Former 'Forevermore' talent: Director Cathy Garcia-Molina has no respect for extras
MANILA, Philippines – An open letter of a former talent of the show Forevermore has gone viral.
In the letter, Rossellyn Domingo, who played the role of Celia in Forevermore, said the show's director, Cathy Garcia-Molina, humiliated and cursed at her boyfriend, Alvin Campomanes, while they were on the set in Baguio. Alvin played Makoy on the show.
Rossellyn said that she could not stand how Cathy treated the extras, and how the staff just smiled at the situation. The letter was posted on her Facebook page.
"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."
(I could not stand how you would curse at the extras. It hurt me to see you curse over and over again at my boyfriend in front of so many people. I will never forget how the staff and cameramen would just laugh everytime you'd curse. You don't know how well-respected the 'extra' that you cursed at and embarrassed was.)
Alvin is a historian and a faculty member at the University of the Philippines Manila. He previously taught at the University of Asia and the Pacific, Enderun Colleges, and other schools.
Rossellyn said that she and Alvin sent a letter to the management of ABS-CBN, which, in turn, told them to understand the director.
"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?
(People who know you told me it's nothing personal, you're just stressed out, that's how it is. I should just understand it. According to a boss of yours from ABS-CBN who answered our email, 'you are known for cursing in the set' and that's how you cope with stress at work. Is that how it is when you're stressed? Should you be insensitive to other people's feelings just to feel better?)
Rossellyn also attached a copy of the letter that she and her boyfriend sent to ABS-CBN.
"I write this letter to protest the indignities that I have suffered as a talent in a location shooting of Forevermore from October 6-7, 2014," wrote Alvin in the letter dated October 22, 2014. It was addressed to Ma Socorro V. Vidanes, channel head of ABS-CBN.
Alvin said that a talent coordinator, John Leonardo, asked him to substitute for Rossellyn's absent acting partner, even though he knew that Alvin was an academic.
"[Cathy] was servile to Luz Fernandez, courteous to Joe Gruta, solicitous to Liza Soberano, and friendly to Joey Marquez and Irma Adlawan," Alvin observed in his letter. "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."
"She is a character straight out of the Noli," Alvin continued, referencing Jose Rizal's famous Noli Me Tangere. "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."
Alvin also recounted that towards the end of their first working day on set, Cathy verbally abused him: "At that point, I remember Joey Marquez spared me from further humiliation by coaching me on how to position my body for that particular scene. I believe he was uncomfortable seeing me endure all those hurtful remarks, aware as he was that his daughter Winwyn was my student in San Beda [College]."
Alvin stayed another day, even though John promised that his scenes would take only one day to shoot. It didn't go any better. On the second day, John also asked him to stay for a 3rd day, and just miss the class he had to teach. Alvin refused.
"I demand disciplinary action on Cathy Garcia Molina, Jeng (a crew member), and John Leonardo. If justice will not be served, if this plea will not be heeded, then it only means that your company condones the uncivil behavior of your people because they bring in 'ratings, revenues and profits,'” wrote Alvin.
He added, "I also demand an apology from the little gods that have offended me."
As of press time, Cathy has yet to address the letter.
Forevermore starred Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano as Alexander and Agnes, who met and fell in love in Baguio. It became one of the most popular dramas from 2014 to 2015, establishing the tandem of Enrique and Liza onscreen.
Cathy was also the woman behind One More Chance and its sequel, A Second Chance, both starring John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo. – Rappler.com