Rafa Santos thankful to Eugene Domingo for forgiving him: "Ngayon pa lang, mahal na kita."

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"What I wanted to say was, 'I love working with theater actors...' That's what I wanted to say. Na-misconstrue lang. Poorly worded... exactly. Poorly worded. Wrong choice of words, from the very start," says Rafa Santos about his "Skyflakes and catfood" remarks about theater actors.


Agad nagkaroon ng positibong reaksiyon mula mismo kay Rafael "Rafa" Santos ang pagkabanggit ni Eugene Domingo ng sabi nito'y "forgiveness" sa indie filmmaker sa ngalan ng mga aktor ng teatro sa Pilipinas. (CLICK HERE to read related story.)

Kagabi, July 24, matapos ang Cinemalaya Filmfest awarding ceremonies ay nakausap ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) sa CCP Complex promenade para sa post-awards night cocktails ang kontrobersiyal na direktor ng Cinemalaya Shorts entry na Samarito.

"Nagpapasalamat talaga ako... nagpapasalamat ako sa kabutihan ng pagkatao ni Ms. Eugene Domingo," nakangiting banggit ni Rafa sa PEP.

"I mean, how kind she is... I never took it against anyone talaga," sabi pa ng 21-year old filmmaker.

"It's just... Ang sa akin, because it was my passion that I was talking about.

"But then, she [Eugene] was able to find it in herself to forgive me, and that was very commendable.

"And she included me in her speech, and she was very formal. Parang I can never... I don't know if I'll ever get to pay her back for that.

"Pero hopefully, one day. Sabi niya, baka maging love team [kami]!" Rafa also said with a laugh.

"So, baka gano'n na lang. Baka ma-repay ko siya. Gano'n."

Si Eugene ang itinanghal na Best Actress sa New Breed Full-Length category para sa pagganap niya sa Ang Babae sa Septic Tank. (CLICK HERE to read related story.)

MISCONSTRUED. Muli ay naungkat sa informal talk ang tungkol sa naging statement ni Rafa sa Cityscape ng ANC on June 24, eksaktong isang buwan na ang nakararaan.

Ang naging kontrobersiyal na statement ni Rafa sa TV interview, which caught the ire of the entire local theater community, ay: "Personally, I find the theater actors better to work with because they don't complain; you can feed them Sky Flakes three meals a day, and pay them in catfood, basically."

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Pahayag ni Rafa sa PEP, "What I wanted to say was, 'I love working with theater actors...' That's what I wanted to say.

"Na-misconstrue lang. Poorly worded... exactly. Poorly worded. Wrong choice of words, from the very start.

"My choices [of words]," sabi pa ni Rafa, apologetically. "I shouldn't have said anything like that. Poorly worded from the very start."

Hindi nga raw sinasadya ni Rafa ang pagkakabanggit ng "poorly worded" statement niya.

"Yeah. Pero meant or not pa rin, hindi ko ikinagagalit na, yun na nga, nag-rise up sila [theater people] against me, because that's their passion.

"And they were right to feel strongly about it.

"So, kay Ms. Eugene Domingo, ang masasabi ko lang is thank you and ngayon pa lang, mahal na kita," pahayag pa ni Rafa.

BRAVE. Ang isa pang taga-teatro na, more or less, ay hindi naging judgmental kay Rafa ay ang actor-director-playwright at bagong na-appoint na festival director ng Virgin Labfest (simula sa 2012) na si Tuxs Rutaquio.

"Ano lang siya, parang wake-up call for everyone," pahayag ni Tuxs sa isang PEP interview at the height of the controversy.

Sabi rin ni Tuxs, hindi niya kinukondena totally ang naging wari'y "slip of the tongue" ng baguhang filmmaker.

"It was inevitable that someone will say something about what is happening, and nagkataon lang na siya [Rafa] 'yon. Nagkataon lang," wika nito.

Tungkol sa naging statements ni Tuxs ay ganito naman ang naging sagot ni Rafa:

"I've never met him personally, but people like Tuxs Rutaquio, they're very brave to [have] stuck their neck out for me.

"Parang masasabi ko na, honestly, sana hindi na lang nila ginawa 'yon, baka nagka-issue pa sila sticking out their neck for me.

"Pero thank you talaga from the bottom of my heart... thank you from the bottom of my heart, to everyone that has been so kind to me."

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DIREK MARILOU ABAYA. Dahil nauna ang mga kontrobersiya, hindi nagkaroon ng pagkakataon si Rafa na makilala ng publiko bilang bahagi ng film school ng premyadong direktor na si Marilou Diaz Abaya.

"Film lover talaga ako," sabi ng naging Cinemalaya short films competition finalist.

"In terms of talent, I don't know if inborn 'yon, pero Marilou Diaz-Abaya taught me amazingly.

"I learned everything from Direk Marilou, and alam n'yo naman, medyo mahirap [ang kalagayan ng kalusugan] ni Direk Marilou ngayon."

Sa Marilou Diaz Abaya Film Institute sa Antipolo City nagtapos ng kurso sa Filmmaking si Rafa.

"I was happy, kasi marami sa film school na nag-submit ng film, ako lang yung nakapasok," wika pa niya.

Maaaring ma-misconstrue na naman ang statement na ito ni Rafa, so he qualified.

"Kahit sino sa amin ang makapasok, I'd be happy, para lang ma-represent siya [Direk Marilou].

"So, at least, nakapasok yung film ko para kay Direk Marilou."

Batid na rin ng publiko na sa kasalukuyan ay ginagamot si Direk Marilou sa kanyang sakit na cancer.

"Katatapos lang ng chemo niya, e. Mahina pa siya," banggit pa ni Rafa.

ATTY. KATRINA LEGARDA. Sa mga nakaraang pag-uulat tungkol sa issue na kinasangkutan ni Rafa ay nababanggit ang kilalang abogada at women's rights advocate na si Atty. Katrina Legarda, bilang tunay na ina ng filmmaker.

Pero hindi kinu-confirm ng young filmmaker ang tungkol dito bilang bahagi ng kanyang personal na buhay.

Kagabi, may pagkumpirma na rin kay Rafa na totoong mommy niya si Atty. Legarda.

"Yeah," sabi ni Rafa.

How is Atty. Legarda as a mother?

"Hindi ka puwedeng magkamali," sambit ni Rafa about his mom.


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