MANILA, Philippines – Directors Jun Lana and and Perci Intalan said they hope that “full acceptance” and not just tolerance will come for the LGBT community one day.
Jun, who directed movies like Die Beautiful and Bwakaw married Perci, former TV 5 executive in the US in 2013. News of their wedding made headlines since same-sex marriage is not recognized in the Philippines.
During an interview last June 20 with select media, the two spoke about the changes in the LGBTQ community through the years. Jun said he hopes for the day when the LGBTQ community gets the full acceptance they’ve been fighting for.
“Not just tolerance. Because right now, you know, I think society tolerates LGBTQ community but full acceptance? Up to now, it’s still not there,” Jun said.
Both acknowledged that it’s still going to be a long journey, but little steps such as the recent Supreme Court oral arguments on same-sex marriage are welcome news. (READ: Same-sex marriage: Flawed petition or unready Court?)
“Any tiny step na makakatulong, para marecognize at mabigyan ng karapatan ang LGBTQ community, we appreciate that,” Jun said. (Any tiny step that helps, towards the recognizing and assuring equal rights for the LGBT community, we appreciate that.)
For one, Perci said, people are becoming more mindful and “conscious” of words they use to describe and refer to members of the LGBT community.
The struggles of LGBT parents are real and Jun and Perci know this. The parents of two boys said the adoption process was harder for them. On paper, Jun is the father of the two boys. Perci is registered as only their guardian.
Jun’s mother also plays a huge role in raising the kids. “Even yung mga bata may mama kasi mama din ang tawag nila sa mom ni Jun. In a way, we’re a family na may isang mama, may isang daddy, may isang papa. Nobody will ever tell them na hindi complete ang bahay,” he said.
(The kids also have a mom because they also call Jun’s mom ‘mama.’ In a way, we’re a family with one mama, one daddy, one papa. Nobody will ever tell them that their house is incomplete.)
When it comes to parenting, Jun admits he spoils the kids while Perci is the disciplinarian.
They also know that one day, they will have to explain the situation to the boys.
“We just want to raise our kids to be emphatic and kind, because that’s the most important. Of course, at the back of my mind, I’m also thinking when to tell them, what will be the reaction in school and all. So we’re trying to be careful but we also want them to be independent,” Jun said in a mix of English and Filipino.
“We know it’s going to be a process. So importante na grounded [sila] and grounded yung foundations. Ang importante mahal ka, pamilya iyan,” Perci said.
(It’s important that they are grounded on a good foundation. What’s important is that you love each other, and this is family.)
Aside from being directors, both Perci and Jun run IdeaFirst, a production company which co-produces movies and shows. Some of the movies they’ve co-produced include Die Beautiful, Ang Dalawang Mrs Reyes and The Write Moment.
According to Jun, IdeaFirst is a “boutique” company that specializes a “certain kind of storytelling” that other studios don’t offer. “Even we get to do more films, we become bigger as a company, I would like to keep that mindset,” he said.
Having come from TV networks, Perci said they are careful of not losing sight of the core the company was founded on — storytelling.
“Gusto namin yung products namin yung lumaki. But the organization itself, the company itself, gusto namin intact pa rin -yung kaya namin makausap, brainstorm with our team,” Perci said. (We want our products to grow. But the organization itself, the company itself, we want it to be intact- that we can talk to, braintstorm our team.)
Jun said they are open to the ideas their colleagues pitch during their meetings – an process he describes as learning and humbling.
The two say that when it comes to directors and actors, it’s talent – the kind you’re born with – that ultimately matters the most.
“I’m not even talking about how good you are technicaly. I think it’s really something that you’re born with. You cannot fake it. What’s important is what’s your story? What do you have to tell?” Jun said in a mix of English and Filipino.
“Importante sa akin na may story siya na ikukuwento and passionate siya sa kwento na gusto niyang sabihin,” he added. (It’s important to me that you have a story and that you’re passionate in telling that story that you want to share.) – Rappler.com