Does Raymond Bagatsing feel offended when he gets asked regarding his sexual preference?
"No. Matagal na yun, e," he clarifies in an exclusive interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at the November 22 press conference of RKB Productions' maiden offering, Love is Love, where Raymond is cast as the lover of Jay Manalo.
Raymond continues, "I don't blame them 'coz in real life, I'm very private. Kasi para sa akin, pinakita ko na nga sa inyo ang kaluluwa ko, e.
"Grabe ako mag-prepare sa isang role. Hindi pa ba sapat iyon na kailangan mo pang kilatisin iyong buhay ko?
"Iyong sa akin, sa akin na lang iyon. Though maraming nagse-share ng buhay nila, okay lang iyon. For me, para sa akin iyon.
"Actually, yung mga nakakakilala sa akin, hindi nagtatanong ng ganyan [about sexual preference]."
He then said that he is not bothered by those questioning his sexuality.
"Siyempre the industry...maraming haka-haka talaga. Maraming panghuhusga na hindi sinasadya.
"But I don't mind. Everyone is free to think what they want. Sooner or later, it will be proven kung ano man yun. Wala naman akong tinatago."
He pointed out that his former movies may have contributed to this perception.
"I guess one thing they always thought is that just because I did action films before, they think of me as macho.
"Hindi naman ganun. I also have my intellect, I also have my other side na hindi naman nakikita sa pelikula.
"I'm really a very shy person. Kung hindi mo talaga ako kakausapin, I'll just be quiet. Hindi ako overly chika just for the sake of it.
"Para sa akin, mas importante ang totoo kong nararamdaman kaysa yung pina-fabricate ko ang isang personalidad para lang magustuhan ako ng mga tao. Kasi ito ako.
"I'm still me. I'm still truthful to who I am."
He then made an appeal to everyone, especially bashers.
"Matagal na nila akong hinuhusgahan. Hindi lang naman ako.
"Mahirap intindihin ang buhay ng isang aktor. At sa totoo lang, mahirap intindihin ang buhay ng isa't isa. Sana i-hold natin ang judgment. Let's just focus on love is love," he says with a smile.
ONGOING STRUGGLE WITH DEPRESSION
Is he in a relationship now?
He reveals, "I just came out of a relationship... six months ago.
"Actually, I've been going through something important. I've been going through depression for a long time.
"Pero yung depression na iyon is, I think, channeled towards my craft. Kaya mas lumalalim yung pag-intindi ko sa aking mga roles.
"Hindi ko lang na-face nang napakatagal. Siguro it started when I came from a broken family at a young age.
"Recently ko na lang in-allow na yakapin iyon, now that I'm not in a relationship.
"Ayoko lang mag-date for the sake of dating. Kasi kailangan ko muna mag-spend ng time with myself.
"It's not easy to be with yourself. Although may choice ka naman mag-date.
"Pag may nag-invite, lalabas ako. But usually, I just focus on work and hindi naman depressed na depressed but I think it's an important lesson for me.
"I appreciate more people, what we all go through individually."
Raymond then said regarding his ex-lover, "I had a relationship for seven years. She's a woman, by the way."
When asked if he was with a much-older woman, he clarified, "No. Hindi naman totoo yun. It's one of those things..."
He reiterated that he is not bothered by speculations regarding his sexual preference.
He emphasizes, "I don't care what they say. I know who I am. I do my work and kapag tinanong mo ako, I will explain it to you."