Respected Filipino actors popularized gay characters years before My Husband’s Lover stars Dennis Trillo and Tom Rodriguez created buzz recently for their portrayal of gay-to-gay romance.
In fact, the gay experience became a stand-out theme in Philippine cinema as early as 1954 when the late Dolphy paved his way towards becoming showbiz’s Comedy King.
He played Gorio (a.k.a. Gloria), the flamboyant homosexual brother of the tomboyish Benita (Lolita Rodriguez) in the Sampaguita Pictures classic, Jack en Jill.
Gay characters, depicted either as gaudy drag queens or as a homosexual closeted in a straight man’s body, recurred in Philippine cinema from the ‘50s to ‘90s. Thus came the trend among actors in taking on gay roles to prove their versatility.
Although critics questioned the caricatures and misrepresentions of homosexualy in film, gender-straight actors who delivered convincing gay roles have been lauded by audiences.
Looking back, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) notes the first Filipino seasoned actors who portrayed gay characters in Philippine cinema.
Dolphy in Facifica Falayfay. Part of being Filipino is having seen at least one of the Comedy King’s "queer" films, which comprise a significant chunk of the late Dolphy’s filmography. These gay films include Susanang Daldal (1962), Pepe en Pilar (1966), Kangkarot (1969), Karioka Etchos de America (1971), Fefita Fufonggay viuda de Falayfay (1973), and Darna Kuno (1979).
Dayao, D. “‘Facifica Falayfay’ & ‘Markova: Comfort Gay’: Queer Act.” Philstar.com, 2012. Web. 14 July 2012.
Devera, J. “The Rat Race in May Daga sa Labas ng Lungga.” Sari-Saring Sineng Pinoy, 2009. Web. 2009.