Last Saturday night, May 30, Viva Films held a digital press conference for the new Filipino Boys Love (BL) limited series Sakristan written and directed by Darryl Yap. The conference featured Yap and actors Henry Villanueva and Clifford Pusing answering questions from the press about their involvement in the aforementioned series.
At one point, pikapika.ph asked the writer-director in what sense is Sakristan one of the most important projects he has done in his career, which, in turn, he answered by saying it was motivated by the bashers who have spread hate towards it.
“Sobra lang po lumapit ’yong script kasi it was by the haters din, eh,” he explained. “Para sa akin po, napakalapit nito, and I’ll be very confident and courageous to say that the script of Sakristan is far far better than Jowable.”
Yap added how he felt happy with his work, especially how he tackled each sensitive issue per episode.
“Sobrang favorite ko lang po siya. Feeling ko, nagka-quarantine ako dahil dito,” he went on. “So, I’m really really excited. Noong binubuo ko pa lang po ito, alam ko po sa sarili ko na I’ve done something better than Jowable. So, I’m just really proud of it.”
He, then, explained how his latest work is not just for his fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community, but to help non-members, especially conservatives, better understand the emotions behind two men having romantic feelings towards one another.
“Ayoko pong binubukod ang komunidad. Dapat po ’to para sa lahat,” he said. “[D]ito nila mas maiintindihan, lalo na po ng mga konserbatibo, kung ano ang kalbaryo, sakripisyo, paghihirap, sarap, at ginhawa ng mga---hindi lang naman ng sakristan na nagkaroon ng pagkakataon umibig sa kapwa niyang lalake, kung hindi ng mga tunay na lalake na nagkakaroon ng pagkakataon na inuusbungan ng pakiramdam sa kapwa nila.”
Yap pressed how he believed, in these trying times, no one will attempt to make a piece of work such as Sakristan other than him.
“Mahalaga po ’to sa’kin dahil isa nanaman po itong hamon sa aking sarili na, bagamat binabaha at inuulan ng samu’t saring batikos at kung ano-ano pa eh, at the end of the day, I still believe that my craft and my art is not meant to answer but to make more questions in society.”
In another question posed by pikapika.ph, Yap was asked if Sakristan is merely a work of pure fiction or is it inspired from real life events.
“My scripts will always be very honest to reality,” he answered. “As much as I want to say na ‘eto po ay fiction, marami rin po kasi akong kaibigan, mga kakilala na may ganitong sitwasyon.”
He also revealed that he had no interest in making a BL series because he believed its nature is a gay person such as himself helming such would not have the same impact as one in Thailand’s which are all written by women.
“Para matawag siyang BL series, dapat po ang nagsulat, ang writer ay babae. Ang setting ng kwento ay dapat normal na sa kanila ang mga magkakarelasyon na lalake so, at first po, nahihirapan po ako coming from a Catholic country, the only Catholic country in Asia.” he said.
“But then again, I challenge myself na alam kong may mga realidad na nangyayari sa paligid at hindi lang ito kathang-isip kaya minabuti ko pong sagutin ang challenge ng mga Normals o ang fans ng VinCentiments na gumawa ng isang BL series,” Yap explained. “Pero sinabi ko po sa kanila, kung gagawa po ako ng BL series, hindi po ito kasing bait ng sa Thailand, sa Japan, at sa Korea.”
Whether the viewers like it or not, Yap explained that they need to go through the entire 8 episodes of the limited series to understand the message he wants to convey.
“Heto po kasi, weekly ’to, eh, so kaya naka-hang ’yong judgement or wala pa nga, na-judge na,” he said. “So, wala akong masyadong magagawa doon, ’yon na lang po [na] ang kwento ko po ay nakaangkla pa rin sa katotohanan at realidad ng mga pinagdadaanan---hindi lamang ng mga altar servers or ng mga acolytes---kung hindi po ng mga binata na dumadaan sa ganitong phase ng kanilang buhay.”
“So, gusto ko pong ma-ishare ’yon sa maraming mga Pilipino na nahuhumaling sa kwento ng iba nating kapitbahay sa Asya, kaya naisip ko na panahon na upang mailahad naman ng nag-iisang Kristyanong bansa kung paano ang pinagdadaanan ng mga lalakeng naiinlove sa kapwa nila dito sa ating bansa,” he concluded.
Watch the full digital conference of Sakristan below!
The limited series features Pusing and Villanueva in the lead as Zach and Christian. It also stars Xavier Reyes, Loren Mariñas, and Neil Villanueva, with special participation by Jobelyn Manuel. The pilot episode had its nationwide premiere on Sunday, May 31 on the VinCentiments YouTube channel.
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