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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.

Mar 11, 2018

Director Jay Altarejos Comes Up With A Touching New Movie About Friendship Between A Straight Filipino & A Gay Chinese In 'Tale Of The Lost Boys'

DIRECTOR JAY ALTAREJOS helmed the blockbuster pink films “Ang Lalake sa Parola” and “Ang Lihim ni Antonio”. He now comes up with a new film that’s an entry in the current SinagMaynila Filmfest being shown in SM Cinemas, “Tale of the Lost Boys”, a co-production between the Philippines and Taiwan with Jay Lin of Portico Productions and Gagaoolala as principal producer.

Oliver Aquino (star of Jay’s last film, “Kasal”) is Alex, an aimless young man from Manila who visits Taipei and meets by chance a bartender, Jerry (Ta Su), who quickly becomes his friend. Jerry is gay and has a boyfriend who Alex also meets. At the core of the film is their personal issues with their families. Jerry is an aborigine from the Atayal tribe. He’s taking up medicine to later go back to his tribe and serve his people. His dad is the tribal leader and wants Jerry to get married and be his successor. Jerry doesn’t have the courage to defy the tradition of his parents and admit to them that he’s gay, fearing rejection.

There’s no bromance between the two men as Alex is straight, but like Jerry, he has his own issues with his parents who both abandoned him as a child. The real reason of why he came to Taipei will later be revealed and, with the help of Jerry, he’ll be able to come terms with his long held feelings of bitterness and painful lack of self esteem.

The film has been shown in Taiwan, Hongkong and Japan and Jay is glad that it’s finally shown in his own country. It has many touching moments, especially the scenes showing Jerry visiting his family and his interactions with his dad, mom and his sister who, unknown to him, has already sensed his true sexual preference.

The film is well acted by the two leads, especially Ta Su as Jerry, who has a warm presence on screen. According to Direk Jay, Ta Su is a professional actor with an M.A. in acting from the Taipei National University of the Arts and has won the prestigious Golden Bell best supporting actor award for a TV series he did.

Before the screening of the film started at SM North Edsa, Jay confessed that for two years now, he’s been under treatment for being bipolar. He had his psychiatrist with him at the premiere night. We ask him if he’d be comfortable if we’d write about it and he says:

“Yes, I am comfortable talking about it because now I understand myself more and maybe I am a better person and co-worker now. I would also like to speak about it because I know there are a lot of people dealing with it, but do not seek treatment because of the stigma attached to it. People like us need understanding and support from our friends and families. That’s why we need to speak out about it, so that our friends and families can also understand us. With proper medication and therapy, I think I am able now to manage this condition. I accepted that our brain is just like any other part of or body. Therefore, it is also possible that sometimes something is wrong with it and it would need treatment. “

After doing “Legacy” for GMA, Jay directed “Obsession” and “Wattpad Presents” for TV5. He now is talking with Regal Entertainment for a possible new film project.