Sa unang pagkakataon ay inilahad ng aktres at screenwriter na si Bela Padilla ang mga pinagdaanan niya at kung paano bumangon pagkatapos dumaan sa matinding depresyon.
Bahagi ito ng kanyang testimonya sa ikalawang serye ng Boy R. Abunda Talks (BRAT), isang project ng Make Your Nanay Proud Foundation ni Boy Abunda, na ginanap sa Seda Vertis North Hotel sa Quezon City kamakailan.
Isa si Bela sa limang speakers na naimbitahan ng Asia’s King of Talk sa kanyang BRATS series, kung saan ibinahagi nila ang kani-kanilang personal stories on mental health.
Bukod kay Bela, naging speakers din sa si Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, actress Jasmine Curtis Smith, NGO advocate Quennie Maravillas, at ang estudyanteng si Nykko Bautista.
Panimula ni Bela, “Whenever I do talks in other places and I’m invited to talk about filmmaking or scriptwriting, I never prepare. I want to talk freely.”
Kaya naman naikuwento pa niya na on her way to the event ay may nakita siyang video sa Twitter.
“I saw a video of an ant. Basically, it’s an ant running around white piece of paper.
“'Tapos yung nagbi-video dinisayd niya na bilugan yung ant with a pen. And yung ant that couldn’t get out.
“And the caption of tweet said, ‘Limits exist only on the mind.’
“So, imagine if we were that ant. Now, let’s stretch the ant up. Let’s put religious background… Let’s put social media. Let‘s put peer pressure into that ant.
“Let’s put family, at sa Pilipinas may extended family pa. So, isama na natin ang Tito, Tita, Lolo and Lola.
“Ang dami niyang dala,” buntung-hininga ni Bela. “Lahat tayo yun, ang dami nating dala.
“How do we get out of that circle that life draws us around every day?
“I’m surprised that we can even function, and I really believe on that line… that limits only exist on the mind.
“I believe that our mind is so strong that one day I can be here speaking in front of you about mental health.
“But tomorrow I can be crying, depressed or something.”
Pagkatapos ng session ay nagpaunlak ng maikling panayam si Bela para sa PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal).
How was the experience na maging bahagi sa ikalawang Boy R. Abunda Talks?
“Masarap po,” ngiti ni Bela. “Masarap sa pakiramdam na nai-share ko ang aking story.
“Kasi I feel there’s a purpose why we did this project and reach out to people.
“And tell them that it’s okay to talk about mental health issue, and that you shouldn’t be afraid to say na pagod ako… na kailangan ko ng tulong.”
Ayon kay Bela, nakaramdam siya ng kaluwagan sa kanyang kalooban to tell her own story about mental health.
Sabi niya, “Sa totoo lang po, ako ngayon sa buhay ko, masaya naman po ako.
“So I just recounted what I went through, yun ang mga pinagdaanan ko.
“Siyempre, when you go back to them, you remember the pain, you remember what it felt like.
“Kaya siguro the five speakers are emotional also, it’s remembering what you went through in life.
“And yun nga, that’s what we are trying to prevent, hopefully, when people go through this, when they are emotional, they have somebody there to talk to.
“Kaya kami nag-speak up, kaya kami nagkuwento nina Jasmine, nina Queenie, Nykko, and Kylie is for people to relate and say if they are going through that, ‘I’m not alone.’ So, ‘yun po.”
Sa kanyang testimony ay naibahagi ni Bela kung paano nagsasalubong ang art at reality sa kanyang buhay.
Boyfriend pa niya noon ang kanyang ex na si Neil Arce at bahagi pa siya ng teleseryeng Ang Probinsyano bilang si Carmen na namatayan ng asawa at namatay rin sa huli.
Lahad niya, “It's funny a few years ago, in 2015, I was part of a TV show called Ang Probinsyano and there was one taping day where I finally realized that my husband died.
“I was with the wrong Coco Martin and the whole day that we were shooting, puro ako iyak nang iyak.
“Parang pagod na pagod na [ako], and on my way home, my boyfriend then, my ex-boyfriend now, meron siyang ritual na he calls me when I’m in the car on my way home na, kapag pack-up na.
