Babagwa—the Cinemalaya entry of Alex Medina, Joey Paras, newbie actor Kiko Matos, and comebacking star Alma Concepcion—almost received an X rating for its sensitive scenes.
This was revealed by Atty. Joji Alonso, one of the producers of Babagwa, which is part of the 9th Cinemalaya ongoing until August 4, 2013.
(Read: PEP Guide to Cinemalaya 2013)
"Nagulat ako kung bakit siya na-X," said Atty. Joji during the July 26 press conference she hosted at Victorino’s restaurant at 11th Jamboree Street corner Scout Rallos in Quezon City.
"May pumping, a little frontal [nudity], and may masturbation pero for me, medyo conservative na ako, hindi pa rin siya [dapat na-] X.
"May mga extreme foreign films nga na pinalabas, pero hindi naman sila na-X."
Why did the The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board give an X rating to Babagwa?
"Marami raw obscene language but it’s not. Example, ’kakainin kita.’ Ganun na ba ka-extreme yun?
"Pinag-uusapan nga namin ni Jason [Paul Laxamana, the director], baka yung masturbation scene.
"Kasi even if there is no actual activity being done, may eksena kasi na may secretion at tumilapon sa monitor. Baka yun ang [reason bakit] na-X.
"Even the frontal nudity, very brief lang siya. Nung tumayo yung girl [referring to Chanel Latorre], nakitaan siya pero three seconds lang yun.
"The pumping scene is supposed to be funny. May isang eksena dun na nakakatawa. Sa akin, hindi siya nakaka-arouse."
Atty. Joji then revealed that the movie has been given an R-18 rating after she defended the said sequences of Babagwa.
"When I explained the scenes to them, they reduced it to R-18."
The producer mentioned that the MTRCB did not ask them to delete any scenes.
She emphasized, "Siyempre, gawa namin. Maybe it takes a third party to be able to see the things we do not see.
"Hindi ko naman sila kinu-question. Yun ang judgment nila and we respect that.
"Kaya ang pakiusap lang namin, huwag [bigyan ng] X rating. And they reconsidered naman.
"All the scenes were needed in totality to show the lives of these scammers."
INTERNET SCAMMER. Lead star Alex Medina said that he did do a lot of daring scenes for Babagwa, which is Kapampangan for "spider."
"Ang role ko dito ay Internet scammer na supposedly, ako ang mag-i-scam pero na in love ako sa ini-scam ko na portrayed by Alma Concepcion."
How daring was Alex in this movie?
"Hindi siya lumayo sa previous film ko na Palitan. May showing of the behind pero walang the front," said Alex with a smile.
In 2012, Alex won Best Actor in Cinema One Originals for his daring role in the sexy thriller Palitan.
"Sa bed scene, si Chanel Latorre ang kaeksena ko. Si Ms. Alma [Concepcion], hindi kami nagkaroon ng eksena together."
Alex recalled, "Challenging siya kasi at that time, ginagawa ko ang Ina Kapatid Anak. Segue-segue.
"Usually, Antipolo at Pampanga ang location [ng Babagwa] kaya medyo nakakapagod siya."