A week after the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) expressed its dismay over YES! Magazine’s October 2011 issue with Superstar Nora Aunor on the cover with a lighted cigarette in her hand, and Anne Curtis’s similar peg for Rogue Magazine, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked a few celebrities about their take on the issue.
It may be recalled that after the PMA came out with its initial statement admonishing the Superstar to get her act straight, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Jo-Ann Maglipon, was quick to defend Nora Aunor.
"The cigarette is indicental to the shot. It simply happened that it’s part and parcel of what she is today. It was also not Nora’s idea, but mine and photographer Marc Nicdao’s" explained Maglipon in an interview in ABS-CBN’s Sunday afternoon talk show The Buzz.
She likewise emphasized that the cover best captures the Superstar as she is today: "Matapang. Mas nagsasalita. Palaban. Mas malayang magbigay ng ideya."
Maglipon then called on the organization to respect freedom of expression. (CLICK HERE to read related story.)
JUDY ANN SANTOS. Asked about her reaction to the commotion, actress Judy Ann Santos was quick to exclaim: "Well, ano ba? Cover lang naman yun, e. Wala namang nakalagay do’n na ’yes to smoking!’"
While she concedes to doctors’ precautions about smoking’s damaging effects, Judy Ann would also like to remind critics that actors also have a responsibility to heed the creative call of the projects that they are tasked with.
NOVA VILLA. Veteran actress Nova Villa, on the one hand, argues that celebrities, especially superstars such as Nora Aunor, should be a bit more discreet about their vices.
Nova conveys, "Superstar siya. Oo, ’pinapakita dun yung totoong siya, but sometimes ’wag tayo masyadong... transparent, because we have fans na nag-iidolo sa atin.
"If possible, [ipakita natin] kung ano yung mabait, kung ano yung maganda na maibibigay natin sa fans.
"Especially ngayon na may campaign about cigarettes [which] probably Nora doesn’t know about..."
The veteran actress, who stars at present in GMA-7’s early-primetime series Futbolilits, mentions that before she kicked the habit, she was never one to get caught smoking in public.
"Never!" states Nova.
"Not in public and not during the show, hindi ako nag-i-smoke sa show kasi... I have a responsibility.
"I know merong mga fans, may mga televiewers tayo. Kailangan maganda lagi ang [ipinapakita].
"Yung ano [bisyo], pansarili mo na lang."
JASMINE CURTIS-SMITH. Meanwhile, a representative of the younger generation of actors, also voiced her opinion.
Jasmine Curtis-Smith, lead actress of TV5’s Utol Kong Hoodlum and younger sister of Anne Curtis, says that portraying a character who smokes is "acceptable."
While the youthful 17-year-old Fil-Aussie is aware that the Philippines has its reservations about smoking and drinking alcohol, Jasmine says that critics should not take it against the artist for choosing to portray their characters.
"It comes as a shock when we see these things in the media," says Jasmine.
"[But] it’s their choice. We have freedom of choice, so we all have our own opinions.
"If you’re against it, e, ’di yun na lang. But, I mean, don’t hold it against the person."
Asked if she is ready to play the role of a character that would require her to smoke, Jasmine answers, "It would be scary and daunting.
"But I’d have to consult, you know, people that I trust, like my ate, my manager, my mom, to make sure that they’re willing to let me do that.
"I don’t have the best knowledge about this industry. [Pero] ako, papayag naman ako.
"As long as it helps contribute to the role, it helps give character and life to the role.
"But if pang wala lang siya, like, wala lang, I wouldn’t do it."
LOVI POE. Sultry actress Lovi Poe, who recently made her debut pictorial for a men’s magazine, meanwhile, quickly gave this statement:
"I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.
"That’s why you’re an actor, ’di ba? Either you act in pictures or you act on cam.
"I don’t think we should make a big deal out of it," the daughter of Fernando Poe, Jr. says.