I went to the premiere of Joel Lamangan’s Walang Kawala, Director’s Cut in the UP Film Center with Pangga, anak ng Diyosa, Prinsesita ng Anak ng Diyosa and Gelli. Apart from seeing the place filled to bursting with gorgeous gay people, I chanced upon my good friends Ruel and Alfie. I was told recently by Ruel that Judy Ann will appear in the Christmas special of Maalaala Mo Kaya for which show he writes, so I badgered him into bringing me along to the taping so we could act as extras. I was already imagining that I’d have a confrontational scene with Juday inside a makeshift house or in the garbage dump or in the streets pockmarked with puddles of brackish water. Gelli insisted that first chance Maricel Soriano returns to MMK, he was willing to be an extra, too, even if it meant creeping along the mud and being made to shed a tear only with his left eye.
As for the film, it was a gay version of Maynila Sa Kuko ng Liwanag and had echoes of Macho Dancer. I was thinking that it would have been better if the plot largely relied on the forbidden love between two straight-identified men in their bucolic fishing village. It was ironic that the rural and city settings swapped pacing—the country setting were wrapped up in the first few minutes as opposed to the slower pacing in Manila. Meanwhile, the transfer to the urban location made the movie scream with commodification and objectification. The homoerotic scenes were, hmm, nakakabitin, hahaha. I recognized the gay bar as that managed by my friend Genesis; seeing the seductive macho dancers made me want to visit Planet Xanadu yet again. Emilio Garcia’s acting was terrific, Polo Ravales’ was good enough, Paolo Rivero’s should have been mined more, while Joseph Bitangcol’s and Althea Vega’s were deplorable. The film could have done away with Jean Garcia in playing the abusive cop’s wife’s character; she’s too fine to be a miscast. Anyway, sans everything, the love affair between Waldo and Joaquin was one that truly captures the gay experience: it goes against all the odds of the straight world. To quote Polo’s character: “Sasabog ang buong mundo kapag nalaman nila ang tungkol sa atin!”
Anyway, here are the photographs taken with the director and the night’s object of gay desire after his controversial frontal nudity, Marco Morales.