“And he said, ‘O, kumusta ang taping mo today,’ ganyan-ganyan.
“I guess he noticed that my voice was a bit sad. So, he asked me what’s my problem was.”
Sagot daw niya kay Neil, “‘Babe, puwede ba? Bukas na tayo mag-usap. Namatay yung asawa ko, e.’
“'Tapos na-realize ko, teka lang, parang mali yung sinabi ko? Kasi boyfriend ko yun, e, 'tapos sinabi ko namatay ang asawa ko.
“So nag-sorry ako, and that something I can laugh about now.
"But that day, I really believed that my husband died. And so many things happened to my character.
“So, through all of that, nobody knew I was going through one of the experiences of Carmen.
“And uh, on the week that I was gonna get shot, I had ‘rakets’ in between taping days.
“And nobody knew this, but every flight I took, kung may raket ako sa Cebu, yung cellphone ko nakalagay sa Ziplock kasi I was very sure this plane was going to crash. I knew I was gonna die.
“And, every day, every time I would ask my driver to take me to set, I was sure we were gonna hit something or something would go wrong and I was gonna die.
“It was a week of, ‘Shit, I’m gonna die. What I’m gonna do about it?’
“And I could not tell anyone because… it was crazy.
"I was not actually raped, it was my character. I wasn’t taken hostage. I don’t have a kid. I wasn’t actually shot, but I had to feel it.
“And I suffered so much personally. And I still do with every role that I accept.
“And I notice the way I feel it is also through my work.”
Pagpapatuloy ni Bela, “Somebody from Probinsyano, si Pepe Herrera, he told me, ‘It’s unfair for actors here because we don’t get debriefed after a role.
“‘You have to talk to someone to remind you that you are not actually that person. That you don’t actually get shot, you weren’t raped, you weren’t kidnapped.’
“And he gave me a list of psychiatrists… kaso, sinabi niya sa akin lahat ng artistang trineat niya… I don’t want to be a part of that list.
“Now that I’m three years older, I realize, ‘Why was I scared to be part of an institution who actually got help?’
“I don’t know if I’m credible enough to speak about mental health, but I just realize, in our profession, we actually should speak to someone.
“Actors all over the world have that liberty, but we don’t.
“And we are always expected to be happy, to look good, and yet, we don’t have that people who support us that way.”
Sa kanyang testimony, sa kaiisip niya raw na mamatay siya talaga ay naisulat daw ni Bela ang kuwento ng pelikulang Last Night, na pinagbidahan nina Piolo Pascual at Toni Gonzaga.
“The whole movie is about death, it’s about two characters who wanted to commit suicide.
“I would never actually commit suicide, I was brought up in a home that was so strict about everything you can’t even think of dying.
“Yung baka sa oras na talagang totoong mamatay na ako in real life, baka pagalitan pa ako ng mommy ko.
“Parang nandoon ako!” natatawang pagbabalik-tanaw ni Bela.
Paano na-involve si Bela sa proyekto ni Boy?
Tugon ng aktres, “Nug nag-pass away po sina Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, magkasunod po kasi sila, sobrang magkalapit.
“Na-bother na po ako kasi I read tweets online na parang natatawa pa sila sa nangyari.
“Hindi na nga nila naiintindihan, natatawa pa sila. And I was, like, that’s wrong.
“Kasi it can happen to anybody, and these are two people who were very prominent and iconic.
“They were loved worldwide, and yet their lives ended that quickly, and ang daming nagmamahal sa kanila.
“So we felt the loss in the world that I feel like it should be prevented.
“These were two pepole na nasa limelight, kitang-kita natin sila pero wala namang nakapansin na malungkot pala sila.
“So, when that happened, yung balita kay Kate Spade, nasa Hawaii ako. Naalala ko nagsu-shooting kami ni JC [Santos] ng movie.
“Tinext ko na agad si Tito Boy, ‘Tito Boy, baka puwedeng may gawin tayo.’
“And I’m happy kasi sobrang bilis ng response.”
“And ako naman lagi, if it is for a good cause, tawagan lang nila ako, nandito lang ako parati.”