May ilang maikling pahayag ang lawyer na si Atty. Katrina Legarda, ang tinutukoy sa mga write-up at online posts na ina ng indie filmmaker na si Rafael "Rafa" Santos.
Ito ay kaugnay ng kontrobersiyal na issue on "Sky Flakes and catfood" remark in which the young filmmaker said, "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."
Ang nasabing statement ni Rafael sa kanyang interview with ANC’s Cityscape, on June 24, has caught the ire of the entire theater community in the Philippines.
Nagbigay na ng public apology si Rafa noong July 1 sa kabuuan ng mga alagad ng teatro sa bansa at inaamin ang kanyang pagkakamali. (CLICK HERE to read related story.)
Bago nalathala rito sa PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) ang nasabing public apology letter kagabi, nakausap ng writer na ito si Atty. Legarda bago nagbukas ang Main Theater ng CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines), at 8 p.m., kung saan manonood ang kilalang lawyer at women’s rights advocate ng musical na The Music of Andrew Lloyd Weber.
What did Atty. Legarda think about the issue?
"He’s an adult," sagot ni Atty. Legarda, habang paakyat ng main theater lobby ng CCP.
How was she affected by what happened?
"He’s an adult... he’s 21... he’s an adult," sagot uli ng abogada.
Does she mean Rafa is and should be responsible for his actions, for what he has done?
"I have nothing to do with it," sabi ni Atty. Legarda.
Has Rafael Santos talked to her about the issue that cropped up?
"I have nothing to do with it," pahayag uli ni Atty. Legarda, who refused to discuss the matter.
Then, politely, Atty. Legarda excused herself and smilingly said "Thank you" and proceeded to the theater entrance.
MORE REACTIONS. Sa lobby ng CCP-Tanghalang Huseng Batute ay nagtagpu-tagpo rin noong Biyernes ng gabi ang maraming kabilang sa local theater community ugnay sa ongoing 7th Virgin Labfest ng CCP.
Matapos ang maikli naming panayam kay Atty. Legarda ay nakausap ng PEP ang award-winning actor-director na si Tuxs Rutaquio.
Mayroong entries si Tuxs sa ginaganap na theater festival, tulad ng Higit Pa Dito (a VLF revisited play starring Cris Pasturan and 3rd Gawad Buhay! best actress awardee Mailes Kanapi) at Hermano Puli musical (entry sa staged readings category).
Gumanap din si Tuxs bilang Ada (lead male performer) sa pinakahuling bersiyon ng musical na Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah (Ze Musikal) ng Tanghalang Pilipino noong February 2011.
Batid na ni Tuxs ang tungkol sa issue at may malaya siyang pananaw tungkol sa pinakahuling kaganapan.
"Ano lang siya, parang it’s a wake-up call for everyone," simula niya.
Kaiba sa maraming taga-teatro, walang direktang pagkondena sa pangungusap ni Tuxs patungkol kay Rafa.
PEP asked him first, is he also condemning Rafa?
"Hindi naman," sabi ng soft-spoken actor-director.
"Kasi ano, e... parang kailangan lang talaga... It was inevitable that someone will say something about what is happening.
"And nagkataon lang na siya ’yon, nagkataon lang."
Naniniwala ang kilalang aktor at direktor na isang "slip of the tongue" ang naging pahayag ng kontrobersiyal na indie filmmaker.
"Yeah, oo," ani Tuxs. "Pero magandang [pangyayari] rin... dahil naging wake-up call for all the artists.
"At least, aware na sila. Aware na yung [theater] industry na ganito yung plight ng isang theater actor."
Ang "wake-up call" bang ito ay para din sa totoong kaisahan among theater people?
"Yes," pagsang-ayon ni Tuxs. "Iba’t ibang theater companies yun na nag-converge."
Does Tuxs believe na theater people are not really that united?
"Well, oo... dati!" at natawa si Tuxs pagkasabi niyon.
"Ngayon, ano na [united] na talaga," he qualified.
"Kasi, maganda na ngayon, nagko-cross over na yung mga actors, mga artists.
"So, parang naging pantay na ang lahat."
Tuxs also welcomes the idea of having a dialogue between Rafa Santos and the leading proponents and representative members of the different theater companies in the country.
INSENSITIVE, IMPRUDENT. Iba naman ang naging pananaw ng isa pang aktor, director, at University professor na si Dennis Marasigan.
Si Marasigan ay premyado rin sa larangan, na naparangalan din sa Cinemalaya Filmfest para sa dulang pampelikula ng kanyang idinirek na indie film entry Tukso in 2007.
Si Dennis Marasigan ang husband ng respected theater, television, and movie actress Irma Adlawan.
Noong Biyernes ng gabi, July 1, ay kinumusta namin kay Direk Dennis ang tungkol sa naging desisyon, kung meron man, ng Cinemalaya officials hinggil sa pagiging finalist ni Rafael Santos sa Cinemalaya 2011 bilang direktor ng short film na Samarito.
Makakaapekto nga ba sa estado ngayon ni Rafa sa gaganaping Cinemalaya Filmfest ang naging kontrobersiya laban sa kanya?
As of last night, wala pa umanong feedback na natanggap si Dennis kaugnay ng issue.
"After I heard about it, I felt that the most prudent thing to do was to bring it up to the attention immediately of Cinemalaya.
"For them to see," sabi rin ni Marasigan. "So I told Mr. Jardin that, ’You know, there’s this reaction going on in the Internet,’ and that ’if you would like to look at the video.’"
Si Mr. Nestor Jardin ay dating CCP President at isa sa officials ng Cinemalaya.
Ang tungkol sa interview ni Rafa sa ANC ang tinutukoy ni Marasigan.
Nais din daw i-bring up ni Mr. Jardin ang tungkol doon sa Cinemalaya committee heads, ayon pa kay Dennis.
"Well, it’s up to them. But, at the very least, I felt that it was insensitive," sabi rin niya hinggil pa rin sa naging komento ni Rafa.
"At worst, it smacks of a user mentality. I don’t know the person, but through the video itself, at the very least, it was a very insensitive comment."
Para kay Marasigan, justified ang naging reactions ng theater people laban kay Santos.
"You know, it’s like, halimbawa, sabihin ko sa ’yo, ’Hoy, alam mo ang pangit mo!’ Di ba? Di ba, kahit joke? You don’t know how it might [affect another person]. So that’s how I felt about it.
"I think it was an attempt at trying to be witty, but it was getting... Oo, it got out of hand."
Wari’y direkta kay Rafael ang sumunod na pahayag ni Dennis:
"You’re referring to people that you probably hardly know.
"So, parang you’re talking about theater people, yet you don’t seem to know them well enough to be able to understand what their reactions are going to be.
"Kasi, halimbawa, between friends, or if we know each other, then I will know how much I can get away with a joke.
"But if we don’t know each other, then there are limits. You should be on the more prudent side and I think that he [Rafa] was less than prudent at this point."
STATEMENT FROM CCP PR DEPARTMENT. Ang pinuno ng PR & Linkages Department ng CCP na si Ms. Irene Obligacion Rada ay may naunang pahayag hinggil sa isyung kinasangkutan ni Rafa.
Ito’y matapos mag-apologize ang umaming nagkamali sa Cinemalaya community, bagay na tinutulan naman ng iba pang kabilang sa mas malawak na sangay pantanghalan sa Pilipinas.
Ani Ms. Rada, "Perhaps we should leave the issue. Rafael made a mistake. He apologized and hopefully learned his lesson. Ms. Laurice [Guillen, Cinemalaya Filmfest competition director] has accepted his apology.
"So, let’s move on and wait for his film, Samarito, to be screened."