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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Sep 28, 2016

Charo Santos On Playing A Man While John Lloyd Cruz Plays A Transgender Prostitute In 'Ang Babaeng Humayo' That Opens September 28

CHARO SANTOS says the most challenging part of her role as Horacia in “Ang Babaeng Humayo” is when Direk Lav Diaz required her to disguise herself as a man while planning to take revenge on Michael de Mesa who sent her to jail. “I asked him if he’s sure na ako ang kina-cast niya in such a role,” she says. “And he said, disguise nga, eh. Suot lalaki ka, magpapanggap ka. So pinag-aralan ko yun. Paano kumilos ang lalaki, pati pag-upo, na hindi model o beauty queen ang dating. I told him kapag soft ang dating ko, call my attention. After a while, nawala yung apprehension ko kasi ang kaeksena ko, si John Lloyd Cruz na ang role naman is a transgender prostitute. Nakadamit lalaki ako, nakadamit babae naman siya.”

They had to keep their roles a big secret for the longest long time. People didn’t even know John Lloyd is in the movie. “That was really part of Direk Lav’s plan. Not to reveal about John Lloyd’s presence in the film so as not to pre-empt its premiere screening in Venice. Kasi sobrang kakaiba naman talaga ang ginampanan niyang role. At napakagaling niya. One he puts on his make up as Hollanda, in character na agad siya at hindi mo na makakausap. Babalik lang siya as John Lloyd kapag nag-shower na siya and put on men’s clothes again.”

Produced by Lav’s Cine Olivia (named after his sister who perished in a car crash) and Cinema One, “Babaeng Humayo” is distributed by Star Cinema and opens in theaters today. It’s Lav’s shorted masterwork at only 3 hours and 47 minutes running time. How did Charo feel when it was not chosen as the country’s entry to the Oscars?

“It’d have been really great if we were the one chosen but then, iba-iba ang panlasa ng tao and I can accept that. Kung hindi napapanahon, hindi napapanahon. Kung nauukol talaga, e di mas okay. But I just go with the flow and move on.”

But “Babaeng Humayo” could still be nominated in the Oscars if it would have a regular theatrical screening in the U.S. and all the critics who praised it in Venice and started the Oscar buzz about it will help them. Here’s keeping our fingers crossed that this would still happen, for the sake of the movie and for Charo Santos.