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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.

Dec 8, 2021



RITA MARTINEZ is a singer who joined “The Voice Philippines, Season 2”. She has long come out as a lesbian and is a proud member of the LGBT community. 

"She was jubilant when she learned that Direk Sigrid Bernardo chose her to play the lead role of Abi in “Lulu”, a romantic comedy about Girls Love. 

“It’s an honor to be chosen by her and get to work with some amazing people,” she says. 

“This is the very first movie I’m doing in my entire life and I’m happy isang magaling na director ang makakatrabaho ko to help me out. 

"When I read the script, Abi is a chef and a singer-guitarist in a band, and I felt it was written exactly for me kasi yun mismo ang mga ginagawa ko sa totoong buhay. Naka-identify ako agad sa character that I’m playing.” 

Since she has no previous acting experience, Sigrid got them an acting coach who gave them a ten-day acting workshop. 

“Direk was very helpful with me kasi alam nga niyang wala akong previous acting experience. I learned so much from her. We had script reading and then, may workshop, binago nila ang look ko, parang Korean ang dating. 

"Siempre, kinakabahan ako, kasi nga first time ko. It’s good na first time naming nag-meet ni Rhen, naging comfortable kami agad sa isa’t isa.” 

Rhen, who is straight, is a big help to her as a newcomer. 

“She’s really a delight to work with. Akala ko noong una very serious siya kasi puro dramas ang movies niya. 

"But she’s very funny at malaking bagay yun for me as a first time actor. Most of the time kasi, kami lang ang magkasama sa eksena and she’s very supportive.”

She’s truly thankful that it’s Rhen who plays her leading lady in her very first movie ever. 

“She even helps me sa mga dialogue ko, lalo na sa dramatic scenes namin. Totoo siya, genuine, no pretensions, so it’s not hard to open up to her. We became good friends at kahit matapos na itong show, alam ko, magiging friends pa rin kami. 

"Sana nga, maging hit ito para magkaroon kami ng Season 2. As of now, all my friends in the LGBT community are very supportive and very excited for me. Gusto na nilang mapanood ang series for its very realistic portrayal of us in the story.”

Has she experienced discrimination because of her sexual orientation? 

“Oh yes and masakit po siya. Someone even told me: ‘Ganyan ka, who will take you seriously? Wala kang mararating, walang mangyayari sa buhay mo kasi walang tatanggap sa’yo.’ 

"With us, we really have to proved ourselves ten time mores than everyone else, just to be accepted or to gain respect from other people.” 

Don’t miss “Lulu” when its first episode starts streaming on Vivamax on Friday, January 22, 2022 and it succeeding episodes will be shown every Friday thereafter.