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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.

Nov 22, 2019



jc, roxanne, raymond, jay and direk GB sampedro

gay lovers jay and raymond

at the LOVE IS LOVE presscon

ROXANNE BARCELO says this year has been a difficult one for her but it’s also full of blessings. “Last June, while my parents were vacationing in the U.S., nadulas ang dad ko sa banyo, nabagok ang ulo, na-stroke, he never recovered and passed away in July,” she recounts. “Mahirap yung pinagdaanan ng family namin noon. Malaki ang gastos but buti na lang, maraming tumulong. We miss my dad so much up to now.

"Soon after that, dumating naman itong offer na movie, ‘Love is Love’, where I play the lead role. Bale naka-three movies ako this year, along with ‘The Panti Sisters’ and ‘The Art of Ligaw’. Being busy helped me in coping with my grief over the tragic loss of my dad.”

She played KZ Tandingan’s lipstick lesbian boss in “Art of Ligaw”. Now, in “Love is Love”, she plays an even more controversial role. “I play Winona, who has long been based in Japan. Fiance ko roon si Neil Coleta as Wacko.

"Nang umuwi ako ng Pilipinas, pinasalubong niya ako sa airport at ibinilin sa best friend niya, si JC de Vera as Anton. Habang magkasama kami, little by little, Anton falls in love with me. But then, he discovers something in me and so he questions himself about it.”

Aside from the love story of Roxanne and JC, the film features the love affairs of other couples. Rufa Mae Quinto plays Roxanne’s best friend who has been deceived by so many men she now decides to experiment and have an affair with a “paminta” or straight-acting gay, played by Marco Alcaraz.

Another important character is Greta, the gay owner of a resort who acts as an adviser for many of the characters. Greta is played by Raymond Bagatsing with so much flair and he has a longtime lover in the movie, played by Jay Manalo, who admitted in the presscon that he has really had affairs with gays before.

The movie is directed by GB (for Giuseppe Bede) Sampedro, whose previous works include the Cine Malaya FIlmfest award-winning drama “Astig”, “Separados” about separated men, and the hit comedy “Mang Kepweng Returns.” 

The movie is the first venture of RKB Productions, a leading bazaar and trade exhibition group in the country owned by Bernard Chong who also owns the shoe brand, World Balance. He is now optimistic that their first movie project will be successful at the box office since it offers first rate entertainment.

The trailer of “Love is Love” shows JC de Vera asking his dad, Johnny Revilla: “Dad, kapag ang lalaki ba, pumatol sa bakla, bakla na rin siya?” This is because he found out something about the real gender of Roxanne Barcelo in the movie. The ultimate message of “Love is Love” is that Love Knows No Gender. Get it?

As Roxanne says: “Love is a feeling. You get attracted to someone because of your feelings, your emotions, regardless of gender. I’m very open-minded about this. Kung ano yung nararamdaman ng puso mo, dapat, bigyan mo ng laya.

“I’m glad I was given the chance to work with JC de Vera as my  leading man. First time namin but comfortable ako agad sa kanya and I respect him because he’s a perfectionist. Talagang hinihimay niya ang bawat eksena namin para lubusan naming maintindihan before we shoot it. And about that, we’re on the same page.

"I’m also glad to work with Direk GB Sampedro kasi he’s the first one to give me an acting workshop. So I trust him completely, even in that scene where pinahawakan niya kay JC ang boobs ko.”