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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.

Jun 8, 2021




DARRYL YAP at 33 is the youngest and busiest writer-director of this pandemic season. 

After “Jowable” became a blockbuster, he became Viva Entertainment’s fair haired boy doing one project after another. He started 2021 with the controversial movie “Tililing”, then followed it up with “Gusto Kong Maging Pornstar”.

After these two films, he did the TV series “Kung Pwede Lang”, then another movie, “Ang Babaeng Walang Pakiramdam” which is now showing and right after that, “Gluta”, a movie about racial discrimination. 

Coming up after that is “Revirginized”, where he gets to direct his biggest star so far, Sharon Cuneta no less. So where does he get his ideas for movies? 

“Most of them, I’ve done as plays in my theatre group in Olongapo,” he says. 

“For instance, ‘Gluta’ is a play I wrote in 2014 with the aim of inspiring people to get out of their comfort zones.  Napansin ko kasi, andaming gumagamit ng pampaputi. I don’t mean to antagonize whitening products. 

"Yung sa’kin, simpleng pagpapaalala lang sa mga kababayan natin na dapat, tanggapin mo ang iyong sarili as you are, para mas kilalanin ka ng tao kung sino ka talaga.” 

Some folks are now accusing him of making fun of our indigenous natives called Aetas because his lead character, played by Ella Cruz, is an Aeta girl who joins a beauty pageant. 

Also, they question why he has to get Ella who is actually fair skinned and not a real Aeta girl?

“That’s not new to me kasi when I did ‘Tililing’, I was also accused of making fun of the mentally ill, but when they saw the movie, they found out na hindi naman pala. 

"Maraming ibang Aetas sa cast. Tinatamad na lang akong sagutin ang bashers sa social media kasi pabobohan na sila. Watch the movie muna bago nyo husgahan. Yan ang gawain ng sinumang taong may pang-unawa, edukado man o hindi.” 

He says Ella’s character in “Gluta” as a girl named Angel is actually very uplifting and not demeaning as others think. 

“Ella here is Angel and she becomes a source of inspiration, a beacon of light, a ray of sunshine for her folks. She shows the resiliency of the Aetas. 

"You know, in Olongapo, I have made friends with many Aetas and I respect them highly. The film actually aims to clarify some misconceptions about Aetas.”

He says people think of Aetas as backward, but he says they are certainly not. 

“Marami sa kanilang naging kaeskwela ko sa Olongapo where I was raised. They welcome new technology. They have viber, Facebook and Instagram. 

"In Olongapo, they’re not even called Aetas anymore. Wala ng ganyang branding, kasi they’re really a part now of the community. May doctor sa kanila, may teachers, may businessmen. 

"May kinuha kaming Aeta educators and tribal leaders as consultants sa movie and some of them even appear in ‘Gluta’. Kaya payapa ang loob ko na wala kaming nilalabag o sinasagasaang sinuman dito.”

He’s so happy that Ella gave full justice to her role. 

“Nakakatuwa yung role ni Ella as Angel dito kasi lahat ng tao, pinagtatawanan siya sa pagsali niya sa beauty pageant and even her own family are in doubt, worried sa ginawa niya, but she herself, she’s full of confidence sa pinasok niya. Malakas ang fighting spirit niya.”

He’s confident that with Ella in the lead, “Gluta” will be a hit. 

“Kasi Ella has a massive following online and her fans will enjoy seeing her playing a different kind of role. She will surely make a big mark in her performance as the lead in ‘Gluta’. 

"Pati mga support niya rito, puro magagaling, Juliana Segovia as her pamhintang uncle na siyang umiinom ng gluta, Marco Gallo as her leading man, and Rose Van Ginkle and Jobelyn Manuel as the mean girls in school na umaapi sa kanya. I promise you that it’s fun from start to end.” 

“Gluta” will start streaming on July 2 on Vivamax online and on the web at vivamax.net.