkita, e, so we had a lot of catching up to do.
"Nag-bonding nga kami at hindi na kami nakatulog dun (in Baguio, where the film was shot).
"I consider it a blessing since we were given a chance to talk about things."
UPCOMING PROJECTS. Sid plays one of the leading men of Shaina Magdayao in ABS-CBN's upcoming afternoon series, Precious Hearts Romances presents Alyna. (CLICK HERE to read more about this TV series.)
Aside from starring in Alyna, Sid is shooting scenes for Regal Films' Shake, Rattle and Roll XII.
This is Sid's first time to join a Metro Manila Film Fest entry.
He will be part of the SRR episode starring Carla Abellana, Nash Aguas, Mart Escudero, and Gaby dela Merced.
It will be helmed by indie filmmaker Jerrold Tarog, the director behind the internationally recognized film, Confessional.