PEP EXCLUSIVE: Rafael Santos not opposed to apologizing on TV; urges people to direct their anger at him, not to the actors of his short film

"In a way, I’m glad the Community reacted as they did, because it shows just how strong their bond is and how passionate they truly are for their craft. I am abased. I am humbled," says indie filmmaker Rafael "Rafa" Santos.


Kasagsagan pa lamang ng isyu sa pagitan ng new indie filmmaker na si Rafael "Rafa" Santos at ng ilang theater actors, na nagalit at nainsulto sa kanya pagkatapos ng kanyang "Sky Flakes" at "catfood’ remarks patungkol sa serbisyo ng theater actors sa isang TV interview, napansin agad ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) na tila walang sariling Facebook account ang baguhang direktor.

Totoo nga. At ito ang inamin ni Rafa sa PEP.

Dahil kung meron siya nito, kahit na papaano ay mate-trace siya ng mga tao sa pamamagitan ng kanyang close friends sa industriya.

It turned out na kahit ang lead actress niya sa Samarito at kaibigan niyang si Bea Garcia, isang theater actress, ay wala si Rafa sa list of FB friends nito.

Agad na na-post ang first apology letter ni Rafa sa Cinemalaya community sa Facebook Notes ni Alemberg "Alem" Ang, producer ng full-length film entry ng Cinemalaya na Ang Sayaw ng Dawalang Kaliwang Paa starring Jean Garcia, Paulo Avelino, and Rocco Nacino, written and directed by Alvin Yapan.

Tinanong namin si Alem kung ano ba ang personal email address ni Rafa.

Ito ay upang padalhan siya ng set of questions na eksklusibong galing sa PEP, tungkol sa mainit na isyung ito na "bumulabog" sa buong theater community at napansin din ng showbiz industry in general, dahil maging ang celebrities ay nag-react sa kani-kanilang Facebook and Twitter accounts.

QUESTIONS TO RAFA. Noong June 30 ng gabi, nakatanggap kami ng forwarded email message mula kay Rafa sa pamamagitan ng email address ni Alem.

Ito ay ang kanyang second apology, na this time ay sa theater community na niya ipinaparating. (CLICK HERE to read related story.)

Noong gabi ring ’yon, pagkatapos ibigay ni Alem ang personal email address ni Rafa sa writer na ito, minabuti naming padalhan agad siya ng mga katanungan tungkol sa isyu.

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Sa nasabing email, ipinarating namin kay Rafa na nakatanggap kami sa aming personal email address ng forwarded message mula kay Alem ng kanyang letter of apology, his second, to the Artists.

Sa original email na ipinadala ni Rafa ng nasabing apology letter, naka-address lamang ito kay Bea Garcia, naka-copy furnished lamang kina Laurice Guillen (Cinemalaya festival director), Loy Arcenas (newbreed director ng Cinemalaya full-length film na Niño), at si Auraeus Solito (direktor ng isa pang Cinemalaya entry na Busong).

Sabi namin kay Rafa, may Google at Facebook naman sa Internet, puwede niyang hanapin ang contact infos ng theater groups sa Pilipinas, upang direkta niyang maipadala ang kanyang liham ng paumanhin. Ngunit hindi niya ginawa.

Narito ang mga katanungang ipinadala ng PEP sa personal email address ni Rafa Santos:

How come you addressed your first open letter to the group email of the Cinemalaya community, including Ms Guillen, and not the theater actors which they felt you maligned on your ANC interview?

Don’t you have a personal Facebook account? Are you aware that your (first) open letter was just posted/tagged to Facebook by some people you emailed your letter to? Don’t you find it impersonal na sila pa ang nag-post than you?

At that time, did you not even think to ask contact infos of theater groups or leaders and address that apology letter to them?

Ano’ng masasabi mo sa request ng PETA, sa kanilang official statement, na dapat kang mag-apologize sa TV?

Ang Philippine Theater Actors Guild, specifically ay sa ANC show ka nila gustong humingi ka ng public apology, dahil doon ka nga raw nagpa-interview. Ano’ng reaction mo dito?

Totoo bang anak ka ni Atty. Katrina Legarda, tulad ng balitang kumalat sa internet? How many are your siblings, what city do you reside at? Saan po kayo nagtapos ng college and what course, year?

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What’s the reaction of your family, especially your mom? And how are they supporting you in this issue on the theater actors?

If in case you have read the official statement of Bea Garcia posted in her Facebook, what’s your reaction to her statement that she doesn’t like to work with you anymore? How long have you been friends and how did the friendship start? How will the friendship be affected?


What’s your reaction on the response of some people to boycott your Cinemalaya short film, and worse, pull it out from the lineup?

Gagawin mo ba ang hiling ng ibang sektor na mag-public apology ka on national television?

Ano ang mga natutunan mo sa pangyayaring ito at gaano ito nakaapekto sa ’yo personally?

RAFA’S ANSWERS. Mabilis namang tumugon sa aming email si Rafa. Natanggap namin ang kanyang reply kahapon, July 1.

Iniwasang sagutin ni Rafa ang aming "personal questions" tungkol sa tanong kung anak nga ba siya ni Atty. Katrina Legarda, ang suporta ng kanyang pamilya sa isyung ito, at kung paano naapektuhan ang friendship niya with Bea Garcia.

Narito ang kabuuan ng email response ni Rafa Santos exclusively for PEP:

"Thank you for your queries and the opportunity to reach out. I can speak Tagalog, but regarding deep issues such as this, I’d much rather speak English to communicate as clearly as possible.

"I hope you and your readers don’t mind.

"Your intuition is correct: I do not know too many Theater artists’ contact info. It did occur to me to ask for direct email addresses, but as I was drafting my letter, Alem (Ang) informed me that you might get in touch with me to get my side.

"I then intended to send you my letter in the hopes that you could get it published, knowing that PEP has access to a wider, more diverse audience than most any other entertainment publication.

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"I had hoped to reach out not just to the Theater Community, although them primarily and especially, but also to the general public.

"In lieu, I addressed the letter to the most (as I understand) theatrically-inclined of the Cinemalaya community i.e. Direk Laurice, Loy Arcenas and Auraeus Solito.

"With respect to your questions, I will not delve into personal details.

"As regards sincerity, I bare my soul in those transmissions.

"I do not have a Facebook account. I don’t know that manufacturing a token, perfunctory social network account after the fact will aid the openness with which I present my words.

"I am not opposed to apologizing on TV.

"As for the potential pulling of my movie from Cinemalaya, I urge people to direct their anger at me. Taking it out on the film robs my brilliant actors, Bea Garcia and the debuting Nico Dabon, of a venue to showcase their considerable talents.

"The movie is largely character-driven and these two [actors] elevate the piece from a simple project to a work of substance.

"If you feel the need to boycott anything, boycott me. Please let them act.

"I’ve learned that there is no force greater in this world than the spirit and sheer will of true artists.

"In a way, I’m glad the Community reacted as they did, because it shows just how strong their bond is and how passionate they truly are for their craft. I am abased. I am humbled.

"thank you for your time,

"rafa santos."


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