Saturday, January 2, 2016

Cathy Garcia Molina Accused of Being Despotic and Despicably Pretentious

Wazzup Pilipinas!

"On the first taping day, October 6, director Cathy Garcia Molina led the prayer before we started our work. The prayerful director said that the soap is meant to “entertain” and “teach values” to its viewers. I recoil when I remember how her behavior toward bit players and those who work behind the camera so brazenly contradicted her pious pronouncements. Her hypocrisy was disconcerting to watch. She was servile to Luz Fernandez, courteous to Joe Gruta, solicitous to Liza Soberano, and friendly to Joey Marquez and Irma Adlawan. Liza committed a lot of mistakes in delivering simple lines, but the director shielded her from criticism. She never uttered anything that could embarrass the young actress. This sensitiveness to the feelings of others however, was selective; it was only for stars and veteran actors. 

The “Romantic Comedy Queen” director instructs talents by shouting, insulting, and spitting all sorts of curses. She is a character straight out of the Noli. She is subservient to the wealthy and the powerful like Capitan Tiago, despotic like Padre Damaso and despicably pretentious like Padre Salvi and Doña Victorina. In a rehearsal take on the morning of the first day, she shouted at my girlfriend three times: “Sarah! Sarah! Sarah! Ikaw! Anong pangalan mo?!” There was a delay in her reaction because her character’s name was Celia, not Sarah. But a queen like Cathy cannot admit her mistake. I experienced the same treatment before sundown. My girlfriend and I both remember that Cathy said “putang ina” to her once on that day. " - Alvin Campomanes

That was a portion of the letter dated October 22, 2014 sent by Alvin Campomanes, a professor and historian who incidentally became an impromptu bit player for Forevermore together with her girlfriend, Rossellyn Domingo. It was sent to Socorro Vidanes of ABS-CBN as a complaint against the indignities that bit player talents like them have suffered under the direction of Cathy Garcia Molina, known as the director of A Second Chance and the One More Chance movies starred by John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo. She also directed Walang Forever, a Metro Manila Film Festival 2015 entry starred by Jericho Rosales and Jennilyn Mercado, and the soap opera known as Forevermore starred by Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil.

Hearing about directors who curse in the set is not new. But it still is not an excuse for anybody to tolerate this attitude. It is something that has to change. Directors should not be humiliating their talents just to get their message across. There are better ways to motivate your talents. Secondly, they should not be discriminating or selective in their treatments. Is it justifiable to be nice to the stars and veterans while rude and insensitive to the bit players?

After more than a year has passed, ABS-CBN has not acted concerning the complaint. This prompted Rossellyn Domingo to write an open letter. Beow is a portion of the letter she posted on social media dated December 31, 2015.

"Sa Forevermore ako unang nagkaroon ng pangalan. Ako si Celia. Tuwang-tuwa ako noon dahil sa oportunidad na nabuksan sa akin. Sayang at ilang araw lang akong nanatili sa La Presa. Hindi kasi kaya ng sikmura ko ang pagmumura niyo sa mga ekstra. Sagad sa buto. Napakasakit para sa akin na mura-murahin niyo nang pauli-ulit ang boyfriend ko sa harap ng maraming tao. Nakatatak sa alaala ko ang mga ngisi at tawanan ng mga staff at cameramen niyo kapag nagpapakawala kayo ng mga mura. Hindi niyo alam kung gaanong iginagalang ng napakaraming tao ang “ekstrang” minura-mura at ipinahiya ninyo.
Sabi ng mga nakakakilala sa inyo, wala raw personalan, stressed ka lang, ganoon talaga. Unawain ka na lang. Ayon nga sa isang boss niyo sa ABS-CBN na sumagot sa amin sa email, “you are known for cursing in the set” at iyon raw ang paraan niyo ng pag-cope sa stress ng inyong trabaho. Ganoon ba talaga ‘pag stressed? Dapat kang maging insensitive sa damdamin ng ibang tao para guminhawa ang pakiramdam mo? "

She also stressed that she decided to write the open letter several weeks after the movie A Second Chance was shown so there would be no negative interpretations. She now seeks a dialogue with the director together with Vidanes.  

You may click the link to read the entire letters:

It is alarming that ABS-CBN seems to be also giving less importance to the concerns of bit player actors. Imagine waiting for more than a year already and still no action from them. 

Just like they star director, they probably just prioritize the stars and veterans. After all, these bit player actors have very little significance for them. They have no voice loud enough to be heard. Thanks to a few publications, who dared to share the story, we now know what really lurks behind the set.

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